(Scroll down for updated details)
Bomb Jack. Solomon’s Key. Ninja Gaiden. Rygar. Tecmo Bowl. Dead or Alive. These titles are familiar to many gamers and among them are some commonalities. One, they were made by Tecmo. Two, they were all released as arcade titles originally. It also has been quite a while since Tecmo did anything in arcades. Since their last arcade release in 2001 with Monster Farm Jump, they merged with a company called Koei (known for series like Dynasty Warriors and the many, many variations on that concept) and after becoming Tecmo Koei, they have stuck to producing content for home gaming platforms.
It seems that someone at Tecmo remembers their glory days in arcades as news has hit that they are looking to get back into it. Most of the story is behind a paywall at Nikkei but the little blurb gives us enough to go on for now (also, Japanese game news sites like AM-NET are also reporting it as a re-entry to the arcade market). From what has been unveiled so far, they plan on offering a “flagship fighting game arcade for 800 stores in Japan from the end of the year in collaboration with Sega.” That flagship game will apparently be an arcade version of Dead or Alive 5, which was released for home consoles last year. This game featured some Sega characters as well as some over-the-top physics the series has become known for. How they might plan on changing it for arcades is unknown at this time but one thing is certain – if it does really well they will likely work on other games for the market too. It’s also too early to guess at whether DOA5AC or any other projects they will bring to arcades will come overseas but Sega has the overseas operations on the arcade side to make it happen, if the right project for the market comes along. It is not entirely clear yet what Sega’s involvement will be here but chances are they will handle the hardware side of things – or perhaps DOA5AC will become a headliner for their ALL.NET+ Multi game network. This will be the first time DOA has been in arcades since 1999; here is a trailer showing DOA5 Ultimate which will be released to home consoles in September.
UPDATE: With more information coming out here is some extra data to fill in the holes. Looks like some of our assumptions were correct. Tecmo Koei has announced that they will be bringing DOA5 Ultimate: Arcade to game centers digitally via Sega’s ALL.NET+ Multi Ver. 2 network. It will run on the Ringedge 2 hardware and will be released this Winter. [Source @ Dengeki]
For now I think its safe to assume that they will work with the safe stuff that exists for home consoles and porting it over but we can always hope for some original content too. Being that Koei is a part of them now, it’s well overdue to see something Dynasty Warriors-like that is designed specifically for arcades (Capcom had a game called War of The Grail in the works back in 2006 which would have offered that but it was never released). Of course Koei themselves never really paid much attention to arcade development. For the time being we will just have to wait it out and see where this venture goes.