Sega teased its presence at The Game Awards a few days before the show, with many fans speculating about what the company would reveal. Based on the tag line of "New Era, New Energy," it was safe to assume it would be for some sort of reboot. Sega fans like fighting game YouTuber Maximillian Dood revealed that they received an invitation from Sega, with some theorizing that Sega was teasing a new Virtua Fighter at The Game Awards. While this turned out not to be the case, Sega's co-COO did address the demand for a new game in the franchise.
In an interview with The Washington Post (archived by Time Extension), co-COO of Sega Corporation and Sega of America CEO Shuji Utsumi addressed the absence of Virtua Fighter from the lineup of revivals announced at The Game Awards. Utsumi, revealed that he agrees the fighting game franchise is overdue for a brand-new entry, and that the company is evaluating the potential for a new title. "We are evaluating right now. Virtua Fighter doesn’t use so many tricks, special moves like in Street Fighter, it’s very realistic. How can we make it more dramatic? It’s something we’re working on," says Utsumi.
Utsumi's concern has some merit, as the fighting game space in 2023 and 2024 is jam-packed with incredibly impressive entries in franchises like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Tekken. Virtua Fighter is more grounded with realistic blows and martial arts, unlike fellow 3D fighter Tekken, which includes superpowered fighters despite its incredibly technical gameplay, so it has a bit of an uphill battle when trying to stand out. Regardless, many classic fighting game fans would love to just see another entry in the series.
We are evaluating right now. Virtua Fighter doesn’t use so many tricks, special moves like in Street Fighter, it’s very realistic. How can we make it more dramatic? It’s something we’re working on.
The first Virtua Fighter released in 1993 and was incredibly influential for the fighting game genre, as it pushed the envelope with its technology and 3D graphics. While the franchise isn't as prominent as it used to be, Sega is still supporting the series in small ways. 2021 saw the release of Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown, a remake of the PS3 original using Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio's proprietary Dragon Engine. Sega will also be releasing Virtua Fighter 3tb Online, an updated version of the original Virtua Fighter 3 that will be releasing exclusively in Japanese arcades.
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