Shinobi 3DS developer faces layoffs


Griptonite games, makers of Shinobi on 3DS, Captain America on DS and many other portable games is hitting some tough times. The company, which has recently been aquired by Glu Mobile has had to make some cutbacks in order to maintain revenue. In this report from IGN, Glu Mobile CEO Niccolo de Masi gave the following statement.

We believe concentrating resources on fewer titles, with a greater centralized support infrastructure will accelerate revenue growth in Q4 2013 and beyond. We made over 20 new ‘games-as-a-service’ (GaaS) hires in Q1 and anticipate hiring at a similar rate throughout the year. Our goal is to shift headcount investment out of raw studio team volume and into our centralized GaaS functions. This rebalancing is expected to leave R&D costs approximately flat year over year. A reduction in force was commenced today to promote talent density throughout the studio, as well as fund over 80 new GaaS colleagues. This reduction is equivalent to circa 12% of the year’s starting headcount of 564 employees. Adding back forecast hiring we anticipate finishing 2013 with 582 Gluers worldwide.

Read the full article here.

Check out the first five minutes of Shinobi 3DS
If you are like me and don’t have a 3DS, yet want to see footage of Shinobi 3DS so you can mock it on online forums. Well, here is the first five minutes. Enjoy, troll safely.

In all honesty though, I think the game looks pretty decent.

Preview: Shinobi 3D


This was the same demo available at E3. As such, there are certain things I don’t cover in this preview. For the full picture, check out our E3 preview!

Back at E3 I previewed Shinobi 3D for the first time. I loved what I got to play, but my time with the game was limited. At last month’s New York Comic Con I was able to give the game another go, so I’d like to talk more about it.

New Shinobi 3DS trailer confirms unlockable Joe Musashi
For those of you who where disappointed that Shinobi 3DS didn’t star the awesome Joe Musashi, don’t fear, he is unlockable. He was also unlockable in the PS2 game called Shinobi as well.

Weird? They say Joe Musashi came before the hero in Shinobi 3DS, but the hero in this game is supposed to be Joe’s father, no?

New Kickass Japanese Shinobi 3D Trailer

Shinobi 3DS is one of my most anticipated titles this holiday season. I love the look of some of the set pieces presented in this trailer. If we’re lucky, this game will be the first in a long line of new Shinobi titles. That is, if it sells well enough!

New Shinobi 3DS Trailer: Evil Rises

Check out this new footage from the upcoming Shinobi title. I have to say, not a bad trailer. Visually it definitely leans more on the level of the DS than the 3DS: a wasted opportunity to do something special with the franchise revival from a graphics standpoint. That said, I can’t deny that it features a pretty cool art style with what looks like some stylish story sequences.

Shinobi 3DS will be available in November exclusively for Nintendo’s 3D handheld.

Famitsu releases batch of Shinobi 3DS screens

For those who are still eager on SEGA’s up and coming reboot of the Shinobi series, Famitsu has released a batch of new images showing a range of action sequences, which goes from Jiro Musashi battling on top of cars on a motorway to him fighting off against two mechs. The website also confirms the Japanese title for the game, appropriately titled Shinobi 3D. Click on the link to Famitsu below to see a host of new screenshots.

[Source: Famitsu]

Glu Mobile buys out Shinobi 3DS developer

Glu Mobile is a mobile phone publisher known for putting out tons of licensed games for bigger publishers. They have done Call of Duty mobile games, Transformers and even Sonic the Hedgehog stuff. So it sort of makes sense that they are interested in Griptonite.

Griptonite Games is also known for doing licensed games on handhelds. This includes recent stuff like Captain America: Super Solider and Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters. Griptonite Games supposedly has 200 employees, meaning the buyout will double the employees over at Glu Mobile.

What will they do at Glu Mobile? They will be working on freemium games, which Glu is set to debut in the second fiscal quarter of 2012. What about Shinobi 3DS? I assume they will finish up the work that SEGA is paying for, but I don’t see them returning for a sequel.

[Source: Gamasutra]

Shinobi 3DS Producer explains why they kept the scarf

Stephen Frost, producer for the upcoming Shinobi 3DS video game explains what they took from past Shinobi games and put it into the new reboot. Like, why did they keep Hotsuma’s scarf from Shinobi PS2?

“We liked things like the [PS2 version’s] scarf…Hotsuma’s scarf. The way it moves, it’s very memorable. It’s very artistic. And we knew from the get-go that we wanted to have a very unique style for this game, and so we brought the scarf from the PS2. But fundamentally, most of the moves, enemies and bosses…ideas for certain things…a lot more of that came from Shinobis 12 and 3, and we went from there.” – Stephen White, Producer Shinobi 3DS

In the article, done up by the guys over at Siliconera, he also explains why they have combos and parrying. So if you are interested, head over!

[Source: Siliconera]

Shinobi 3DS game pitched to SEGA on Assassins Creed game engine

Did you know that Shinobi 3DS is not being developed by in-house SEGA team? It is being done by Griptonite Games, the team who worked on Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions and Assassins Creed: Bloodlines on the PSP. But did you know that it was Griptonite Games who pitched the idea to SEGA of bringing back Shinobi?

“There’s a group of guys there who were very excited about Shinobi as a franchise. 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?”

E3: Shinobi 3DS hands on

I love Shinobi 3: Return of the Ninja Master. In my opinion it was easily one of the best games SEGA ever made for the Genesis. Needless to say, when I heard the series was finally getting a new game, I was ecstatic…and a little worried. After all, after the series hit its high point with Shinobi 3, it’s been subjected to some less than stellar games through the likes of Shinobi Legions and Shinobi PS2. I am happy to report that this game isn’t like those games; unlike them, Shinobi 3DS does indeed have a bunch of things in common with the Genesis games, including a few very obvious throwbacks.

Gamespot interviews the producer for Shinobi 3DS

It’s funny how they talk about the parrying system being new to the game; if I recall correctly, it was in the Saturn title of Shinobi as well. But hey, I’m no producer at SEGA, what do I know.

Then he talks about a multiplier they added, which seems to be based off of Shinobi on PS2. Only in this one, if you do unique attacks you get stronger?

On another note, expect more media coverage for Rise of Nightmares soon, since you can see from looking back at the interview that they showed it off at this press event too.