DOAX2 Next From Team Ninja
The makers of Dead or Alive 4 hard at work on upcoming Xbox 360 bikini-fest.
by IGN Staff
January 30, 2006 - Team Ninja's Tomonobu Itagaki appeared in the latest issue of Famitsu Xbox 360 in not one, but two interviews in which he discusses his teams plans for the Xbox 360.
Itagaki first apologized for disturbing the Xbox 360 Japanese launch with the delay of Dead or Alive 4. DOA4 was originally scheduled to launch with the 360 in Japan on December 10, but ended up suffering two delays, eventually arriving at retail on December 29. He asked that people forgive his selfishness in delaying the title this time, as DOA4 represents his collective work from the past ten years.
When asked about Team Ninja's future plans, Itagaki resorted to some peculiar mahjong analogy before revealing that Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 will be the team's next title. He added that he's been thinking about making a few changes from the original plan. The game's opening and ending are already being worked on, he revealed, but he won't commit to a release date for fear of causing an uproar in case of a delay. He does state that it probably won't be too far off from what people are expecting.
Asked about Ninja Gaiden 2, which the magazine still lists as being "unannounced," Itagaki explained that there are a lot of things he hopes to do with the title. With Dead or Alive, he said he made a "complete" fighting game, and he hopes to do the same in the action genre as his next goal, although he doesn't state that this will necessarily be through Ninja Gaiden 2. He cited "interactivity" as a keyword. Itagaki hopes to create a form of action that pushes the interactivity of videogames to the limit.
Team Ninja is also working away at Project Progressive. The directions of Ninja Gaiden and Project Progressive are completely different, Itagaki revealed.
But before DOAX2, Ninja Gaiden 2 and all the rest, comes Dead or Alive 4. Team Ninja is still working away to tune up the game. We can expect the first online patch for the game in February, which should fix the various problems that Itagaki himself has encountered over his 300 Live-based matches. The patch will fix a few interface issues as well as some more core issues.
Sadly, downloads do not look like they will feature in DOA4's future. The Team Ninja staff isn't all that large, Itagaki disclosed, and the team needs to give priority to the next project. He also noted that, in the event of free downloads, updates would have to be offered to non-Live players via free booster disks, which would also be difficult due to costs. Despite the negative outlook, Itagaki adds that some staff members want downloads to happen, and it is under consideration.
Itagaki's comments were just a part of a lengthy Famitsu Xbox 360 feature in which Japan's biggest developers share their thoughts on the system. For a look at what everyone else had to say, check out our separate story.