Virtua Fighter 5 R: The ONLY Interview
Check out our huge, exclusive interview with SEGA AM2 development boss Makoto Osaki to get the full story on Virtua Fighter 5 Revolution, and various other hot topics.
Kikizo: Will there be a home version of Virtua Fighter 5 R?
Osaki: Well, you know I'm not actually in the home department, but your interpreter over there is... how about you ask him? [laughs while interpreter shakes his head laughing as well]. I can't give a definite answer, but if we get a lot of requests from users, then it's definitely possible. We just don't know yet.
Kikizo: Yeah, there's a lot of concern from US and European VF fans because a home version's the only way we'll get a chance to play it.
Osaki: Argh, so much pressure! [laughs] Actually, the development teams of the arcade and home version are different. So, unfortunately, I don't have much say in a home version...
Kikizo: We've seen some older AM-team developed lightgun-shooting titles, such as House of the Dead and Ghost Squad, turn up on the Wii. Do you think we'll be seeing any more Sega arcade shooters on the console?
Osaki: Ah, gun games. They're still extremely popular in the US... I know there's a whole ton of our gun-shooting arcade games at every Dave & Buster's in the US. I can't say specifically if we'll be seeing sequels or new incarnations for specific games, on the Wii or elsewhere. We do have the development staff of those games in AM2 still, and they're working on something... I wonder what they're planning. I guess we'll see, you will see...
Kikizo: A lot of Sega properties, some of which you've worked on, are now being worked on in the West. Sumo Digital for instance converted games like OutRun2 and Virtua Tennis, 3 and even had access to almost all Sega IP for Sega Superstars Tennis. There seems to be a shift of Sega's development from East to West - for example, the recently announced House of the Dead game is being developed by another British team. How do you feel about your franchises being developed by developers from abroad?
Osaki: I think it's the right direction. These are properties that have a lot of pull in Western markets. Each team in each region should try to make the most of the native market by using our intellectual properties. I like a lot of overseas titles, as you well know by now. But Western gamers... they still do buy a lot of Japanese games, don't they? I'd like to know if Western players still enjoy games with Japanese tastes as much as they used to.
Kikizo: I think it varies based on audience to audience. There's still a large audience for Japanese RPGs with anime-styled characters and melodramatic stories. Action games... I think, in general Western players like both Japanese and Western styled games. The success of Ninja Gaiden 2 and Devil May Cry shows the Japanese aesthetic style still has a lot of appeal in that genre.
Osaki: Hmmm, yes, I see.
Kikizo: And there's Final Fantasy XIII, which is getting an Xbox 360 release, but only in Western territories. So yeah, there's still a healthy market for Japanese markets we think.
Osaki: Very interesting insights. Thank you.
Sincere thanks to all Sega Japan and AM2 staff for making this interview happen. Interview conducted by the powerful two-hit combo that is Kikizo's Ali Almaci and Heidi Kemps. Feature words by Adam Doree. Check our many previous AM2 interviews out here. Virtua Fighter 5 R is out now in Japanese arcades, and a release on consoles is yet to be confirmed - but seems reasonably likely, if you ask us. You can see a load of videos of it on YouTube and over at VFDC, (who incidentally have a handy guide on on how to tell Sega you want a console version).