President Fumihiko Yasuda Positive About Existing Team NINJA IPs

Notice for the readers: this news story does not confirm Dead or Alive 7 or a new iteration of Dead or Alive 6. The story does however imply great possibility for a future.

Video Games Chronicle's latest interview with Team NINJA studios president Fumihiko Yasuda was extremely revealing about the future for existing IPs, and while he was there primarily to do a collaborative interview with Bloodborne producer Maasaki Yamagiwa, he went out of his way to allude heavily in his dialogue that he cares about existing franchises and wants to do something when the timing is right like any other project they do at Team NINJA.

President Yasuda's delivery in this interview was well-thought, well-spoken, enjoyable to read, transparent and he has the best composure for press interviews we have seen from Team NINJA in over a decade. He controlled the narrative. What was supposed to be a Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty interview turned into the pedigree of Team NINJA, the strength of Team NINJA and that he wants to go to work and do his job properly to keep things fresh.

Yasuda is a mysterious character at Team NINJA, but the more we see him on camera, and the more we hear what he has to say in interviews it's clear he is passionate and does his best work when he is the one in control. We will have a profile available on the site for Yasuda for those that are not familiar with his background or his work later this month, and I will write an impressions story on the upcoming Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty based off experiences with the now expired demo.

While interviewing Yasuda, the author pressed him about the possibility of a new NINJA Gaiden, and on his own accord Yasuda went beyond what was asked:

Yasuda: In general, we’re very happy that there are so many fans of these existing IPs, and because there is this big fan base out there, we have a desire to please those fans. We’re so happy that people are big fans of our existing series, and so there is that feeling of wanting to create a new entry in those series.

This confirms that DOA & NINJA Gaiden are not retired franchises like some people thought, but with that being said, both games will come out when the timing is right for them come out. He didn't stop here... when the author asked if outsourcing or creating a younger team to do existing IPs was possible, Yasuda's response was interesting:

Yasuda: We’re not announcing anything (relating to the current interview), but both of those ideas sound like great plans and are both possibilities in a sense. Those are both very, very reasonable ideas for potentially a sequel in any series, not just NINJA Gaiden.

Koei Tecmo is not uncomfortable with outsourcing content or collaborating with other developers. They will be collaborating with EA to make a monster hunting game called Wild Hearts. They work with Nintendo, they outsource with Dead or Alive Xtreme Venus Vacation and also outsourced with Dead or Alive 6. All of the released titles mentioned have experienced some type of success, and Yasuda vows as president that if outsourcing is done on his watch that it will exceed Team NINJA's expectations. With no other options to speak of the DOA community can't be seen as a community that would deny a little change; and perhaps that's what DOA needs most.

With great respect to Yohei Shimbori - it's time to move on from Shimbori. He checked out. He's retired from Team NINJA, and he's not coming back. For now, we have Yasuda to rely on and hopefully communicate with as the head of Team NINJA and he doesn't look to be leaving anytime soon. While you might be disturbed or perplexed by the idea of outsourcing, consider it as a possibility moving on with future of the Dead or Alive franchise and other existing Team NINJA franchises.

Like the notice said, we aren't confirming the new Dead or Alive, but supporters of the series should now see that the future may not be so bleak, and it's great to know that the current lead of Team NINJA cares about existing IPs and is willing to publicly state it.

There will be an upcoming tournament for Dead or Alive 6 that we will cover soon and there are plenty of great Team NINJA games to play right now while we wait for Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, The Rise of Ronin and other future titles.

Note from the Editor: Free Step Dodge has been around for many years, and we want it to continue with your support of contributions, intellect and findings. I hope that if a bad relationship has been made that it can be mended, and I hope that DOA continues as a franchise, but either way we will continue to be here as long as the players continue to enjoy Dead or Alive and Team NINJA as a whole. Thank you for helping archive the history of Dead or Alive, the incredible fighters and the prestigious Team NINJA with your dedication and loyalty.
Apparently, we're going to get more gameplay of Wild Hearts on Wednesday.

Very cool.

Also, for anyone that was doubting the legitimacy of this story: Team NINJA and Master have backed my Tweet for this story. Other players asked if it there were any translations problems, and no, Team NINJA double checks textual based interviews before allowing release.