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    Team Ninja

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    Team Ninja is a video game development studio formerly led by Tomonobu Itagaki which was founded in 1995. They are a subsidiary of Tecmo, Ltd..

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    Team Ninja is a Tecmo development studio. The studio is most widely recognized for the modern interpretations of the Ninja Gaiden franchise as well as the Dead or Alive fighting game franchise. Team Ninja was lead by game designer Tomonobu Itagaki from 2001 until July of 2008, when he resigned from the company.

    Games Developed

    Screen from the original Dead or Alive.
    Screen from the original Dead or Alive.

    Itagaki's first project with Team Ninja was Dead or Alive, a 3D fighting game designed as a response to Sega's Virtua Fighter. Since then, the studio has developed multiple sequels for a variety of platforms. Team Ninja has also produced several spin-off Dead or Alive beach-themed games starting with Dead or Alive: Xtreme Volleyball.

    Following the success of the Dead or Alive series, Team Ninja went on to develop the Ninja Gaiden revival for the Xbox, and have since released two improved versions of the game as well as multiple sequels. The studio has also partnered with Nintendo to produce Metroid: Other M.

    Depiction of Women

    Team Ninja is well known for their sexualized female characters and unrealistic breast physics. The breast bounce physics in the original Dead or Alive in particular were criticized for being highly inaccurate, jiggling even when the characters barely moved.

    Itagaki's Departure

    Tomonobu Itagaki
    Tomonobu Itagaki

    Itagaki resigned from Tecmo in July of 2008. He claimed he had been denied appropriate bonuses for work on his past games. Since leaving the company, he has started work at Valhalla Game Studios, a start-up development house where he is currently working with a number of other former Team Ninja employees that departed with him.

    In a letter he released to the public announcing his departure, Itagaki stated that the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden games would no longer be made. However, Tecmo responded by saying projects for both series were already in the works. Since then, new games in both franchises have been released and continue to be developed. Since Itagaki's departure, Team Ninja has produced Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 for the PS3, Ninja Gaiden 3 was produced for the PS3 and Xbox 360 with a later Wii U upgrade entitled Razor's Edge that was subsequently ported to other platforms. The Dead or Alive series has continued with Dead or Alive: Dimensions on the 3DS, as well as multiple versions of Dead or Alive 5 for the PS3, 360, and Vita.

    Post Itagaki Leadership

    Following Itagaki's departure, Team Ninja employee Yosuke Hayashi was promoted to helm the studio. Among his first projects as studio head included Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 and Metroid: Other M.

    Current Development

    Team Ninja is currently at work on Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, in collaboration with Keiji Inafune's studio Comcept and the western development house Spark Unlimited.


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