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What just happened? Sega is turning to its back catalog for future game development inspiration, but it's not Sonic the Hedgehog that'll be taking the lead this time. At The Game Awards 2023, the Japanese game company announced an initiative focused on creating new titles based on some of its most popular franchises from yesteryear.
Sega is working on five new games based on legacy IP:
- Crazy Taxi – A whacky, high-octane driving adventure series where players must weave through traffic in an open play environment to deliver passengers to their destinations before time runs out.
- Jet Set Radio – This franchise combines action packed traversal around vibrant Tokyo-to with skating, self-expression through graffiti, street culture and rebellious themes.
- Shinobi – A series that utilizes ninja shuriken, ninjutsu, special attacks and more to defeat enemies in a mix of side-scrolling action and challenging environments.
- Golden Axe – A "hack and slash" style series with close melee combat set in a fantasy world of beasts, swords, and magic.
- Streets of Rage – A "beat 'em up" style series that pairs fast-paced fist fighting with fresh music set in a lawless urban environment.
Choosing a favorite here is like asking parents to pick a favorite child. Each is unique in their own right, and probably elicits a different response based on your own experiences.
Of the bunch, I'm most familiar with Crazy Taxi from the arcade and Dreamcast era. Streets of Rage is also high on my list, but perhaps because I almost always get it mixed up with Final Fight (which I just now learned was set in the Street Fighter universe, and also that the boss character Andore was modeled after Andre the Giant).
Sega of America CEO Shuji Utsumi said Sonic forged new paths for the company in recent years by reaching new audiences in ways they had only dreamed of in the past. Building on that success, Sega is now returning to the vault to see if it can strike gold again.
Sega said the projects are now in development and will be arriving in the coming years.