After over a decade spent in development hell, Team Ninja's Nioh has finally gone gold, and the developer has confirmed the game will release on schedule.
It has been quite the journey for Team Ninja and samurai hack-and-slash RPG Nioh. Those familiar with the game will remember that it was originally announced all the way back in 2004 as one of the first titles planned for a relatively new PS3. Since then, however, Nioh has remained stuck firmly in the middle of development hell, and only recently resurfaced after demonstrations at both the PSX 2016 and Tokyo Game Show 2016 events.
Now, following a successful alpha demo on the PlayStation Network nine months ago and months of new footage and development updates, Team Ninja and publisher Tecmo Koei are finally ready to move forward with Nioh and let gamers experience a game that has been more than a decade in the making. Today, the official Nioh Twitter account announced that Nioh has gone gold and will release worldwide on February 9, 2017.
The official translation of the tweet states that Nioh has "succeeded in master up", which is the rough Japanese equivalent to having gone gold, while also thanking fans for their patience with Nioh. Although it's rare that games experience delays as long as Nioh and succeed once they're finally released, Tecmo Koei and Team Ninja don't need to go back too far to find a game that beat the odds - Final Fantasy 15's development was nightmarish as well, and that game still managed to feature prominently as one of the best games of 2016.
It might seem strange to consider, but Nioh might actually be better-suited to today's video game market than the one it would have released into in the years following 2004. Nioh's demo strongly suggests that the full game will be something of a mix between Dark Souls and Dynasty Warriors, two series that have found their footing in recent years after video game fans began to desire more challenging gameplay and deeper combat systems. While Nioh is still very much inspired by Ninja Gaiden as well, Team Ninja's extended development time with Nioh has certainly allowed for the team to adapt to modern gaming trends.
Ultimately, however, the fact that Nioh managed to get made at all is a testament to the dedication both developer and publisher approached the game with. Whether or not Nioh becomes one of the sleeper hits of 2017, fans cannot dispute the fact that Tecmo Koei and Team Ninja tried their hardest to pull it off. In just under a month, gamers will discover whether the nearly thirteen year wait was worth it.
Nioh will release worldwide on February 9, 2017 for PS4.