Check out all the SEGA & Atlus’ merchandise for Tokyo Game Show 2017

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Its that time of year again, when SEGA of Japan loads up Tokyo Game Show with a ton of amazing SEGA merchandise that makes us westerners scream, “Take my money!” I would say that SEGA’s Tokyo Game Show 2017 lineup is actually really good compared to last year, so expect a ton of great merchandise to follow. SEGA is not only set on bringing you merchandise for upcoming games like Sonic the Hedgehog,  Yakuza, Puyo Puyo, Hatsune Miku, and a ton more. But they are also doing Retro SEGA console merchandise which is very appealing. To add the cherry on top SEGA will also be selling Atlus merchindise including Persona 3, Persona 4 and Persona 5 stuff!

So lets get into it:

SEGA News Bits: Phantasy Star Online 2 Cloud Announced For Nintendo Switch, What Is It?

Just the other day SEGA announced Phantasy Star Online 2 Cloud for the Nintendo Switch, via the Japanese Nintendo Direct. On this episode of the SEGA News Bits we will discuss what separates Phantasy Star Online 2 Cloud from the regular versions, our thoughts on lack of SEGA exclusives for the Nintendo Switch and our overall opinion on how Phantasy Star Online 2 missed its ability to release in the West. Give the episode a gander and let us know what you think of this announcement in the comments below.

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Phantasy Star Online 2 Cloud coming to Nintendo Switch in 2018

Phantasy Star Online 2 Cloud was shown off on the new Nintendo Direct, but only in the Japanese presentation considering that the game won’t be coming west. I know, a major disappointment for western fans that have been waiting for Phantasy Star Online 2 since it was announced back in 2012. Its pretty big announcement for SEGA Japan to bring their Phantasy Star Online 2 game to the Nintendo Switch because I feel its the perfect platform for a game like this.

As for what the cloud in Phantasy Star Online 2 Cloud stands for, I have heard people online saying that it means the game isn’t running on the Nintendo Switch, but actually being streamed off the internet. Think of it the way that Onlive, PlayStation Now and those types of services work. It seems to be true considering the trailer suggest there won’t be a installation required. We know is that the game is coming to Japan in 2018 and that the Nintendo Switch has no region lock. (winks).

 

[UPDATE] SEGA launches teaser site for possible crossover game

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[It has been revealed that the teaser was actually for Dx2 Shin Megami Tensei: Liberation mobile game. Yay?]

SEGA Japan has launched a website teasing users about a possible SEGA crossover game. So far the media has been calling the project SEGA x ????, letting users try to figure out what the other company or brand they are crossing over with. One thing, is that it looks like a very anime brand. Recently SEGA has recently announced Virtual-On x A Magical Card Index crossover game, maybe this is more of a crossover with other Bunko Dengeki properties. One of the only clues is the silhouettes and that the teaser site’s url has it filed under ‘rpng‘. Who knows if the four question marks are a clue, I doubt it. Hard to know what the figures are considering they seem varied, all seeing pretty unique anime styled characters.

At this point it can be anything, what with stuff like Fist of the North Star coming out of left field. One thing is for sure, SEGA is setting up to have some surprises come Tokyo Game Show later this month. Who else is excited to see what this game is? What do you think it is? Let us know in the comments.

SEGA trademarks ‘Darts of the Dead’, possible House of the Dead spin-off?

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It seems that SEGA is planning something to do with darts and their iconic IP ‘House of the Dead’, but instead of dealing with houses it seems this one will have darts. According to Go Nintendo, SEGA has filed the trademark for Darts of the Dead. The House of the Dead franchises has had its fair share of spin-offs including Typing of the Dead , Pinball of the Dead, and House of the Dead EX. They also noted that the trademark was done only for the English name, but that isn’t out of the ordinary for the franchise.

If SEGA could make a typing game based on the franchise, I would assume something like a dart game, with a score system based on your accuracy would be doable. Though thinking of the name, Darts of the Dead, seems a bit silly. What are your thoughts on SEGA filing the trademark for Darts of the Dead? Should SEGA just do another main title or are you interested in a spin-off?

Atlus sets up European publishing division

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Atlus has confirmed that they are setting up a European publishing team to handle their in-house published titles in the territory. In the past Atlus and SEGA have had to work with third-party publishers to release their console titles, such as Deep Silver and Koch, while SEGA Europe stuck with handling PC releases.

This move is part of being acquired by SEGA. The team will feature commercial director Simon Inch. The new Atlus Europe division still has to announce who the PR manager and product marketing manager will be. It has been confirm that they will operate out of the SEGA Europe offices in London.

“It is a strong example of the growth we are experiencing as a company. Publishing in Europe is simply the next step for us. What this means initially for fans is a parity for launch and premium editions. From a business perspective, we’ll be better positioned to address the needs of each market in which we release our titles.” – Jacob Nahin, senior PR manager at Atlus USA

Atlus says this move will help them give European fans better support with special edition products and stuff that they offer to the US market. I will assume once Atlus is finish setting up shop, that all SEGA and Atlus console games will be handled through Atlus Europe for release in European markets. This is obviously good news, since it seems a lot of SEGA and Atlus fans aren’t too pleased with Deep Silver handling in-house games. What are your thoughts?

