Yoot Saito to host Classic Game Postmortem for Seaman at GDC 2017

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What?

The 2017 Game Developers Conference is just a little over a month away, and just last week it was announced that Japanese game designer Yoot Saito is set to host a behind-the-scenes look at the hit Dreamcast game Seaman in a Classic Game Postmortem. Yes, that’s right, I said “hit”. Despite the quirky nature of Seaman, it went on to become one of the most popular Dreamcast games in Japan – even outselling Shenmue!

The postmortem is set to be an hour long, and given Saito’s unique ideas for games it is sure to be an incredibly interesting discussion. The conference runs from February 27 to March 3, and date and time for the Seaman postmortem are still to be determined. You can learn more about the postmortem and GDC 2017 here.

Sonic the Hedgehog 25th anniversary events detailed, and more!

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The Tomy booth at New York’s Toy Fair was seemingly plastered with signs detailing Sonic information, as evidenced by our past two news posts. We’ve received word on game release dates, learned that Sonic Boom the TV series will be receiving a second season, and learned about several upcoming events planned for Sonic’s 25th anniversary. Upcoming events include a Game Developers Conference Party hosted by SGN (who we assume are these guys), with celebrations planned for Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom, as well as 25 years of Sonic as well as art and music. Expect this event to be held in mid-March as GDC runs from March 14-18. Next up, Sonic will be at SXSW with a History of Sonic panelDetails of the panel can be found online, with the panel taking place on Saturday, March 19th from 3:30PM-4:45PM and will be hosted by Sonic social media manager Aaron Webber, SEGA director of product development Austin Keys, voice actors Mike Pollock and Roger Craig Smith, Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka, and Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka. Wait, and they are only giving these guys 45 minutes? Sounds like a great panel that could easily run another hour.

Yu Suzuki working on an unannounced project, thinking about crowd funding Shenmue III

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Yu Suzuki has teased that he is ‘working on something’. What is this mysterious project? Is it SEGA publishing related? Who knows, he isn’t speaking about the project right now.

“Just now, I don’t have anything I can say yet,” he smiled. “I can’t announce right now – but I’m making something.”

This isn’t the first time that the idea of crowd funding Shenmue III has come up, we reported a similar story last year. This time? He says he is looking into it. So what genre do you want the upcoming, unannounce Yu Suzuki project to be? A racer? Fighting? His catalog of classic games is spread too wide between genres to please everyone.

Reminder: Shenmue Postmortem Panel on 3/19 at 2014 GDC

The annual Game Developers Conference will be taking place in California throughout next week. There are various panels available on topics related to the gaming industry to listen in on for attendees. However, of particular note is the Shenmue Postmortem featuring then-series director Yu Suzuki and PS4 architect Mark Cerny as Suzuki’s translator. It will be taking place on March 19, 2014 at 2:00 PM US Pacific Time and will close at 3:00 PM.

Per the GDC website’s description of the panel, Yu Suzuki will be discussing the origins and development history of the first title starting as a Virtua Fighter RPG for the SEGA Saturn and its eventual release as the Dreamcast cult classic.

The GDC panels are not typically streamed or otherwise made available to non-attendees; however, Gamespot plans to stream this particular panel. With the panel fast approaching, you may want to make time to watch it if you will be available!

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Has SEGA lost the trademark for Shenmue? [Updated]

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Weird the way things happen? In one month from today, March 19th, Yu Suzuki will take the stage at GDC to talk about Shenmue, Ryo Hazuki has made his return to SEGA’s All-Stars Racing games and now SEGA loses the trademark for the franchise in the USA? Seems like a step back for fans and it seems to be true.

According to the trademark page, the reason they dropped the trademark was “because registrant did not file an acceptable declaration under Section 8.” So what is Section 8? You can read it all here, but the whole thing revolves around SEGA not coming with a ‘declaration’ on why they should keep it and why they haven’t been making commercial uses of it. Though, I think this is a mistake since SEGA technically is making ‘use’ of the franchise with his appearances in recent games and even merchandise. I have a feeling this trademark issue is something SEGA is already working on fixing.

Update: It should be noted that the database shows two dead trademarks for Shenmue. One, filed on February 18, 1999 and cancelled on January 17, 2009, pertains to “computer game programs and prerecorded discs and ROMs for computer game programs”. This is likely referring to the original Shenmue for the SEGA Dreamcast.

The one that was cancelled on Valentine’s Day pertains to “entertainment services, namely, providing an online computer game”. This one was filed on August 25, 2003. The now cancelled Shenmue Online was officially announced in 2004, meaning this recent dead trademark is likely for that game and the potential for games like it.

Yu Suzuki and Mark Cerny hang out at GDC, talk Shenmue III

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Hey, if you are two of my favorite game developers of all time, you obviously have to hang out together and talk about my favorite unreleased game. According to Megan Scavio, GM of GDC they are in talks about Shenmue III. You know, that game that everyone wants SEGA to release.

“Mark Cerny & Yu Suzuki talking strategy for Shenmue III. For reals you guys.”Megan Scavio

You had me at Yu Suzuki, you sold me on Mark Cerny and you made me smile at Shenmue III. Let’s make it happen!

