Bandai Namco has filed a trademark for "Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections" that hints at a new installment in the long-running fighting game series based on the popular Japanese animation show, Naruto.
According to Gematsu, Bandai Namco filed the listing for the unannounced title in Europe. Unfortunately, it didn't contain more details outside of the name.
Naruto is part of the "Big Three" of the anime industry alongside Bleach and One Piece. The trio dominated much of the 2000s and early 2010s. However, unlike One Piece, which still releases new chapters every week, and Bleach, which went on a long hiatus, Naruto is somewhat in between. After the conclusion of the Naruto Shippuden manga and anime in 2014 and 2017, respectively, a sequel, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, was released in 2016 to mixed critical reception.
On the video game side, the last Ultimate Ninja Storm game, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, was released in 2016. Since then, CyberConnect2 has worked on NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Ultimate Ninja Storm Trilogy, a Switch-exclusive bundle that compiles all three of the older games in the series in one package, among others.
The anime industry is going through what many would consider as a "new age" after it saw some of the highest-grossing Japanese animation films come out over the past two years. Much of anime's popularity is due to the constant release of new content. However, several classics are also part of the success, with films like One Piece: Red, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, and Detective Conan: The Bride of Halloween film, all posting historical highs in the same year.
Naruto hasn't had quite the same level of success at the global box office, but the Naruto Storm series is widely considered one of the best in the genre.
Even though the Naruto sequel series is divisive at best, CyberConnect2 has plenty of arcs to adapt between the anime and manga for Ultimate Ninja Storm CONNECTIONS.
Speaking of Bandai Namco, the Japanese publisher recently confirmed that its partnership with FromSoftware has yielded immensely positive results. Elden Ring has sold 17.5 million units in six months, which makes it the fastest-selling multi-platform Japanese game in history.