In case it wasn’t apparent already, Round1USA in Puente Hills, CA has become the go-to place for Japanese game location tests in the US. While I have not heard how the games fared on test, the recent announcements that this post is about shows the interest in using the location for seeing how US players might handle some games that would otherwise only find distribution and localization outside of the US.
The most recent test held was for Arika’s The Grand Master 2015 and starting in July they will be the exclusive hosts of Bandai Namco’s Tekken 7 and later next month, Konami’s DDR 2014/2015. (off-site link to Round1’s Facebook announcement). Bemanistyle clarifies that the game is a US localized version of DDR 2014 but Round1 keeps referring to it as DDR 2015; they also have pointed out that this will feature Konami’s e-Amusement online features.
This is a surprise on both counts as in my discussions with Namco about it, Tekken 7 sounded like a pipe dream due to the very low-key arcade release of Tekken Tag 2 Unlimited (kit only and barely advertised) and in Konami’s case, they abandoned DDR and other arcade games outside of Japan a few years ago.
It is still unclear just who might pick up domestic manufacturing and distribution of these games if the tests are deemed successful but there being any chance of these games making it here beyond the rare import is better than nothing.
What are your thoughts about these developments?