Ninja Gaiden, Dead or Alive game reboots reportedly in the works

Plans to reboot the Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive video game franchises were mentioned in a developer presentation at the G-Star conference.
Dead or Alive 5, featuring Ninja Gaiden protagonist Ryu Hayabusa. Image: Team Ninja

Developer Team Ninja (Nioh) has reportedly revealed details about some significant plans that are currently in the works at the company. According to a talk studio president Rumihiko Yasuda gave at the G-Star conference in South Korea, it appears that the developer has plans to reboot two of its most notable franchise: Ninja Gaiden, the landmark character action combat video game series, as well as Dead or Alive, the competitive fighting game.

A slide shown during Yasuda’s talk (via VGC) features Japanese text that roughly translates to ‘The future of Team Ninja’ and ‘Reboot of popular series’, along with screenshots of Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden and Kasumi from Dead or Alive. It is uncertain whether this slide was hypothetical.

Image: Team Ninja via VGC

VGC also notes that Yasuda has expressed a desire to return to the Ninja Gaiden series several times publically in the past. Yasuda was also the director of Ninja Gaiden 3 – the most recent entry in the series, released in 2012.

Ninja Gaiden, originally a 2D side-scrolling action series developed in the late 1980s, made a second, significant mark on video games when it was revived as a 3D character action game in 2004 by Team Ninja. The revival was helmed by designer Tomonobu Itagaki, who departed Team Ninja after the second game in the series. The modern series was renowned for its high degree of difficulty and violence.

The development of Dead or Alive was also led by Itagaki; it was a series of fast-paced 3D fighting games that was known as much for its suggestive characters as much as it was for its exciting fighting mechanics. It featured Ninja Gaiden protagonist Ryu Hayabusa as one of the playable fighters, and received six mainline entries, a number of spin-off games featuring the cast taking part in beach volleyball, and even a live-action film adaptation.

Edmond was the founding managing editor of GamesHub. He was also previously at GameSpot for 13 years, where he was the Australian Editor and an award-winning video producer. You can follow him @EdmondTran