Ninja Gaiden II's release for the Xbox 360 in June 2008 was a traumatic one for Tecmo, as it saw celebrity designer Tomonobu Itagaki filing suit and departing the company while president Yoshimi Yasuda resigned amid the controversy. With Itagaki having formed Valhalla Game Studios and Tecmo merging with Dynasty Warriors creator Koei, the Ninja Gaiden franchise continues to march on.
Gamasutra reports today that Tecmo Koei has announced Ninja Gaiden III as part of its presence at the 2010 Tokyo Game Show. The game will be the first all-new installment in the franchise since Itagaki's departure, following on from Ninja Gaiden Sigma II's release for the PlayStation 3 in September 2009. A 3DS installment in the franchise is also in development.
Team Ninja head Yosuke Hayashi offered few specifics on what gamers can expect from Ninja Gaiden III as part of his presentation. However, Hayashi did unveil the first bit of art (pictured), saying that the game's direction could be "summed up in one image."
Said image is that of series protagonist Ryu Hayabusa, and judging from the blood smatterings on his fist and face, he has evidently just emerged from a battle. Hayabusa's hand seems to be lowering the shawl protecting his face, while his eyes appear to be reflecting flames.
Tecmo Koei did not provide a release window or platforms for Ninja Gaiden III.
Along with announcing Ninja Gaiden III, Hayashi reannounced Ni-Oh, which was first teased by Koei for the PlayStation 3 in 2005. Hayashi was equally tight-lipped about the title, saying only that it was being built in collaboration with Koei and that the focus of the action game would be on samurai. Development on the game is being overseen by Kou Shibusawa, a founder of Koei.