Tecmo Koei Games, best known for the Dead or Alive, Ninja Gaiden, Tecmo Bowl, and Fatal Frame series today announced an agreement with Epic to license the award-winning Unreal Engine 3 technology for the development of Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, a bold new take on the renowned “Ninja Gaiden” franchise. Team NINJA, Tecmo Koei Games’ development team, is working on this title in collaboration with Keiji Inafune, founder and chief executive officer of comcept, and developer Spark Unlimited.

“We couldn’t be happier to develop ‘Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z’ on Unreal Engine 3,” said Inafune. “In the past I have been involved with numerous projects built upon Unreal Engine 3, so I understand its benefits and reliability. Unreal allows us to focus on making the game fun, and to push the boundaries of visuals and gameplay in the shortest time possible.”

“‘Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z’ is not a sequel. It is a new experience for gamers,” said Yosuke Hayashi, studio head of Team NINJA. “As with any new title, there are many new challenges, from the game design to art style and even development team structure. Unreal Engine 3 is a great ally to have when taking on those challenges. Unreal Engine allows us to quickly and efficiently iterate on countless ideas, and ‘Yaiba’ is now taking on a life of its own. We can’t wait until gamers everywhere get their hands on the ultimate ninja zombie experience.”

“Gamers around the world are awaiting ‘Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z’ with great anticipation,” said Taka Kawasaki, territory manager of Epic Games Japan. “I’m really excited to see what the great talent at Team NINJA, comcept and Spark come up with, as they comprise some of the best creative minds in Japan and the United States. I’m honored to see how Unreal Engine 3 technology helps the team as they reinvent this beloved franchise.”

Tecmo Koei will reveal more information for Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z in the coming months.