Nioh (Japanese: 仁王 Hepburn: Niō?, “benevolent king”) is an action role-playing video game developed by Team Ninja for the PlayStation 4. It was released worldwide in February 2017, and was published by Koei Tecmo in Japan and Sony Interactive Entertainment internationally. Gameplay revolves around navigating levels and defeating monsters that have infested an area. Nioh takes place in the early 1600s during a fictionalized version of the Sengoku period, when Japan was in the midst of civil war prior to the ascension of the Tokugawa shogunate. A sailor named William, in pursuit of an enemy, arrives in Japan and is enlisted by Hattori Hanzo, servant to Tokugawa Ieyasu, in defeating yōkai that are flourishing in the chaos of war.
Beginning development in 2004 as a multimedia project based on an unfinished Akira Kurosawa script, it went through multiple revisions over the following eight years as general producer Kou Shibusawa was dissatisfied with the result. Team Ninja was given the project, and the subsequent development lasted four years. The story was based on the life of historic Western samurai William Adams, although it was embellished with supernatural elements. First announced in the year it began development, information became sporadic until 2015, when it was reintroduced as a PlayStation 4 exclusive. Alpha and beta demos were released during 2016, to both gauge public reaction to the title and make adjustments based on feedback. Initially scheduled for a 2016 release, the adjustments pushed the release into the following year. Upon release, Nioh received critical acclaim, with most critics favorably comparing it to the Souls series.