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GungHo’s Kazuki Morishita talks about Ninjala’s inspiration, design and future


The free-to-play Nintendo Switch title Ninjala may have had a rocky beta test, but it’s undoubtedly popular with the game being downloaded more than two million times as reported on 1st July. Now, got to sit down with GungHo’s Kazuki Morishita to talk about all things Ninjala. They speak in length about the game’s inspiration, the design choices and the future of the title – along with a spot of discussion around Splatoon 2. You can read the interview in its entirety here, but we’ve included some snippets for you below: First of all, congratulations on the new release! What was the biggest inspiration for Ninjala’s aesthetic?

Kazuki Morishita: Thank you. As a Nintendo Switch exclusive title, we certainly kept Nintendo fans in mind when creating this game. I’ve always been a big Nintendo fan since I was a child, and when we collaborated with Super Mario for Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Edition, I was truly happy about that. So going back to the main topic, Ninjala is inspired by many Nintendo titles, but the overall design is mostly inspired by Hollywood animation and comics, especially Pixar’s animations. We also took some inspiration from skate culture and things like breakdancing. I personally like extreme sports as well, so I think those are also some things that inspired me. Is there any form of media that you think the designs for Ninjala might lend themselves particularly well to?

Despite being about ninjas, the world setting in Ninjala is very modern, so basically I think its design aesthetic translates well into various media –  even things as varied as music and fashion – despite its origin as a video game or its appearance in comics. Is there something that truly surprised you during the design process for the game?

I didn’t really consider this while thinking about the game design or making it, but what surprised me the most after launch was the gyro function. Since Ninjala is an action game, we initially didn’t include the gyro function as a specification, but after consulting with Nintendo, we implemented it. However, when we released the game, I was surprised at the large number of gyroplay users, so in the end I’m glad we implemented it.


1 thought on “GungHo’s Kazuki Morishita talks about Ninjala’s inspiration, design and future”

  1. It has a very Splatoon-esque look and feel. It’s very obvious, idk why he didn’t just say so.

    I do hope this game becomes super successful but it feels like it requires an internet connect to play which is not the Switch Online’s greatest feat.

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