But there’s a crazy catch: they’ll likely be live service games
Dreamcast classics Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio will be getting “big-budget reboots” from Sega according to a Bloomberg report.
The report says that Sega are looking for “global hits like Epic Games Inc.’s Fortnite“. It cites “people familiar with the plans” for this information.
These reboots are the first part of Sega’s Super Game initiative, which Sega announced last year. The initiative is part of an alliance with Microsoft to make games that focus on “global online communities”. Consequently, it’s likely that the reboots will be on Microsoft’s cloud service, Azure, and possibly even on Xbox Game Pass.
Jet Set Radio Fortnite
The obvious drawback here is the attempt at chasing the Fortnite style of game. Different companies have attempted “live service” games in the past, with few succeeding at the same level as the ever-popular battle royale. Considering this, it’s hard to see either Crazy Taxi or Jet Set Radio getting that kind of widespread popularity without fundamentally changing their core gameplay.
On top of this, the model has in-game monetization which Sega plans to focus more on. Fans have been eagerly awaiting returns of these classic franchises. However, a potpourri of online-focused microtransactions and events could sour these fondly remembered games.
Neither game has seen an entry in a while. Crazy Taxi’s last release with the series’ original gameplay was a PSP port of the first two games in 2007. On the other hand, the Jet Set Radio series has been dormant since Jet Set Radio Future in 2002.
This doesn’t mean that a Jet Set Radio reboot would be without competition. Game studio Team Reptile have been working on and showed off Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, a game that is very similar to Jet Set in both visuals and gameplay. It even has Jet Set’s composer, Hideki Naganuma, doing the music.
With this spiritual successor already garnering fan attention and slated for a release this year, the Jet Set Radio reboot will have direct competition.
That is if it does come out, as the Bloomberg report also states that neither game is guaranteed to make it to release.
Both new games are in the early stages of creation and could still be canceled, the people said.Takashi Mochizuki 19/04/22
It’ll be interesting to see how these reboots turn out if they do release and how different they’ll be to the originals. The open-world nature of the originals could translate well to multiplayer. Their arcade gameplay could also provide decent quick-turnover competitive game modes that prop up the games as a service genre.
However, I’m skeptical that crossover events and in-game purchases are things that either of these franchises desparately needed instead of new, well-designed entries. And with Sega eyeing up NFTs too, I’d definitely tread carefully around these reboots (and potentially the “Super Game initiative” as a whole).
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