One arcade game that always draws a lot of questions is Bandai Namco’s Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune (WMMT) series. As a technical skill-based racer, it has quite a few fans all around the world. In the USA, WMMT3DX+ can be found here and there, which was an upgrade to the Western released WMMT3 but with 4 and now 5, the question has remained as to whether those will be available in the West.
Bandai Namco Japan has officially launched the “International Version” of the game, which uses English in the software. With this new International site also showing up, I have received questions about when the game will be out in the US.
I did some checking around and so far this looks to be the same situation as WMMT4 when that got an international release – Bandai Namco has put units into distribution areas like Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia but is not officially commenting on units elsewhere. The US and Europe did receive some test units of WMMT4 but as of this time, there is no indication that Bandai Namco Amusements America/Europe will be carrying the game for distribution; there are no announcements from BNAA about WMMT5 and no distributor I have checked with has indicated that they have heard anything either.
So at the end of the day what does this mean? It falls upon importing – either a distributor that thinks that they can move some units imports some in or an operator/owner tries the same thing for their location. With Round1USA growing and importing games like Initial D8 then I imagine that means they are a likely source to find it and then maybe a few others. After importing costs are settled, you are looking at a very hefty price tag to get a set so that limits the potential market in these instances. I’m not 100% sure what the costs are to do this for the US but I know that for places like the UK which have very high import taxes/duties, a $10k game like WMMT is probably going to cost a little more than 2 times that amount once you’ve paid those mandated fees and freight.
If the situation changes then we will be certain to report it.