Last night, Sega announced new entries in the Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, Golden Axe, Shinobi, and Streets of Rage series all at once, and it seems that the company is making a conscious attempt at returning to the rebellious energy it hasn’t really displayed since the Dreamcast era. Frankly, it’s about time.
“We really want to show edginess and a rebellious mindset,” Sega of America CEO Shuji Utsumi tells The Washington Post (paywalled). Utsumi says that he initiated the strategy that led to all these new games after he returned to Sega four years ago, and it makes sense – after all, he aided in the launch of both the original PlayStation and the Dreamcast years ago. It seems that Sega’s aim is to recapture that spirit for a more modern audience.
The Dreamcast met an untimely end back in the day, but Utsumi believes Sega’s weirder concepts might have a more receptive audience in the modern era. “The concept of games like Jet Set Radio is advanced. The original creators are involved again, and its time is now. It’s a good time where people can appreciate all kinds of concepts.”
Sega has published plenty of games since it got out of the console business, but by Utsumi’s own admission, it’s been buoyed largely by three long-running franchises: Sonic, Yakuza/Like a Dragon, and Persona. Now, it seems, the company is finally willing to branch out a bit more and revisit its other classic series.
Hopefully, that also means that a few more original games will be coming out of Sega, too. The joy of the Dreamcast era is in just how experimental it was, and while returns to underexplored concepts like those in Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio will be refreshing in the modern era, I really want to see surprising new concepts that channel that energy. Either way, a return to edgy rebellion is certainly the most exciting thing I’ve heard from Sega in a long time.