Ninja Gaiden 3 got absolutely panned when it came out. Critics and series followers alike were incredibly disappointed with the final product. To say the least, developer Team Ninja wasn’t anticipating that kind of reaction.
While speaking with Gamasutra, director Yohei Shimbori said that “everybody at the studio was pretty shocked”:
"…everybody at the studio was pretty shocked. It really made us take another look at the game and why that reaction was there. One of the things that I learned was the power of having a series behind you, and what it means to be part of a series. There are existing fans out there, and you have to think about the people who have supported the series for so long, and you want to make sure that the game that you make appeals to them first, and satisfies those fans first."