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Creative Assembly announces new free-to-play multiplayer game, Total War: Arena

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SEGA and Creative Assembly have just announced their new game they have been teasing, Total War: Arena. The game is a ‘Multiplayer Online Battle Arena’, the game seems like it is aimed to compete against titles such as Leagues of Legends and DOTA 2. It doesn’t mean that the title is a MOBA type game, unlike those games, in this game you will have 10 vs 10 based battles.

Also unlike those MOBA type games, each player in this game will be able to control armies and command over 500 men in 3 units. The game has also been confirmed to be free-to-play. The game will be supported with add-on packs that will change the battlefield, even saying they will introduce stuff from different time periods.

More features revealed for Sonic the Hedgehog remastered – Spin dash confirmed!

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As GDC 2013 continues, more details regarding the upcoming rerelease of Sonic the Hedgehog are rolling in. Pocket Gamer reports that on-screen controls will retain the virtual d-pad and single button layout, however new features include a cartridge art gallery and the ability to use Sonic’s spin dash attack, which can be turned on and off in the game’s menu. As most Sonic fans know, the spin dash made its debut in the sequel, while the first game has only featured the addition of the move in Sonic Jam and various ROM hacks.

Meanwhile, Slide to Play expanded on the on-screen controls, noting that “the large, visible buttons of the Genesis controller have been replaced by one tiny jump button in the corner. The joystick is now a virtual stick that feels much more natural and suitable for touchscreen gaming.”. Slide to Play also noted that a SEGA executive indicated that future Genesis games on digital marketplaces would receive the remastering treatment, by casually stating “that was the plan.” If true, SEGA could eventually update existing games like Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, Shining Force, and Gunstar Heroes, as well as release titles not yet seen on mobile devices.

Thanks to SSMB member Shadzter for the info!

Creative Assembly to announce a new game tomorrow at GDC

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Seems that Creative Assembly’s James Russell (Lead game designer at Creative Assembly) has posted on twitter that he will be announcing a new game during their GDC talk.

“Very excited that in my #GDC talk tomorrow, I can announce a new @totalwar game in development – and it’s like nothing we’ve done before…”James Russell, Lead designer at Creative Assembly

Here is the thing, there are few games that Creative Assembly has been working on that they haven’t announced yet. One being an Aliens title and the other one having to do with the  franchise. Both of which have me excited, Assembly Creative can do some great games. But this seems to be more of a Total War entry… (Total War: Viking 2 please!)

GDC 2013: Take a tour of SEGA’s history exhibit

Courtesy of GameSparkChannel is a walkthrough of SEGA’s history exhibit at GDC 2013. SEGA set aside a sizable exhibit filled with a variety of SEGA items including arcade games, consoles, and collectables. In the video above you can see old store displays for SEGA consoles, rare SEGA consoles like the JVC X’Eye, promotional posters, and more!

After the break, check out another walkthrough courtesy of The Inquirer.

GDC 2011: Yu Suzuki Career Retrospective


Are you a fan of Yu Suzuki? Of course you are! Well this video is for you.

This is the GDC career retrospective of Yu Suzuki and it’s translated into English. Full of great information regarding Suzuki’s long career with Sega and the ground breaking, revolutionary games he has created over the years including OutRun, Virtua Fighter and Shenmue amongst others.

I’m sure you’ll agree, this man is a legend.

GDC had a Conduit 3DS tech demo


No footage online that I have seen, but some information about the tech demo has made it online already. The tech demo shown isn’t nearly ready for prime time and is still in concept stages, but is already said to look as good as Conduit 2.

But how? Seems that High Voltage actually ported over assets from Conduit 2 to the 3DS for the demo. As for the story in the 3DS version of the game, the developers said they would like to explore the Conduit universe more, maybe make a prequel.

I will have to wait and play Conduit 2 before I can say if I would like a Conduit 3DS game published by SEGA.

[Source: NintendoWorldReport]

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Suzuki speaks on Shenmue III: “Of course I want to make it.”

It seems we’ve come a long way from the days when Yu Suzuki was prevented from talking about Shenmue III in any form with the media. Shenmue III discussion began again earlier this year in an in-depth 1up.com interview with the iconic developer. Today the subject once again came up, during a GDC interview conducted by Sega superstar Mark Cerny.

The talk, which took the form of an on-stage interview, covered a wide variety of topics, ranging from his decision not to work on Virtua Fighter 5 (“I don’t want to continue the same games and series. I always want to be making new games”) to his interest in both the 3DS and NGP, to the imminent death of the arcade industry, to, eventually, Shenmue.

“Of course I want to make it,” he said. “Sega I think is going to let me make it, I think it is just up to the budget.”

So it seems that SEGA would need somebody to help front the money.

Regarding Shenmue Online, he regretted that the project was cancelled but expressed interest in once again returning to it if given the opportunity.

Though the discussion was only a small part of the interview and what was said wasn’t particularly surprising, websites such as Gamespot have used it as the main draw of the story, and it has generated a sizeable number of enthusiastic comments.

All this media attention can only be a good thing.

[Source: Gamespot]