Sega Reveals Updates For Five Beloved Retro Series at The Game Awards 2023
Get ready for a blast from the past.
Sega has been teasing a big announcement at the Game Awards 2023 for the past week, and guesses were all over the place about what was about to be revealed. Could it be a new Virtua Fighter? Maybe the revival of another of its biggest franchises? Well, neither of those was quite right, because it turns out no one was thinking big enough.
The Game Awards announcement turned out to be not one but five (!) new games, with a promise of more on the way. While no new titles were announced, Sega revealed the return of five of its best classic franchises. Over the next few years, we’ll be seeing the release of new games in the Jet Set Radio, Crazy Taxi, Shinobi, Golden Axe, and Streets of Rage series.
Details were scarce, as you might expect from an announcement of five games crammed into a single trailer. However, Sega did share some gameplay from each of the five games it mentioned in the trailer. Some, like the Jet Set Radio sequel, look basically like a higher-definition version of how they appeared on Dreamcast, which is a good thing given how much Jet Set Radio’s style is a selling point. Shinobi likewise stays true to its sidescrolling roots, and Crazy Taxi is a frantic racing game like the original series.
Golden Axe and Streets of Rage, however, are getting more than just a facelift. In a major change from previous entries in the sidescroller series, Golden Axe is a fully 3D action game now, though it retains iconic elements from the franchise’s past — like rideable dinosaurs to help players mow down hordes of foes.
Streets of Rage has also changed quite a bit. Unlike previous iterations of the brawler, Streets of Rage will also be a 3D game when it returns. So far, Sega has shown off returning character Axel Stone, but it’s not clear who else will be returning. Given that the sidescrolling Streets of Rage 4 debuted just in 2020, developed by DotEmu rather than Sega, the next game in this series may be the biggest surprise of the batch.
“We are digging into our legacy and reimagining several franchises to bring these games to more audiences around the globe,” Shuji Utsumi, CEO of SEGA of America, says in a press release. “Today's announcement is just the start of our initiative.”
Reporting from 2022 claimed that Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio were being developed as live service games, though Sega never confirmed either. It’s not clear whether these new additions to the games will turn out to be the reported live-service games or if Sega is keeping them closer to the Dreamcast originals.
Sega hasn’t shared release dates or platforms for any of its newly announced games, but it’s launched a website where fans can sign up for updates when they’re available.