Hidetaka Miyazaki, the creator of the Dark Souls series, revealed during an interview with Famitsu that the just-announced Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was almost a new Tenchu game.
During the interview, Miyazaki said that the development of the game began back in 2015, just after the development of the Bloodborne DLC wrapped up. At the time, From Software was working on multiple projects, among which was Dark Souls III.
The point they were starting from was the main principle that the game would be around ninjas. That’s why at the first moment they thought about using it to revive the Tenchu series.
They tried and saw whether it was possible to come up with a new Tenchu game, but as they started to play around this idea they noticed that, since the series was built by many different developers, each with their own characteristics, they thought they would end up just imitating them, while they wanted to do something new on their own.
Another core idea was the shadows die twice thing. Shadows refer to the way of the Ninja and Die Twice hinted at the revive system which is a gameplay feature. In addition, Die Twice also contains the message that players will be doing a lot of dying again.
Interestingly, the game was only supposed to be called Sekiro, as “Shadows Die Twice” thing was meant to be just a catch for the original teaser trailer. Anyway, Activision, which serves as the publisher in North America and Europe (and also provided suggestions about the development), though it would have been cool to have it as a subtitle.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is set to release in 2019 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.