Back when Korean company Snowpipe announced their new “Sakura Wars M” mobile game, I was surprised to find that the copyright section no longer referenced the company that developed the past Sakura Wars games, Red Entertainment. Back in 2005, Red Entertainment had separated from their parent company SEGA by buying back a major portion of their SEGA-owned stock, a move that allowed them to regain their independent status. Nonetheless, they still retained part of the Sakura Wars IP, as any copyright mention related to Sakura Wars games noted “©SEGA ©RED”. Puzzled by seeing Red Entertainment not mentioned on the new Sakura Wars M game, I went and verified Red Entertainment’s website, but it was still listing their company as a Sakura Wars copyright owner. So I couldn’t be sure if Red Entertainment had indeed lost control over the Sakura Wars IP.
Microsoft has announced another batch of Original Xbox games that will be made playable on the Xbox One, and Panzer Dragoon Orta is one of them! Released back in 2002, it was the last game in the main Panzer Dragoon series and arguably one of the best railshooters ever made. Fusing elements from both the previous railshooter games and the RPG Panzer Dragoon Saga, Panzer Dragoon Orta offered an impressive amount of replayability with plenty of unlockable content, including the PC port of the original Panzer Dragoon!
Sega of America and Europe have announced that Shining Resonance Refrain will be released in the West on PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC. The game was previously released on PlayStation 3 exclusively in Japan. The localized version features dual audio with English and Japanese voices, as well as all of the original’s DLC. A new addition to the game is the “Refrain Mode,” which unlocks the Imperial Princess Excella and Dragonslayer Jinas as party members.
It seems like SEGA of Japan once again forgot to renew their www.sakura-taisen.com domain name, and as a result the official Sakura Wars website is no longer accessible and simply displays a parking page (screenshot posted below). This isn’t the first time they forgot, as the same thing already happened in 2014. The domain name expires on 29th of December, which may explain why SEGA tends to miss the renewal. Nevertheless, they should be getting reminders via e-mail long before the domain name actually expires, so it’s curious to see how this continues to happen. Even more so given that this is still one of SEGA’s most iconic franchises in Japan, and also topped SEGA’s own poll for franchises that fans want to see revived. Unfortunately, this doesn’t inspire confidence that SEGA actually intends to resurrect the franchise anytime soon. In any case, SEGA should have some time left to recover the domain before anyone else can attempt to claim it.
Brave Wave Productions have announced, in an official collaboration with SEGA, that they will be releasing a special “Resurrection: Panzer Dragoon Saga 20th Anniversary Arrangement” soundtrack for digital, CD & vinyl! The soundtrack contains 20 songs from the classic Sega Saturn RPG Panzer Dragoon Saga, rearranged by the game’s original composer Saori Kobayashi. The release date is currently scheduled for January 29, 2018. Here’s the list of companies and people who contributed to the soundtrack:
In a joint announcement from SEGA of Japan and SEGA of America, Valkyria Chronicles 4 has been announced for release on the PS4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One worldwide in 2018! In Japan, an Xbox One version wasn’t announced, and the release date was set more specifically for PlayStation 4 on March 21, 2018 and for the Nintendo Switch in summer 2018 (thanks to Gematsu for this info). The accompanying trailer gives us a great first impression of the game, as it really feels like the genuine sequel that fans had been hoping to see ever since we played the original Valkyria Chronicles on PS3.
Sega have announced that they’ll be revealing a new Valkyria project on November 20th! Alongside the announcement they also launched a new teaser website. At the moment it features little more than a background showing a frozen, hostile environment with long chasms running through the landscape, emitting a blue glow (Ragnite?) from within.
Sega is aiming for a worldwide release for the game, as evidenced by the fact that the teaser website is available in multiple languages. However, no other details are known, and fans are obviously worried about what SEGA has in store. The Valkyria series has been a unfortunate example of SEGA mismanaging one of their most promising series. The latest misstep was Valkyria Revolution, an action-RPG spin-off that failed to live up to fans’ expectations. Both in and outside of Japan, fans are hoping to see the game return to its tactical RPG roots.
Sega-Sammy Holdings have released their annual report for 2017, where they discuss at length their plans for the future. There’s one particular sectoin from the report that I found rather interesting. The Online Content Divisional HQ’s operations center, among other things responsible for their PC online game area, intends to generate earnings continuously by 2020. A key part of that plan involves their online RPG Phantasy Star Online 2. Specifically, the group aims to execute three main action plans for the series:
In what seems yet another questionable business move from Atlus (after the Persona 5 streaming debacle), the company has now tried to take down Nekotekina’s Patreon page for funding the development of RPCS3, an open-source PS3 emulator, via a DMCA takedown request. According to the team developing RPCS3, the reasoning Atlus put forward to Patreon was the following:
Atlus has announced that it will be creating its own European publishing team, located in SEGA Europe’s headquarters. This will enable them to start publishing their own titles in the future, likely signaling the end of their publishing partnership with Deep Silver. Commercial director Simon Inch is already on-board for the new team, and moving forward they will be adding a PR manager and a product marketing manager.