At the Tokyo Game Show, new Team Ninja head of development Yosuke Hayashi told Gamasutra that the newly-refreshed company is ready for consumers to compare their games to the "old" Team Ninja - and actively invites the criticism. Additionally, the developer gave an early look into what it's like to develop for Nintendo's upcoming 3DS, for which Team Ninja is making Dead or Alive: Dimensions
"The 3DS in and of itself is easy to develop for," he told us. "It's a handheld platform, which makes it relatively easy from a development standpoint. But being 3D, other than just the specs, we have to figure out how to use it well, how to use that effect. That's something we're having fun with, trying to figure that out."
Optical 3D itself is a new frontier for games, though polygons have long been a staple. "Up until now, 3D [in games] has not been an everyday experience," Hayashi added. "We think that with the 3DS, this will be the first time that anybody can get a 3D experience just about anywhere."
"It'll be just a part of everyday life. So we're trying to put out a 3D fighting game and see how that goes, and learn from that experience. We'll go from there to see where 3D should go, and how we can use 3D to make a deeper experience in the future."
Though Team Ninja describes itself as having a fresh new group of developers, albeit one that "grew from the same soil" as the original team, they actively wanted to tackle their older franchises first. They want to be compared to the old guard, under former head Tomonobu Itakagi, in order to prove their worth. Itagaki left Tecmo in late 2008, bringing a number of his former team members with him to his new venture, Valhalla Game Studios.
"We knew that we'd be asked about the past, and about Team Ninja going forward, and what that's going to mean," Hayashi explained. "We know that in making a new Dead or Alive
and Ninja Gaiden
we're going to be compared to our past titles. We're prepared to be judged by our work. We want people to take an honest look at the work that we do."
"If we were to make a new franchise that would be the easy way out, because people would have nothing to compare it to. But for us to go back and say we're going to make a Ninja Gaiden
or Dead or Alive
, and we're actually daring to do that, that's a statement for us. We're prepared to back that up with the games themselves."