SEGA announces plans to mine old IPs: Golden Axe, Shinobi, Streets of Rage, Crazy Taxi and more

By Todd Russell Dec9,2023

At the Game Awards 2023 show that I haven’t followed or paid much attention to comes news of SEGA dropping a teaser video for “here’s what we’re working on” showing updated versions of some of their classic game IPs from the Dreamcast era:

The games they advertise in the video are: Golden Axe, Shinobi, Crazy Taxi, Streets of Rage and Jet Set Radio “… and more” — the last part being potentially the most intriguing, because the Dreamcast is a system that has been viewed more positively historically than it was at launch.

In fact, the Dreamcast was the last hardware SEGA ever produced. It followed the Sega Saturn, which was notoriously a console difficult to develope games for but has some really fun games.

Part of this “news” is a bit obvious. I mean,really, SEGA has been mining their IPs forever. Um, Sonic? Yes, they’ve had a bunch of Sonic games come out since the days that blazing fast blue hedgehog squared off against Mario. Two games in 2023: Sonic Frontiers (steam) and Sonic Superstars (Launching October 17, 2023: Sonic Superstars).

Streets of Rage? In April 2020, Streets of Rage 4 was released on Steam by Dotemu, which did the excellent TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge. So, this isn’t exactly an abandoned or forgotten IP. Search “Streets of Rage” on Steam.

At the top of this post is a picture for the Steam collection featuring the Dreamcast Bundle that SEGA sells on Steam here:

This might give us an idea of some other possible updates. Crazy Taxi, Shinobi and Jet Set Radio do not have any modern updates, but it makes sense.

At the end, this news while encouraging isn’t really that surprising. And it sort of misses out on highlighting what they’ve been doing all along: releasing modern games mined from their existing IPs, just like what Nintendo has done and continues to do.

The newsworthy difference seems to be the return four years ago of current Sega CEO Shuji Utsumi:

Utsumi says that he initiated the strategy that led to all these new games after he returned to Sega four years ago, and it makes sense – after all, he aided in the launch of both the original PlayStation and the Dreamcast years ago. It seems that Sega’s aim is to recapture that spirit for a more modern audience.

… Utsumi believes Sega’s weirder concepts might have a more receptive audience in the modern era. “The concept of games like Jet Set Radio is advanced. The original creators are involved again, and its time is now. It’s a good time where people can appreciate all kinds of concepts.”

After 24 years, Sega wants to go back to the energy of the Dreamcast era, and it’s about damn time | GamesRadar+

Apparently, SEGA is also looking into Virtua Fighter and trying to decide if they could provide a modern update. Guess we’ll get more excited when, not if, they come up with actual release dates for any of this stuff.

Nights Into Dreams had a sequel, but it wasn’t as good as the original. What about Altered Beast? Columns for puzzle fans? List some Sega games you’d like to see updates in the comments.

Are you excited about any of the older Sega IPs being updated with a modern version? Atari has been doing this with their Recharged series, albeit on a lower budget scale than Sega likely would with their IPs. This is good news, but it’s all tempered by we won’t know how good these games will be until they get here.

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