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The Opinion: SEGA Should Be Like Capcom

In the second of a new series, Gavvie offers a personal opinion on all things SEGA.

If there's anything these past few months have shown me, it's that if fans want something, they [b]want[/b] something. They wanted a game like Mega Man when Capcom had shunned it, they backed Mighty No. 9 on Kickstarter. They wanted a game like Castlevania after Konami decided to turn the franchise into an admittedly half decent Devil May Cry clone, and they backed Bloodstained. Hell, they wanted a Final Fantasy VII remake and, whilst Square Enix took their sweet time, they eventually backed down and gave them that as well.

To put a SEGA slant on it, NiGHTS HD, Sonic CD and the Taxman mobile re-releases, ToeJam & Earl and even Shenmue III, all came about because the fanbase wanted it, and were quite vocal about it.

The point is, fans know what they want, and as long as they don't try to put too much of their own ideas in (which is where I think Sonic 4 failed, but hey - topic for another day), they're generally a success. I've yet to see a Kickstarter launch for a beloved franchise that hasn't been funded, although I've no doubt one exists somewhere.

Outside of Kickstarter though, there's only one company that I can see that are aware of their own rich backlog of games and are doing something with them: Capcom. Yes, I'm aware Rare have their own Xbox One compilation coming out soon, but that's one release. Capcom have, for the past couple of years, been remastering and re-releasing some of their biggest games, and sales of the first few have led them to believe that this is probably the best way forward for them.

Resident Evil Remastered was the fastest selling day one title on PSN when it launched last year. It's also Capcom's fastest selling digital title in North America and Europe. Little wonder they've decided to re-release Resident Evil Zero, huh? They've also got a Mega Man Legacy Collection in the works, featuring the first 7 games and quite a few bonus goodies, and have just re-released Devil May Cry 4, which is the second DMC game ported to current-gen after DmC, which I actually like very much.

Where SEGA comes into all of this is that they could actually do something similar, if they put the time (and, unfortunately, money) into it. Yeah, the PS3/360 era didn't give them a lot to shout about, but there are games around that were exclusive but aren't anymore - Resident Evil being one core example. So, for example, you could argue that Sonic Colours could get remastered. Or, after the release of Jet Set Radio on PS3/360, why not update JSRF? Hell, even if you look at the Dreamcast or some of their arcade releases, there's a few good games there as well that are worth a look - Planet Harriers, anyone?

SEGA are in a current cycle of appeasing some fans whilst alienating others. Hatsune Miku has not been a massive seller in the West, yet they're still happily porting games over, meanwhile Yakuza 5 is coming out at some point, and Phantasy Star Online 2, which was announced for release over here, is still dead in the water. We're not even getting a look in on other titles, such as Yakuza 1&2 HD or Phantasy Star Nova.

What to do, though? A Capcom-like release plan, if only as an experiment, would be a good start. SEGA have got a good 15-20 year history of games that they could either re-release or create a new entry for, so why not? Shenmue III has raised, at time of writing, nearly $3.7m, so why not push out a HD remaster of the first two for the fans who you've ignored for the past 14 years? Resident Evil Remastered is a great example of a Gamecube game getting re-released - why not Skies of Arcadia Legends? A new Streets of Rage? Comix Zone? Eternal Champions? Hell, I'd quite like a second Alien Storm myself...

It's time for SEGA to have a bit of a rebrand. It's fine to still release new titles that you know will shift units, but it's not fine to turn your back on fans who have, some of them, been there since the SG-1000 days. Take a leaf out of Capcom's book: Listen to what they want, and think "Can we do this?" If the answer's yes, then isn't it worth a shot?

25th June, 2015 - 18:40 GMT Gavvie Article viewed 9261 times 0 Comments


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