An interview with Famitsu Magazine has revealed that Sega’s future remakes of their classic titles will ultimately depend upon fan interest. Speaking to one of the company’s Research and Development Producers Yosuke Okunari, responsible for a number of classic remakes, the article discussed the company’s milestone of 30 years and previous successes with remakes.
From the PS2 to modern digital distribution methods, the company has been noted to make definite use of re-releasing older titles for a new generation. Much of the article in question covered this, referring to the Sega Ages 2500 series and even their recent Nintendo 3DS releases. Following discussions about Space Harrier’s adaptation, Okunari stated: “For our next line-up, it will depend on all of your voices, so please continue to support us.”
This statement is interesting for two reasons.
The first being that Sega may not purely place emphasis upon their games with the best public knowledge and instead see what markets they have available. Beyond well-known and well-remembered classics like Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, it offers a faint hope we might see more of those with a solid fandom such as Skies of Arcadia re-emerging. Not to mention the great titles torpedoed by the Dreamcast’s failure with the likes of Hundred Swords or Shenmue which were not seen beyond the console (or in the latter’s case were butchered by the PC release).
The second reason unfortunately comes down to taking any hope this might result in Sega listening to fans with a metric ton of salt: their overall treatment of the fandom. Sega Japan in particular has had a relationship with its fans which has in recent years ranged from apathetic to outright hostile.
Along with the refusal to localise titles to foreign countries despite obvious interest, Phantasy Star Online 2 and Valkyria Chronicles III among others, they have damaged fan relations for simple publicity. Last year saw multiple false copyright claims being placed upon YouTube Let’s Plays and videos from the Shining Force series, resulting in strikes against many accounts with more being outright banned. This was in response to efforts by Western fans to see the latter two episodes of Shining Force 3 (with only Episode 1 being released in America) but it has also been alleged in some circles this was done to boost search rankings for the series’ upcoming title.
Ultimately the statement that it’s the fans’ voices which will decide which remakes Sega focuses upon is one of hope and caution. While it is ultimately true that their responses and actions will shape and decide which titles are re-released, Sega’s response is ultimately a deciding factor in this.
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