During their recent financial call, Sega revealed a list of dormant franchises that they believe still have potential in today’s gaming market. Including everything from Crazy Taxi to Rez to House of the Dead, it’s an exciting group of names for anyone who’s a fan of the Sega of old.
The publisher has changed a lot in modern times, going from a jack of all trades to a producer of a few very specific franchises. Names like Total War and Football Manager would be foreign to fans of Sega Genesis, but they’re some of the company’s biggest moneymakers alongside Sonic the Hedgehog. Sega recognizes just how many valuable franchises from the past they control, which is why they’ve also worked on licensing deals with outside studios in order to create nostalgic reimaginings of some of their best work. Some, like Streets of Rage 4, prove that they can work just as well in the modern age. Others, like Shenmue 3, can’t quite cut the mustard. Either way, there’s now a proven market for this type of rework, and Sega is clearly telegraphing which franchises could be next.
Some of these franchises have been more dormant than others. Crazy Taxi saw three console games in its heydey before descending into free-to-play mobile gaming. It’s been a long time since the series saw any sort of proper entry, and the right team with the right idea could really take advantage of the late 90s/early 2000s-era nostalgia that surrounds it. Another title with a lot of nostalgic interest is Virtua Fighter, which has featured only as a series of guest characters in Dead or Alive for some time now. The fighting game series died off with the genre years ago and has not come back alongside its various genre cohorts.
Elsewhere in the presentation, Sega talked about an FPS project they call a “Super Game” that’s coming from a European studio. The release is scheduled for years in the future but is already seeing a big investment. Many publishers are searching for success equal to Activision’s Call of Duty: Warzone, and it seems that this is Sega’s shot at the genre. In the shorter term, the studio will continue on with Yakuza, Sonic, and their other reliable franchises and hopefully continue to tap into their older franchises when it makes sense.