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?
From what I hear it’s not DDR2015, but rather a localized version of 2014 (so basically just translating the menus and such into english)
That’s great tekken 7 coming to the US but how will it work? Will it be able to connect to their server from the US to Japan as that was what stop WMMT coming to the west altogether or don’t some machines retire to be online all the time?
Fantastic news. Round1 really have made dreams come true for arcade gamers outside of Asia. It’s interesting too that Pump It Up just launched in Japan on the 24th June for the first time. Everyone is getting new games to play. I bet there is lots of positive feedback for Tekken but without R1’s pressure Namco probably wouldnt have allowed it. So I doubt a universal release outside R1 is happening.
I’m very glad to hear both namco and konami is stepping up. Especially konami and thier dance dance revolution series. 2014 will brighten up the US, and could create a path for other bemani style games in the future.
The inclusion of Tekken 7 will give namco more of a reason to also being pokken over to the US as well. Unfortunately, it’s going to depend on location test, and if it isn’t good, then I don’t think we’ll ever see anything.
I wish companies would hold location test and special events in Florida. They make it hard to just travel across country and test out these games.