It’s to to catch up on some news that has come out of Japan this week, all involving the beloved genre of fighting games.
Street Fighter V Finally Coming To Arcades
Street Fighter was always an arcade game first and console game second, but times and culture change, leading Capcom to give consoles the lead with Street Fighter V. Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono recently revealed that there will be a Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition coming to Japanese arcades next year, although we don’t know much more than that at the moment. The game will begin testing a week from now, so I imagine we’ll have a better idea then; otherwise it will play on a Vewlix cabinet and has a USB slot for allowing gamers to use their own gamepad or arcade stick if they so desire (kind of like Tekken 5 supporting PS2 controllers). I would assume that this will launch on Taito’s NESICAxLive 2 network, although given the information on what Sega is doing below, perhaps it will be on Sega’s new system. Either way, the reach of these games outside of Japan will be limited.
SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy AC Launching On Oct. 11th
But before we get to that, a quick note that SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy Arcade has been given a release date (for Japan). This is a title that is currently available on Nintendo Switch & the PlayStation 4, with some minor changes being made to the AC version by what I can ascertain. (Trailer might be slightly NSFW)
Sega Announces ALL.NET+ Multi Ver. 3 With Dead Or Alive 6 & Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2
Speaking of digital distribution networks like NESICA 2, Sega has had their own network to speak of called ALL.NET P-ras Multi (better to translate the “P-ras” as “Plus”). It has not enjoyed quite as much content as Taito’s solution, but both systems have created a place for fighting games to call home. This new edition is the 3rd iteration for ALL.NET and like NESICA 2, is apparently focusing on fighting games. As such, Sega is coming out swinging with two big titles: Dead or Alive 6 and Guilty Gear Xrd Rev. 2 (ok, three – Puyo Puyo eSports will also be available through the new platform). All.NET+ Multi 3 comes with a USB port for supporting gamepads & arcade sticks (which is why I wonder if SFV could be headed here). It also has a touchscreen for the main panel, allowing users more options than you might be used to finding with an arcade machine, such as managing online real-time match-ups.
For Dead Or Alive, the series has seen action in arcades more in Japan than it has in the States, with a variety of console variations further promoting the brand. Very little information on DOA6 Arcade has been unveiled at the moment, but you can visit the official game site here. Here is the console release date trailer:
Guilty Gear Xrd Rev. 2 received some secret location testing in Japan back on September 15th-16th. This is another case of a game being available on consoles previously, it is unknown what might change for the arcade version, apart from the ability to play online against an opponent. Release date on this and DOA6 have yet to be announced.
One thing that isn’t mentioned in any of the online info about these (or ALL.NET+ Multi 3) is the operator revenue share. When I attended CAX2018, the owner of Mikado (a big, successful arcade in Japan) held a panel where he discussed the challenges of succeeding with a location in modern Japan, as systems like NESICA and ALL.NET force revenue shares on operators, taking a chunk of their earnings with each play.
This practice has lead to the development of Exa-Arcadia board that has been mentioned on the site multiple times; I’ve been excited about that as it means that many of the games we hear about as limited just to Japan can finally make their way here. By the information I’ve been hearing, ALL.NET+ Multi 3 is a response to the upcoming Exa, so it should be quite interesting to see how this all shakes out next year. Exa will be launching in November and worldwide; I also know it will have some big name fighting games on it as well, although when those will be announced/available is unknown. I do know that Round1USA is able to offer NESICA at it’s locations, meaning that some titles are available in a limited way; I’m not sure if ALL.NET+ is there.
Either way, 2019 is shaping up to be quite the year for non-racing/light-gun games on the arcade market. What are you hoping to see the most?
DOA6 looks good, because fighting places are embedded in a complex scenario. That’s something new to me.