[Source: GamesIndustry.biz]

SEGA Japan trademarks “Narcia’s Tears and the Fairy’s Flute”

PopoloSoS_Cutscene01.0SEGA Japan has recently filed a trademark for “Narcia’s Tears and the Fairy’s Flute” (Narushia no Namida to Yousei no Fue). The trademark was filed on July 24th. According to Gematsu, Narcia is the name of a character from the PopoloCrois series, which has faeries as a prominent role. Not only that, the series’ main developer Epics has been on a hiring spree recently for a new PopoloCrois Monogatari game, looking for a “UI design intended for smartphone and consumer game screens.” Could this mean that the next PopoloCrois game will be published by SEGA?

It seems that the PopoloCrois IP is owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Even though they own the IP, 2015’s Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale was the first game to be on a non-Sony platform as the IP was licensed out to Marvelous and the game released on the Nintendo 3DS. Its possible that SEGA could be licensing the IP and planning a new entry along with developer Epics, much how they have found success with Hatsune Miku titles. What are your thoughts on SEGA trademarking “Narcia’s Tears and the Fairy’s Flute” ? Do you think PopoloCoris franchise should be adding to SEGA’s publishing arm?

SNK to reveal “new Classic NEOGEO project” at Atlus/SEGA’s EVO 2017 booth

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[EDIT: It seems that the project is actually Samurai Shodown V Special being done by Code Mystics (who has a bad track record) for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. The game will be playable at the booth in its beta form.]

SNK tweeted early this morning that they have a secret, unannounced “new Classic NEOGEO project” to show at this year’s EVO 2017 and will be shown off at Atlus/SEGA’s booth. They even ask in the tweet what it could be. Well, lets talk about what it could be. Lots of SNK fans are thinking this is a new entry into a old ‘NEOGEO IP’ because they teased it as a new project, making them think this is a brand new game from the ground up based on a IP that appeared on NEOGEO hardware.

The thing is that SNK had a premier line up on NEOGEO hardware but I’m leaning that this could be a new Garou: Mark of Wolves, considering it was revealed that SNK was working on Garou: Mark of Wolves 2 before they started up King of Fighters XIV. Not to mention, it will be shown off at EVO 2017, which is a fighting game tournament. But SNK also has Samurai Showdown and Art of Fighting brands, so it can be anything. The other reason this is making me think its a big, boxed title is because its being shown at the Atlus/SEGA booth and Atlus published King of Fighters XIV in the United States. But then again, that is jumping on conclusions and they could only be sharing Atlus/SEGA’s booth because of their prior relationships and because they will be showing off King of Fighters XIV stuff there anyway.

Another big theory is that this is just going to be newly emulated NEOGEO classics being added to current generation consoles, but I have my doubts since they have already released a ton of them on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and even Nintendo Switch without making such teasers. What do you think this “new Classic NEOGEO project” will be? What do you hope it is? Let us know in the comments below.

SEGA announces Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Future Tone DX for PlayStation 4

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Yo, what time is it? Feels like there has literally been less than 6 months without a release of a new Hatsune Miku: Project Diva game. What’s that? SEGA just announced Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Future Tone DX for the PlayStation 4? That’s right, SEGA will be publishing Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Future Tone DX which is set to hit Japan on November 22nd.

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Future Tone DX seems to be a sort of re-release package featuring songs from Colorful Tone and Future Sound. The game is set to feature 237 songs with 396 modules. That will include 127 songs from Future Sound, 95 songs from Colorful Tone, and 12 songs from the three Encore Pack add-ons which also includes the new song ‘Ghost Rule’. The game will also feature a new mode called ‘Promotional Video Photographing’. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Future Tone DX will set you back 7,980 yen ($71 usd) for the standard version and 11,990 ($108) yen for the limited edition that includes 200 promotional videos and promotional videos of all the Hatsune Miku: Project Diva titles from the PSP to the PlayStation 4.

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Future Tone DX has only been confirmed for Japanese release, but seeing as SEGA has been bringing the titles over to the West, don’t be shocked that this one gets an announcement soon enough. What’s your take on SEGA basically doing a ‘game of the year’ edition of their arcade release? Are they milking the Hatsune Miku brand too much? Sound off in the comments.

[Source: Gematsu]

SEGA says ‘Yakuza’ and ‘Persona’ added to their SEGA PC Ports list

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SEGA had a pretty good start this year releasing the widely acclaimed titlesYakuza 0 which saw a brand new audience in the west and Persona 5, which happens to be the best selling entry in the franchise. One thing both these titles share is that they are Sony exclusive titles, so if you don’t own a Sony PlayStation 3 or 4, you won’t be able to experience the goodness that is Yakuza 0 or Persona 5. Seeing that SEGA Europe has been very kind to their SEGA PC ports list in the last few months, by having Platinum Games port over both Bayonetta and Vanquish to PC platforms. The guys over at PC gamer asked SEGA Europe’s senior vice president of commercial publishing, John Clark, what they are looking into porting over to the good old steam store:

“If I asked you to write me a list of ten games you want Sega to bring out on PC, it probably isn’t any different from the list [we have], I could ask anyone at Sega: write me a list. And what motivates it? I think there’s a certain catalogue that people just have an affinity with. If you send [your] list over I’ll tell you which ones we can tick, which ones are on our list, which ones are possibilities, which ones are not possibilities, which ones we’ve talked about, which ones we’re talking about, which ones we’re working on, you know, they’ll be on that list.”  

