A new Virtua Fighter game has been unearthed via South Korea’s game ratings board website.
Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown was approved by the body last month, and is listed for release on PlayStation 4, published by Sega.
As noted by Twitter user Xenosaga7, the game’s rating lists its “original name” as Virtua Fighter eSports, suggesting that it’s linked to the esports-focused reboot which Sega announced last year.
The ‘Virtua Fighter X eSports’ project was revealed via a teaser trailer aired during Sega’s Tokyo Game Show live stream in September. At the time, the company did not reveal further details on what the project was.
Sega CEO Haruki Satomi described Virtua Fighter X Esports as “a project commemorating the 60th year anniversary of [Sega],” starting “first” in Japan.
Sega’s fighting series hasn’t seen a mainline instalment since 2010’s Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, which was eventually released for Xbox 360 and PS3 in 2012, and later made available via a mini-game in 2016’s Yakuza 6: The Song of Life for PS4.
Sega provided further hints at what the new Virtua Fighter project could entail in its financial results published in December, in which it confirmed the game would be a “restart” focussed on competitive play.
“Created as the world’s first 3D fighting game in 1993, Virtua Fighter caused a huge sensation at the time and is still loved by fans,” it said.
“The game will restart as an eSports title, initially in Japan. Project details will be announced from time to time, so please keep an eye out.”
In 2019, Virtua Fighter’s creator Yu Suzuki suggested he could be in discussions to return to his former series.
Suzuki recently created Shenmue III with his company YS Net, but remains a consultant with his former employer Sega.
The Japanese giant has shown an openness to outsourcing IP in the past, not just with Shenmue but also with Bayonetta to Platinum Games.
Asked if he would like to return to his classic games Virtua Fighter and Out Run, Suzuki told VGC: “Yes I would like to [return to those]. If you’re going to ask me what, I can’t answer that!”
Pushed on whether that means he might already be in discussions for the IP, he replied: “Yes, there might be something [happening]. But since the IP you mentioned are owned by Sega, I would need to work with them. I am a special consultant with Sega, but we will need to talk.”
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