In a little over two months, Team Ninja unleashes the Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection to the world. The collection includes 2007’s Ninja Gaiden Sigma, 2009’s Sigma 2 and 2012’s Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge. Unfortunately, it does NOT include Gaiden Black or 2, which were released on the original Xbox and Xbox 360.
In an interview with IGN, Team Ninja head Fumihiko Yasuda explained their decision:
The reason we chose these 3 titles for the collection is because they represent the latest installments of the numbered series and they are also the most polished versions featuring many additional modes and costumes. Furthermore, when we worked on Sigma and Sigma 2, we went and collected as much of that data as possible and organized it. And since we could fully utilize this data, Sigma and Sigma 2 became clear choices for this collection.Fumihiko Yasuda
There have been many stories in the past of developers losing the code to their original work. Rumors of Panzer Dragoon Saga’s source being lost come to mind. Although a Q & A from GDC 2019 refutes that claim. According to Yasuda, Black and 2 met the same fate:
“However, we were unable to salvage the varying assortment of data we had left from Black and Ninja Gaiden 2. And for that very reason, we currently don’t have any plans of remastering Ninja Gaiden Black and Ninja Gaiden 2 on non-Xbox platforms.”Fumihiko Yasuda
With the loss of both codes, the Gaiden series is relegated to only the Sigma versions. Unfortunately, this means we won’t see remasters anytime soon. When asked about the potential for a completely new entry in the series, Yasuda gave a coy answer.
As of right now, Team Ninja is happy they could simply release the Master Collection. They thought about releasing this title “for a long time.” As for a new entry in the series? Team Ninja says they’re always thinking of ways to bring back Ryu Hayabusa.