Team Ninja head Tomonobu Itagaki revealed at Microsoft Japan’s July Xbox Summit that his team was currently working away on four Xbox 360 titles outside of Dead or Alive 4. The latest issue of Famitsu Xbox features an interview session with Itagaki in which the lead ninja discusses his team’s plans.
It turns out that, although five titles are officially known to be in development for Xbox 360, it’s not the case that this is all the support Xbox 360 will get from the team. Itagaki refers to the five titles as being a road map for Team Ninja. His team would like to produce, at the very least, five Xbox 360 titles.
Famitsu Xbox goes into specifics on Team Ninja’s lineup. First up is DOAX2, which Itagaki reveals is a true sequel to Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball. In addition to volleyball, DOAX2 will include one additional main game. Volleyball and the new game will serve as the pillars for DOAX2, but Team Ninja is also planning on adding other means of waterside fun as well as a more robust casino element. Regarding the volleyball gameplay, Itagaki states that because the buttons on the Xbox 360 controller are not analogue, the gameplay will have to be adjusted accordingly.
Dead or Alive Code: Cronus is next up in Famitsu Xbox’s question and answer session. Itagaki first clears up some confusion about the game’s genre. Tecmo apparently issued a press release stating that Code Cronus would be a child-oriented game. Itagaki corrects this, revealing that the game’s genre is “Kodomo,” the Japanese world for “Child.” However, the game is not, in any way, meant for kids. Looks like we’ll have to wait for specifics, as Team Ninja is currently hard at work on Dead or Alive 4.
Project Progressive is next in the hot seat. Itagaki refers to the game as being a new challenge for Tecmo. The genre is action, but we can expect a completely different type of action from what was featured in Ninja Gaiden. Development was actually done on the original Xbox, but, like Code: Cronus, was switched to Xbox 360.
Finally, Itagaki is asked to discuss the mysterious fifth title in the team’s lineup, whose name wasn’t even announced at the summit. Famitsu Xbox asks specifically if the fifth title is Ninja Gaiden 2, and Itagaki doesn’t answer directly, but does say that the game would have had such an strong impact that he felt it would be better to hold off on a proper announcement. We won’t have to wait too long to learn the title’s true identity, though. Itagaki states that Team Ninja should be able to properly announce the game once the identity of the mysterious wrestler from Dead or Alive 4 is revealed, which we presume will happen later this year with the release of Dead or Alive 4.
Given Itagaki’s comments, it seems unlikely that the fifth title in Team Ninja’s lineup is Ninja Gaiden 2. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the sequel to one of the best action games ever is not coming to Xbox 360. We’ll have to wait for future interviews with Itagaki (likely through Famitsu Xbox) for more hints.