It has been a rough decade for fans of Sega’s trademark fighting game series, Virtua Fighter. There hasn’t been a new game in the series in 12 years, making a new entry in the franchise an inside joke similar to the one for Darkstalkers (which isn’t funny by the way. Now excuse me while I cry into a pillow…). In fact, the only way to play the game on modern consoles is inside games in the Yakuza series. That’s right — you can only play this game inside of another game. That has gotta hurt.
But there is a tiny glimmer of hope for fans. While it isn’t anything concrete, Sega Games Japan had the trademark for the Virtua Fighter logo renewed in the US for coin-operated and arcade game use. Although companies will often renew trademarks for long dead franchises, whether anything new is in development or not, simply to keep the trademark alive. See, again, the Darkstalkers series.
In addition, Sega has filed a trademark for something called “Battle Genesis,” also for coin-operated and arcade game use. There has been no word from Sega on what “Battle Genesis” could mean, but it is worth noting that these were both filed at the same time. Sega has seen an uptick in arcade-related ventures, including bringing back the House of the Dead series with a brand new game made for arcades called House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn. If Sega really is interested in reviving their arcade-centric titles, Virtua Fighter is the next logical step. We can only hope it isn’t for some new pachinko-based nightmare, as fans of Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill can attest to.
I myself am a big fan of the series and nothing would make me happier than to see a proper Virtua Fighter 6, not just having VF characters show up in Dead or Alive, despite how cool that turned out. Maybe having poster boy Akira showing up in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as an assist trophy will bring the franchise back to the forefront of player’s minds. Here’s hoping…