Well, would you look at that? While it would seem that Sega’s attempt to bring back Virtua Fighter 5 was nothing more than to celebrate the 60th anniversary for the company. It turns out that Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown did better than expected. Completely smashing the prior estimated download amounts, and now Sega is seriously considering revisiting the franchise.
In a recent interview with Dengeki Online, Seiji Aoki, the producer of the Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown discusses the game, its reception, and why Sega is taking notice. A few key points include how well the game is doing, why the game isn’t completely the same as the arcade version of Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown. Things they wanted to do with the game, but seeing how it was a remake, they couldn’t. The game has a high retention rate in Japan, Europe, and North America. The development team has been watching streams of the game and checking YouTube on VF5 US gameplay.
Granted, when VF5 US was released, the game was missing several features, including the lack of searching for created rooms. Thankfully, Sega has been improving on the game, and it’s in a better position now due to these enhancements.
Sega is even thinking about releasing the game on PC (Steam). Seiji Aoki goes on to mention that the arcade version is running on the PC. However, they are fully aware that segmenting a fighting game community could cause issues for the game. Cross-play has been mentioned as a factor, but it would be difficult to implement. It’s not a no, and it’s nice to see it’s being considered for the PC.
However, the biggest takeaway here is that there’s now a roadmap for Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate showdown. Sega has big plans for the game. Of which I hope includes adding rollback netcode, the quest mode from Virtua Fighter 4 EVO, and bringing the game to multiplatform. Considering that VF5 US wasn’t meant to be something to generate sales. Instead, it was created to reintroduce the series and nothing more. I guess Sega didn’t realize just how popular Virtua Fighter is. Due to how well the game has been doing, now Sega has confirmed is now considering a new Virtua Fighter game. I highly recommend giving the interview a read. Or even better, check out a translated interview on Twitter thanks to /Gosokkyu/.
I grew up playing Virtua Fighter and still remember the day I spotted the white arcade cabinet sitting in the back of my local arcade. After dropping in a few coins, I had been come obsessed with the game due to its realistic gameplay, unique characters, and rocking soundtrack. Since then, I have followed the series, watching it evolve with every entry in the series. It did evolve – some of the best fighting game matches I’ve ever seen came from Virtua Fighter.
When VF5 US was released for the PlayStation 4, you couldn’t stop me from playing. Granted, I haven’t played it as much as I initially did, mainly because the netcode does cause issues at times. I am still happy to see that Sega did something that not many companies would do. That being taking a chance on a series that they considered dead and seeing that the fighting game community still loved the once 3D fighting king. I’m hoping to see big things from the continued development of Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown. That and whatever Sega eventually does with the future of the series — possibly Virtua Fighter 6!
Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown is currently playable on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
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