Gamasutra has an interesting interview with two producers from Tecmo's Team Ninja (best known for the Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive series). As many of you know, Team Ninja's Tomonobu Itagaki left the company amidst scandal and controversy. The move was particularly unusual for a Japanese developer, where brash and outspoken personalities are definitely not the norm. Gamasutra talks with Hitoshi Hasegawa and Yosuke Hayashi about the post-Itagaki era at Team Ninja, development philosophy differences on the three major consoles, and its experiment on the Nintendo DS. Here are some interesting tidbits.
On what Team Ninja has been up since Itagaki's departure, Hasegawa said:
"We've been taking some time reformatting and reorganizing our team around, but one thing for sure is that we know what our focus and our concentration and our team goals and objectives are. We've been using time recently in order to make sure that that's what we want to do, and continue to work on existing and future projects."
On Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword's tepid reaction in North America, Hayashi said:
"As a product from a development, concept, and content standpoint, the team is very happy and satisfied with what we were able to achieve and put in the final product. However, we do feel that we fell a little short in trying to communicate that, and have more gamers play what we were able to put in that final product.
It just wasn't the right sort of natural chemistry. It wasn't enough. But we're up for those kinds of challenges, to provide a new and unique way of playing for a given console. Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword was a perfect example of that, in providing a hardcore action game experience on a portable machine. That was our challenge at the time, but we'll continue to look at similar challenges in the future."
On developing games exclusively for one console, Hayashi said:
"I agree that if we work exclusively with one console that the final product will be a better game than if we were to create it simultaneously for multiple platforms.
Each system has its own philosophy behind it, so it's a matter if you can concentrate and focus 100 percent to adapt to that, or if you're going to have to balance that out with other titles."