Team Ninja: Xbox Game Pass, Nioh on Xbox, Elden Ring… the studio delivers | Xbox One

In an interview given by VGC during Gamescom, Fumihiko Yasuda and Masaaki Yamagiwa talked about their long time working within Team Ninja. The opportunity for them to look back on their experience in the soul genre, Elden Ring, the highly anticipated Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, but also new information on projects and possibilities that exist in the studio. Here’s what to remember.

Don’t say it’s like soul, but masocore

The masocore genre is an old classification of video games that mainly corresponds to 2D games with horizontal scrolling, which are more difficult, and of which Celeste can be called a novelty which is an example of the genre. However, the likes of souls, even if made in 3D, are quite legitimate to claim this name. Like souls, Team Ninja knows a lot about it, but the Japanese studio spoke well about a masocore to qualify Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty in the interview given by VGC in August.

In this interview, the director of Nioh and the producer of Bloodborne talk at length about their next game that will be available on Xbox Game Pass when it is released in early 2023. Asked about the relevance of another title inspired by products of FromSoftware, Team Ninja explained that it is the job of developers to make them attractive. In the case of Wo Long, both creators went on about the new moral system and the ability to use magic in a new way.

Yes, we think there’s still a lot of room to do new things in a more mission-driven format and structure. And you know, one thing we’re going to do in Wo Long is the moral system. The morale system works, for example, when facing a powerful enemy, and you have a morale rank that increases as you defeat enemies.

So you can look at the map and figure out which routes to take based on your current morale level. And, for example, you can shoot a big enemy, your morale will increase, and you will be stronger. And when you die, there’s this balance of up and down, okay? So you might be thinking, I want to go through this path without enemies to keep my morale where it is to stay strong. Or maybe I want to fight strong enemies in another lane and try it even higher.

When it comes to the revival of the Elden Ring, Team Ninja praised the success of Hidetaka Miyazaki’s teams latest creation, but pointed out the big difference in their non-open world games. For them, the game is primarily based on a system of missions and levels, which does not prevent a certain form of openness and diversity of methods, but is nevertheless different from an open world game.

We played the game, and we think Elden Ring did a great job creating an open world experience. But for Wo Long, we didn’t set out to make it an open-world experience. Instead, we tried to focus on what we do well here at Team Ninja, mission-based action games, with a lot of energy focused on the stages you go through.

After the Nioh diptych exclusive to PlayStation consoles, Wo Long: Fallen Dynsaty benefits from a partnership with Xbox that should allow more players to discover the work of the creators of Ninja Gaiden. However, the studio explained that no other conclusions can be drawn from this collaboration regarding their future projects. This interview confirms that at the moment, there is no possibility that Nioh and its sequel will arrive one day on Microsoft consoles.

Wo Long’s presence on Xbox Game Pass was seen as an opportunity to reach a larger audience while riding the success of the Xbox Series X|S in the Japanese archipelago. Another interest is to have the most players in the multiplayer part of the title and to maintain this presence over time. Unfortunately, we don’t know anything else about the online game.

We are very happy that many players will have the opportunity to try a Team Ninja title, possibly for the first time, with Wo Long. But just because it’s on Game Pass doesn’t mean we changed XYZ… It’s not really something we did on the dev side. We just want to make Wo Long the best game possible, and we hope fans or new users can play and enjoy it. We don’t want to change it for a specific audience or anything like that.

For the future, Fumihiko Yasuda and Masaaki Yamagiwa are not closing any doors. Their main concern is to meet the expectations of the players while listening to the desires and abilities of the various studio teams. The intention to revive the Ninja Gaiden franchise is always in their minds, but it seems difficult to execute. A possible new opus can still be entrusted to a junior team, or even to an external team, but the unity of the DNA of Team Ninja must be ensured.

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