|Video game developer|
Kung Fu Chaos
|Video game industry|
|Mike Ball (chief technology)|
Nina Kristensen (chief development)
Tameem Antoniades (chief design)
Ninja Theory, Ltd. is a video game developer based in Cambridge, England. Originally founded as Just Add Monsters in March 2000, the company was purchased by former Argonaut Games CEO Jez San in late 2004. The team developed its first game, Kung Fu Chaos, in 2003 exclusively for the Xbox, which was published by Microsoft Game Studios.
Ninja Theory's most recent title, Heavenly Sword for the Sony PlayStation 3 was released in September 2007 and features a "free style" combat action system. The developer was nominated for five Develop Industry Excellence Awards for the game including best new IP, visual arts, audio accomplishment, technical innovation, and best independent developer.
In June 2008, the company licensed NaturalMotion's morpheme animation system. Ninja Theory's next game, titled Enslaved, is in development for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and is to be published by Namco Bandai Games. It has stated that the game is not a sequel to Heavenly Sword and that such a game is "extremely unlikely" at this time.
At the Capcom Tokyo Games Show conference on September 15, 2010, it was announced that Ninja Theory are currently developing a reboot of the Devil May Cry franchise, simply called DMC. It was said that even though there was a great distance between the British and Japanese studios, there were regular meetings to discuss the project. Ninja Theory were speculated to be developing the title since April 2010.
- Kung Fu Chaos (as Just Add Monsters) (2003)
- Heavenly Sword (2007)
- Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (2010)
- DMC (TBA)
Concerning Sony Computer Entertainment
In May 2005, Ninja Theory were on the verge of becoming defunct due to the collapse of the gaming studio Argonaut Games, however soon after the announcement was made, the BBC reported that Sony Computer Entertainment had signed them up to make an exclusive video game for the upcoming PlayStation 3 at that time. However, in mid 2008, almost a year after the release of Heavenly Sword, many news articles were published about the rocky relationship between Ninja Theory and Sony Computer Entertainment. Though they had supposedly signed on as PlayStation developers bringing the originally Xbox exclusive Heavenly Sword to the PlayStation 3, Ninja Theory eventually broke away from Sony Computer Entertainment Cambridge Studio as they had "grown increasingly bitter about their treatment at Sony's hands." Ninja Theory representatives continued to comment on the crumbling relationship between themselves and Sony, eventually confirming that they made no profit on Heavenly Sword though "the publisher [Sony] probably broke even," even though the PlayStation 3 exclusive sold over one and a half million copies. Updates continued to come from the studio until they eventually announced their new multi-platform title Enslaved: Odyssey to the West.
The company later reported that their move from Sony was due to the strain of exclusive development and that the studio felt they were receiving a lot of negative attention because of their choice of exclusive development. One of the founding members of the company, Tameem Antoniades said in an interview that, "Being involved in one side of a format war as if it's the machines that make great games can also be draining. You get a lot of attention as an exclusive developer which is great, but on the flip side there was a lot of anti-Sony feeling going on which I felt was unfairly being directed at our team." Though the teased and semi-confirmed Heavenly Sword 2 has been cancelled for the time being. In June 2010, Ninja Theory expressed their interest in making another title and commented that they would have made a sequel had Heavenly Sword performed better in sales.
Though there has been no official comment from Sony about the relationship between the independent developer and the gaming giant. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is still to be released on PlayStation 3 alongside its Xbox 360 counterpart, though there has been some rumours about the quality of the PlayStation 3 version with it being described as poor compared to the Xbox 360 version. Ninja Theory recently addressed these rumours by saying, "I can re-assure you that through our development process neither format is favoured. In fact, both formats are developed simultaneously so it wouldn’t be possible for one format to be cared for more than the other."
Concerning Devil May Cry
During Tokyo Game Show in 2010, Ninja Theory officially revealed they would be developing the 'reboot' of the Devil May Cry series with Capcom games. There was immediate backlash from fans and press over the new character design of the series main protagonist, Dante.
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- Heavenly Sword free style action. Retrieved on 2008-09-10
- Develop Industry Excellence Awards 2008. Develop Map (July 2008). Retrieved on 2008-09-10
- Ninja Theory Licenses NaturalMotion's morpheme Animation System. GameSpy (June 17, 2008). Retrieved on 2008-09-10
- Graft, Kris (August 19, 2009). Namco Bandai To Publish New Game From Ninja Theory. Gamasutra. Retrieved on 2009-08-19
- Robinson, Martin (September 10, 2009). Ninja Theory Names New Game. IGN. Retrieved on 2009-09-10
- Steen, Patrick. Heavenly Sword Sequel "Extremely Unlikely". Retrieved on 2008-09-10
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