Sega Says Sonic, Yakuza, and Persona Helped Resurrect Old Franchises

At The Game Awards, one of the night's biggest announcements came from Sega. The publisher revealed that five of its long-dormant franchises all have new games in development: Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, Shinobi, Streets of Rage, and Golden Axe. With the exception of Streets of Rage, these franchises have not received a new game in more than a decade, and the announcement came as a major surprise to fans. In a new interview with the Washington Post, Sega co-COO Shuji Utsumi revealed that these returns are possible thanks to three franchises: Sonic the Hedgehog, Like a Dragon (formerly known as Yakuza), and Persona.

"We've been investing into these three titles the last three years, making these pillars grow, and they grew very well," Utsumi told the Washington Post.

Bringing Back the Sega of Old
When Sega first started to make a name for itself in the video game industry, it did so by positioning itself as an edgier alternative to Nintendo. Commercials from that era played up the difference between the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo, most notably through the slogan "Sega does what Nintendon't." While the two companies are on much friendlier terms these days, Utsumi wants to channel some of the attitude that was present during that era, and he wants to do so through some of these new games that are on the way.

"We really want to show edginess and a rebellious mind-set," Utsumi told the Washington Post.

It wasn't just the Genesis that embraced Sega's outsider status; the Dreamcast era also offered games that felt different from anything else on the market. By that time, however, the company was struggling to attract new fans, and concepts like Jet Set Radio were a bit advanced for the time. However, Utsumi feels that the video game industry has changed a lot since then, and audiences will have an easier time appreciating games like this now.

"The concept of games like 'Jet Set Radio' is advanced. The original creators are involved again, and its time is now," Utsumi told the Washington Post. "It's a good time where people can appreciate all kinds of concepts."

Sega's Other Missing Franchises
The return of so many long-missing Sega franchises would seem to bode well for some of the company's other missing favorites. There are still a lot of great games that fans have wanted to see return, including titles like Phantasy Star or Skies of Arcadia. Sega is well-aware that long-time fans would like to see more franchises return, and the company is looking into bringing at least one more back: Virtua Fighter.

"We are evaluating right now. Virtua Fighter doesn't use so many tricks, special moves like in Street Fighter, it's very realistic," Utsumi told the Washington Post. "How can we make it more dramatic? It's something we're working on."

It remains to be seen whether Virtua Fighter will get the same treatment Shinobi, Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, Golden Axe, and Streets of Rage are getting, but it does show that Sega is serious about tapping more into its history. Hopefully the company can deliver experiences that appeal to both older fans and newcomers alike.

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yeah, we have noticed LMAO

but hope they bring more out for the Switch (and hopefully for PS5 and XBS)


Sonic is by far the best out of all them