Namco Announces Location Tests for Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 5

arcadehero October 5, 2013 12

The last time that Namco decided to give their Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune (WMMT for short) series a shake in the US was with WMMT3. 4 was skipped over, possibly in part due to the extensive online features the game boasted but also the US arm of the company has been promoting their Dead Heat racing game here for the past couple of years.  I’ve had frequent requests about the possibility of WMMT4 being released in the US but without any direct involvement with that, the best I can say is hope for someone to import the “International Version” (which is in English) to an arcade near you.

Perhaps now that will change slightly as Namco has announced that the 5th iteration of the series, Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 5, is headed for testing in Japan on Oct. 19th and 20th. It can be assumed that some of the features found in WMMT4 (the LCD cabinet, the online play) will be kept for 5 but other than this location test announcement website, there aren’t many details to share for the moment.


As for guessing as to whether the game will make it out West in an official capacity, it seems unlikely given what occurred with 4. Namco has to play it smart as this is not the only driver they have on their roster at the moment. Earlier this year they showed off Dead Heat Riders, a motorcycle version of their Dead Heat car racing game (although I’m not sure what is going on with that – indications were that it was supposed to release at the beginning of the summer but that apparently did not happen), they also released Mario Kart Arcade DX to Japanese arcades. In a choice between MK and WMMT, they are probably going to have much more success with the highly recognized Mario Kart. We’ll know for sure what the deal is come IAAPA next month, where I’m placing my bet that we will see Mario Kart there showing up to do battle with the new Batman driver.


  1. toby7ten October 6, 2013 at 1:28 am - Reply

    It’s mad they didn’t release 4 (could have done offline) in the West. Wangan was crazy popular here, especially more so after Intial D left a gap in the market. Played 4 in China and loved it. The UK had a big Wangan market too up until around 2009. There was only so much people could rinse number 3 and people waiting for the 4th that never came.

    • Arcades4ever October 7, 2013 at 8:36 am - Reply

      The only reason in part due to the stupid online server. I really don’t see why they couldn’t just drop the feature out or make another version where the game didn’t require the internet. Wmmt3 is still very popular whenever I’m at an arcade that has that game. Namco are just cutting their noises off to spite their faces and they’re really missing out on big huge money making on this game doing it this way. So does this mean we won’t see mariokart arcade gp 3 which is even more of a money maker especially for kids and casual player just because of this stupid online banapass port feature? It’s stupid. Either way I hope it’s a sucess so that hopefully all their games that use this pointless feature get to be played all over the world

  2. Arcades4ever October 6, 2013 at 1:31 am - Reply

    But they haven’t said wmmt 4 isn’t coming over to the west and they said in the article earlier on highway games this year they were still testing out the game and it’s because wmmt4 can’t reach the Japanese server almost outside of Japan and it needs to be connected for some bizarre reason in order to operate. First they were testing in chine and Indonesia then europe and followed by the US. I hope it’s been a sucess so far

    • Phil "iTossWomenSalads" Arrington October 16, 2013 at 10:53 am - Reply

      Sorry for the lateness, R1 was trying to get 4, however, due to license issues (hurr Japan and USA) they couldn’t get the game over here.

      So 4… basically a NO now

  3. Kevin Williams October 6, 2013 at 3:34 am - Reply

    We need to be careful with what was read into the Highway interview – they said ‘international’ meaning Australia, and HK – but not the West.

    NAMCO in the West fought their corner over not getting WMMT4 and went with developing Dead Heat, and when it proved too soft have now turned their backs on the players.

  4. E. Thomas November 1, 2013 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Just wanna add, living in Japan, I actually went to check out WMMT5 at the other test location in “Round 1 Arcade” in Yokohama. And WMMT5 is exactly the same game as WMMT4, with the exception of an additional course (“Fukutoshin”) and a small handful of new cars. So whatever excuses/reasons Namco has had for NOT releasing the fourth instalment of the series in the US, that reasons still exists.

  5. dj Shefu November 3, 2013 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    ugh. it is so depressing!! I am a HUGE Maxi Tune fanatic. ever since I discovered the game at FNG ( Wayne, NJ ), I was hooked. So I started on WMMT2, and obviously went onto WMMT3. I have yet to come across anything ABOVE 3 over here on the east coast. meaning 3DX/3DX+. But the whole thing with the banapassports & the online stuff is definitely going to keep both WMMT4 & now WMMT5 from coming to the states. I wish that Namco would just make a version that does not require the game to be online, and whatever else is keeping the game from coming to the US. I would LOVE to play these games if they ever got ported here. At this rate, I’m going to have to go to Japan just to be able to play these games…and it is so unfortunate! Namco really does not know how much MONEY these games would make if they were able to be played here in the states! I remember the lines when WMMT3 was new. I can only imagine how hectic it would be if 4 or 5 ever came here. Oh well…I’ll just have to watch youtube videos, and listen to the soundtracks while driving around in my RSX.
    Also, really? Namco REALLY went with pushing DEAD HEAT over Wangan?? That is so depressing ( for me at least ).
    I wonder if someone started a petition to get Namco’s attention..if not, one needs to get started. Just so they can see how many people have been DYING to play these games over here, and how UPSET we are that at this rate, they will never see the light of day over here.

    • E. Thomas November 12, 2013 at 9:48 am - Reply

      Yeah, sorry about that – you have my full sympathy – WMMT is really one of the best series ever. On the bright side, you’re gonna save a LOT of money! ^_-

    • Kitsune December 11, 2013 at 5:53 pm - Reply

      I agree..I would strongly support a petition. Let me know if you find anything or decide to start one.

  6. u freak maeda January 15, 2014 at 12:56 am - Reply

    stupid maeda u should release host battle for all of us to freely create a game that anyone from global can join battle…..

  7. E. Thomas March 12, 2014 at 11:16 am - Reply

    I wrote about Wangan 5 end of last year, and now I HAVE to warn you about this disaster of a sequel. Namco has made several changes since last time I tried it out, now it handles like a totally new game, steering now feels very heavy and irresponsive (think first versions of NFS, you kinda “guide” your car in the right direction, but never really feel in full control, so you have to drive in the middle of the road…. no more going between the “yellow cars” and barrier)

    I am upset, disappointed, and did I mention upset? I’ve spend so much money having fun with previous versions of this game, becoming one with my 4 cars, and now its all for nothing – the same cars handles in a different way. And then theres the addition of the “extreme” mode – I guess kids will like it, as it will guarantee players to crash in every second corner.

    It lost the things I used to like the most about it.
    So tomorrow I’m gonna make a car for the new Initial D game. As for my Wangan IC cards, I will keep them in a drawer as a memory of good times that appears to be gone for good.

    RIP Wangan!

  8. MCFR April 2, 2014 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    The sadest part is the fastest times for the USA are in la and are close to world records. I possess all the American records myself and it’s sad to see that I can’t push my time attack even further to test it against the worlds best as I’m on only about .2 from the records on every course in dx+

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