The new Shinobi game on the Nintendo 3DS isn’t being developed at Sega, it’s being developed by Washington-based Griptonite Games, known best for working on two Spider-Man games — Web of Shadows and Shattered Dimensions — on the Nintendo DS. Griptonite also developed Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines on the PSP.
Speaking with Shinobi producer, Sega’s Stephen Frost, we found out that, surprisingly, Griptonite were the ones that pitched the idea for a Shinobi revival to Sega. “There’s a group of guys there who were very excited about Shinobi as a franchise,” Frost told us.
“They had worked on Assassin’s Creed [Bloodlines] for PSP and Web of Shadows, which had a great combat system, and things like that, and we started to talk about bringing back Shinobi but in a classical sense,” he revealed. “If we were to put together a spiritual successor to the old classic Shinobi games, what would that be like?”
“They put together this nice sort of pitch video of Assassin’s Creed, but with a ninja,” Frost continued. “So, using some of the build for Assassin’s Creed, but dropping a ninja in there and sort of the platforming and action sequences of that.”
“We saw that and, it’s like, that’s great because it’s modernizing the gameplay to today’s expectations, but also still capturing the essence of what was magical and classical about the old Shinobi games.”
We’ll have more from our talk with Frost about Shinobi this week, including talk of the game’s new parry and combo system.
Update: Sega got in touch with Siliconera and clarified a few points regarding their Assassin’s Creed quote. They point out that the final Shinobi game is not running on the Assassin’s Creed PSP engine, just in case there was any confusion on this front.
The game runs on an entirely different engine, and doesn’t play like an Assassin’s Creed game. The pitch video mentioned in our report was just that — a pitch video by Griptonite using Assassin’s Creed assets to communicate the concept of the game to Sega and demonstrate their 3DS technology. It was also closer in concept to Assassin’s Creed II: Discovery (Nintendo DS, iOS) than to Bloodlines.