At the recent Game Awards in Los Angeles, Sega announced the return of some beloved game series from the 1990s. The company, known for its rebellious edge back then, revealed trailers for five dormant classics: Crazy Taxi, Golden Axe, Jet Set Radio, Shinobi, and Streets of Rage.
The trailer featured adaptations of these classic titles, with Golden Axe and Streets of Rage moving from traditional 2D to immersive 3D experiences. Crazy Taxi is set to receive a modern update, while Shinobi maintains its 2D action roots with a vibrant, flat-shaded animation style. Jet Set Radio is also making a comeback after cultivating a small but dedicated fan base.
Sega’s co-chief operating officer and Sega of America CEO, Shuji Utsumi, spearheaded this revival. Utsumi, known for his role in launching Sony’s first PlayStation and Sega’s final console, the Dreamcast, expressed a desire to showcase edginess and a rebellious mindset reminiscent of Sega’s alternative stance in the gaming console market.
Returning to Sega four years ago, Utsumi found a “treasure trove” of intellectual property, including legacy series from the Dreamcast era. He believes this is the right time to breathe new life into these classics, as the global gaming market has expanded enough to support Sega’s unique concepts.
While the Dreamcast was a commercial failure, it gained a loyal cult following for its ahead-of-its-time features, such as built-in online connectivity. Utsumi sees potential in Sega’s legacy series and believes now is the perfect time for these titles to thrive.
Acknowledging the success of ongoing Sega franchises like Sonic the Hedgehog, Yakuza (rebranded as Like a Dragon), and Persona, Utsumi highlighted the company’s recent focus on these pillars. Sonic, in particular, has achieved blockbuster success with two Hollywood films.
Looking ahead, Sega plans to revive more legacy properties. Utsumi addressed Virtua Fighter fans’ concerns, assuring them that the company is evaluating the series’ status. Known for its realism compared to other fighting games, Sega aims to inject more drama into Virtua Fighter, actively working on its revival.
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Source: Washington Post