At one point, Ninja Gaiden was one of the biggest series in gaming, and for many, it's a nostalgic franchise. However, it's one that hasn't aged well, mostly because the last few entries have been very lackluster. As a result, we haven't seen it in any capacity since 2014, and we haven't gotten a numbered mainline release since 2012. And since Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z hit in 2014, there's been little to no word of the series returning. However, that's not because there's a lack of desire. In fact, recently Team Ninja's Nioh 2 director Fumihiko Yasuda revealed that the core members of the studio want to make a new game in the series. Further, they are aware that many fans also want to see the series return. And it may just do that in the future, thanks to a resurgence in ninja games.
"The core members of the team that worked on Ninja Gaiden want to make a new game," said Yasuda while speaking to IGN. "We are aware that some fans wanted Ninja Gaiden more than Nioh 2. Now we see a lot of ninja games like [Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice] as well, and we see a lot of good inspirations in those games, so we hope to deliver some good news one day."
For those that don't know: Ninja Gaiden, known as Shadow Warriors in Europe, debuted back in 1988 as a side-scrolling beat-'em-up. Initially, it was a coin-operated arcade game, but then it quickly came to the Nintendo Entertainment system, where many played it growing up. The two games are technically different, but the differences aren't drastic. That said, on the NES, the series quickly became popular for its tight, action-platform gameplay, extreme difficulty, and for its cinematic cutscenes, which it was a pioneer of.
These days, it doesn't have the same brand power, and Team Ninja is largely focused on Nioh and Dead or Alive. That said, in-between these series, it's been working on other games, such as Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, so there's no reason it shouldn't be able to fit in a Ninja Gaiden game in the future.