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Team Ninja, developers of Ninja Gaiden and the Dead or Alive fighting franchise, have a new successful title in their stable. Nioh sales have hit two million copies worldwide, according to the developer’s tweet from earlier today. The original game came out in February 2017 on PS4 and the Complete Edition released in November 2017 on the PC (and digitally on PS4).
Team Ninja’s tweet indicating the milestone thanked the fans for continuing to “#DefyDeath.” This hashtag makes sense given that Nioh is a soulslike game that prides itself on its hard but fair melee action. The tweet also shows a Kodama, a tree spirit from Japanese folklore and collectible within the game, with a sword and a helmet that looks suspiciously like an upside down bowl.
— Team NINJA (@TeamNINJAStudio) May 28, 2018
Koei Tecmo, the game’s publisher in Japan, spoke out shortly after the game’s initial PS4 release February 2017 and said the game had “unlocked an entirely new audience.” The publisher stated that by releasing an alpha and beta “demo” before it came out, Team Ninja was able to take in feedback and make a better game.
“As a result we believe we were able to adapt to their expectations and reach out to a brand new audience that hadn’t played our games in the past,” said Koei Tecmo. “In that, Nioh has taught us a lot of valuable lessons and has definitely helped open up an entirely new audience for us.”
Koei Tecmo has had an inconsistent history selling games in the west especially considering some of Team Ninja’s recent games. Ninja Gaiden 3 and Metroid: Other M were both critically panned. However, Ninja Gaiden 3 did well for Koei Tecmo while Metroid: Other M’s lackluster sales puzzled Nintendo. Dead or Alive 5 did quite well for the publisher, as it sold 1.5 million copies and its free-to-play version was downloaded 3.5 million times.
Even though Nioh sales have been good, a sequel hasn’t been confirmed. The game’s director Yosuke Hayashi did give fans some hope though. He told Dengeki PlayStation (as reported by Gematsu) in December that he wants “Nioh to become even bigger” and told fans to “please keep an eye out in the future.”