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Bloomberg has reported that Sega Sammy Holdings, the parent group of the gaming giant SEGA, intends to bring back two massive titles from the Dreamcast era: Jet Set Radio and Crazy Taxi. But these won’t be remakes or remasters of the games you may have played at the dawn of the 21st century, as Sega Sammy has its sights set on something rather more meta.
Rather than being standalone games for modern consoles, the plan is that the Jet Set Radio and Crazy Taxi brands will be the first two to represent SEGA’s new ‘Super Game’ initiative. What this means is that Sega Sammy wants to put out free-to-play titles that can build communities across several platforms, play host to in-game social events, and support an active microtransaction market. Or, the TL;DR version: they want to do Fortnite with SEGA IP.
Team Reptile’s Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is a very Jet Set-looking game, and releases later in 2022…
The Crazy Taxi ‘Super Game’ project has, the report states, been in development for a year already and could come out in two or three years’ time. Unnamed insiders who spoke to Bloomberg added that a Jet Set Radio title is also in the works right now, but also said that both projects could yet be scrapped. Ergo, there’s no certainty either brand will make a return in the form Sega Sammy is aiming for - which sadly may well be the only way they ever come back.
SEGA itself offered a classic “no comment” in response to Bloomberg’s questioning around the report. But its own information on the ‘Super Game’ initiative, as highlighted by VGC, outlines four key criteria for each release. They must be multi-platform; be playable in multiple languages; be of an AAA-level production quality; and release worldwide simultaneously. The scale of these games will be, apparently, “that of a global blockbuster”. Cloud technology could be used in the games, and VGC adds that NFTs could also be factored in.
An always-online Crazy Taxi, then? In which you can link up with pals and strangers alike, complete missions together, hang out, and buy stuff you probably don’t need but hey, these fluffy dice are so last season. How does that sound? Personally, I’m not exactly sold, but there’s no doubt SEGA is sitting on a lot of dormant IP right now that could work well in the online space. A new Shining Force-themed MMO, anyone? Alex Kidd in Metaverse World? (Actually, no thanks.)
Should there be no official Jet Set in our future, we at least have Team Reptile’s forthcoming Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, which is shaping up to be an excellent spiritual successor and even has Jet Set Radio’s composer Hideki Naganuma on soundtrack duties. Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is due out later in 2022 on PC, and fingers crossed that it’s a better experience than the Crazy Taxi-inspired Taxi Chaos, which came out in 2021 and sucked. Boo, for grossly inferior homages.
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