Since Mr. Clark didn’t go into specifics, PC Gamer pressed him and asked if a franchise like Yakuza would fit their type of list.

SEGA and Atlus E3 2017 lineup revealed

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SEGA and Atlus have officially announced their lineup for E3 2017, and while there are no major surprises there is a diverse lineup of great looking games! Yakuza and Sonic take center stage, with Yakuza 6, Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces on display. Atlus, meanwhile, will have 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, Etrian Odyssey V, Radient Historia: Perfect Chronology and Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux to play. SEGA Europe also has a booth, where they will have Total War: WARHAMMER II and additional Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces kiosks.

Worth noting, the upcoming Valkyria Revolution and Yakuza Kiwami appear to have no representation at this year’s booth. Valkyria Revolution makes some sense, as the game is due out in just three weeks, but Yakuza Kiwami is due out in two months. A kiosk for the game would have been nice, but it appears SEGA wants to focus on 2018’s Yakuza 6 which is a bigger game for the company.

SEGAbits writers will be attending E3, so expect coverage from us from the show floor. After the break, check out the full press release!

This is how SEGA’s games will start moving forward

SEGA is synonymous with many things, but the most notable would have to be the startup logo. In the console days, systems like the Master System, SEGA CD, Saturn and Dreamcast had their own startup logo. But once the game began, you’d be treated to the SEGA logo. How the SEGA logo appeared often differed from game to game, but in the later years – especially once SEGA went third party – things became more uniform. From around 2005 to the past year we had the swoosh and deep voiced “SEGA” logo for most games. Most games featured this, though there has been exceptions (Alien: Isolation, Yakuza 0, Puyo Puyo Tetris to name a few). According to Sam Mullen, Senior Localization Producer for SEGA products at Atlus USA, the swoosh and low voice is no more and the above eye is the new logo ident moving forward.

The eye first appeared in a SEGA of Japan video titled “Branding Movie”, seen after the break, which should have a subtitled version coming soon according to Sam. The video shows SEGA’s Chief Product Officer (and Monkey Ball and Yakuza creator) Toshihiro Nagoshi on a computer looking at the human eye. He then reflects on SEGA’s games and identity as he drives around Japan looking out the window. We see people interacting with SEGA products in their daily lives. We then see Nagoshi analyzing the brand with staff through meetings and tests and then the words “Amazing SEGA” appear on screen before the eye ident closes things off.

Clearly SEGA of Japan have put time and energy into this new startup, the question is what is the reasoning for the change? What do you think of the new startup? Sound off in the comments below.

SEGA plans “revival of major IPs” on its “Road to 2020”

Sonic___SEGA_All-Stars_Racing-PCArtwork4539Sonic_Racing_GroupSEGA plans “revival of major IPs”, which is a phrase that a lot of SEGA die hard fans have been waiting to hear from the company in a very long time. SEGA revealed this strategy when the company did their “Road to 2020” business presentation. If you look at the ‘Segment / Business Strategies’ on their latest fiscal report, it highlights the following big points:

Packaged Games Field (example titles: Total War: Warhammer, Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, Football Manager 2017, and Persona 5)

  • Expand existing IPs and obtain new IPs for North American and European PC games
  • Build revenue base by being entrusted with outsourced development
  • Challenge for new IPs
  • Revival of major IPs
  • Effective utilization of development engines

Digital Games Field (example titles: Puyo Puyo!! Quest, Hortensia Saga, Chain Chronicle 3, and Phantasy Star Online 2)

  • Create titles that will become global hits
  • Establish digital marketing business
  • Expand overseas publishing business
  • Maintain profits through long-term operation of existing titles
  • Develop next-generation titles

If you notice, they have a nice section where they highlight that they are planning not only original IPs but also SEGA plans “revival of major IPs”. But what would SEGA consider a “major IP”? One of the challenges SEGA has with reviving IPs is that they want them to be ‘global hits’, so what titles do you think are considered ‘global hits’? SEGA plans “revival of major IPs”, do you believe it or is it a ‘wait and see’ sort of thing?

[via: Gematsu]

Round Table: Should the Yakuza franchise end after Yakuza 6?

RoundTableYakuza6The Yakuza franchise has been the longest running new franchise launched by SEGA since going 3rd party, with the first one being released in Japan back on December 8, 2005. The franchise has received seven main entries, one remake, a bunch of spin-offs, and even a full featured length film. SEGA has made a huge deal about the franchise coming to an end, in the past, but seem to have continued churning out games. Yakuza 6 promises to be the end of Kazuma Kiryu’s story while at the same time SEGA has promised that the franchise would continue after Yakuza 6. On this week’s Round Table we ask should the Yakuza franchise end after Yakuza 6?