Namco has today announced that it has signed animated filmmakers Don Bluth and Gary Oldman to create and direct in-game cinematics for I-Ninja. The game, which is currently in development for the PS2 and GameCube at UK-based Argonaut, will see players assuming the role of a ninja and is currently scheduled for release toward the end of this year.
"It is a privilege for Namco to work with such prestigious animators as Don Bluth and Gary Goldman," said Jon Kromrey, producer at Namco Hometek. "Their filmmaking legacy has spanned decades and they are making their mark in the video game world again. We are confident they will help Namco make I-Ninja the next new character game sensation."
Bluth and Goldman's previous credits not only include animated movies such as The Secret of N.I.M.H., An American Tail, A Land Before Time, All Dogs Go to Heaven, and Anastasia, but they were also responsible for the 1983 arcade game Dragon's Lair, and for the recent remake of that game, Dragon's Lair 3D.
"Gary and I truly enjoy the video games industry and would like to help bring the cinematic quality of video games to an exciting new level," said Don Bluth, cofounder of Don Bluth Films. "I-Ninja provides us a palette of dynamic characters and enchanting environments that will be a pleasure to work with."
The team is planning to combine high-end CGI graphics with meticulous hand-painted environments for the in-game movies, and it will also be utilizing its years of experience to provide direction for the development of the I-Ninja character and the game's storyline. For more information on I-Ninja, check out our previous coverage of the PlayStation 2 and GameCube versions of the game.