Former Dance Dance Revolution designer Naoki Maeda celebrated his birthday yesterday and took the opportunity to thank his fans on Facebook while sharing this nugget about his latest arcade project for Capcom, Crossbeats. REV (which we have discussed on AH previously):
Today is my birthday. Also support thank you this year! !! By the way, crossbeatsREV. will be released this summer, crossbeatsREV.Might be able to play in the United States！！ Please have expected!
Capcom hasn’t had an official arcade presence in the US since 2001. Konami gave up here after DDRX2, keeping their remaining rhythm titles in Japanese distribution territories. That hasn’t stopped imports here but very few locations have jumped on that bandwagon for Konami content (and after the news yesterday, they aren’t doing so hot; delisting themselves from the NYSE means they are probably getting out of gaming here in the US). More Japanese companies have been jumping into rhythm games lately – Sega, Namco and Capcom but those efforts have been limited. For rhythm arcade games here, we’ve had Andamiro keeping Pump It Up alive, Raw Thrills gave Guitar Hero a shot a few years back, otherwise the scene has been kept alive by indie developers like Step Evolution (ReRave series) and Unit-E Technologies (Neon FM).
As for speculation on how Crossbeats REV will find its way into testing here, I imagine it could be done like other rhythm game imports have been done in the past, with a location on the West Coast importing one. That would still leave the question up in the air about who would manufacture/distribute it here, if the game proves strong on test. Andamiro is busy promoting and selling PIU PRIME so I’m not sure if they would be interested in a product like that to compete. If Sega, Namco or even Wahlap was going to bring a rhythm game to the US, they would most likely try it with one of their existing overseas titles. Raw Thrills hasn’t shown interest in anything rhythm based after GH. Chances of another manufacturer that hasn’t touched rhythm games getting started with it (GlobalVR, Incredible Technologies) are extremely low.
This may or may not be related but Kyle Ward, known for ITG and the current head of Step Evolution that has stated that in May he would be going to Japan and wanted to know how people felt about ITG making a comeback. If Konami is pulling out of the gaming business then who knows how that will leave things but I saw this post yesterday from Kyle and one has to wonder about the timing and whether or not Step Evolution might be the vehicle for bringing Crossbeats REV. into the US. I did reach out to Kyle for comment and will update this post if there is something that can be said. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Kyle says that he is not involved with Crossbeats at all. So the plot thickens…
What are your thoughts on the possibility of Crossbeats REV possibly landing in the US?