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Ninja Theory, Ltd.
NT logo
Type Private / Independent
Industry Video game industry
Founded March 2000 (as Just Add Monsters)
Headquarters Cambridge, England (UK)
Key People Tameem Antoniades (Chief design)
Mike Ball (Chief technology)Nina Kristensen (Chief development)
Dominic Matthews (Product Manager)
Jeremy San (Non-Executive Director)
Website ninjatheory.com

Ninja Theory is an independent video game developer based in Cambridge, England. Originally founded as Just Add Monsters in March 2000, the company was purchased by former Argonaut Games CEO Jeremy "Jez" San in November 2004.[1]

The studio pride themselves on a focus on three areas when developing video games: "ninja-class combat, an affecting character journey, and stunning art".[2]

At Gamescom 2014, the company announced a new IP called Hellblade. The game will make its console debut on PlayStation 4.[3]

History Edit

The team developed its first game, Kung Fu Chaos, in 2003 exclusively for the Xbox, which was published by Microsoft Game Studios. Ninja Theory's second game, Heavenly Sword, was released in September 2007 for the PlayStation 3, featuring a "free style" combat action system.[4] The developer was nominated for five Develop Industry Excellence Awards for the game, including best new IP, visual arts, audio accomplishment, technical innovation and best independent developer.[5]

In June 2008, Ninja Theory licenced NaturalMotion's morpheme animation system. The developer's third game, titled Enslaved: Odyseey to the West, was released for both the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 and was published by Bandai Namco Games. Previously, Enslaved was believed to be a sequel to Heavenly Sword until Ninja Theory confirmed otherwise; stating that such a game was "extremely unlikely" since the IP didn't belong to them.[6]

At the Capcom Tokyo Games Show conference on September 2010, it was announced that Ninja Theory were developing a reboot of the Devil May Cry franchise under the name of DmC: Devil may Cry.[7] The game was released on January 2013 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Ninja Theory also collaborated with Chillingo and Electronic Arts for their first mobile game, Fightback, released in summer 2013.[8]

In parallel to the development of Hellblade, the studio is also working on Disney Infinity 2.0 alongside other creative teams.[9]

The Independent AAA Proposition Edit

At GDC Europe 2014, Ninja Theory co-founder and Chief Creative Ninja Tameem Antoniades gave a talk where he discussed the 14 year-old journey of the studio, the sacrifices and concessions they had made to stay in the business. There, he also announced their intent of breaking the cycle inevitability of "rising budgets, sales-driven design and wallet-busting price of entry of AAA that limits diversity, innovation and makes IP ownership all but impossible for creators".

With the new generation of consoles already in the market, Ninja Theory aims to find a third way –a juxtaposition between AAA and indie– which they call "Independent AAA game". This new format of development would revolve around creating, funding and owning an IP of AAA quality but focusing on game design, lower price point and open development process which defines indie games. Tameem also spoke of "taking creative risks and making spectacular, exciting and unique game experiences that can compete with AAA and engages fans directly".[10]

Hellblade will be their first attempt at developing a game with this philosophy in mind. They have already started to share "developer diaries" in the official Hellblade website and will be releasing more as the game evolves.

Videos Edit

Ninja Theory Website Intro02:56

Ninja Theory Website Intro










References Edit

  1. Just Add Monsters morphs into Ninja Theory. [1]
  2. The Independent AAA proposition. [2]
  3. DmC developer Ninja Theory announces Hellblade for PlayStation 4 first.[3]
  4. E3: Heavenly Sword PS3 Exclusive.[4]
  5. Develop Industry Excellence Awards 2008 finalists. [5]
  6. Heavenly Sword Sequel "Extremely Unlikely". [6]
  7. Devil May Cry reboot, in trailer and screenshot form.[7]
  8. Chillingo Announces Worldwide Launch of Fightback.[8]
  9. Heavenly Sword studio Ninja Theory is working on Disney Infinity 2.0.[9]
  10. The Independent AAA proposition (see reference number 2).[10]

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