Microsoft has a secret to show us this Thursday at The Game Awards and I’m hoping that the announcement is that they’ll be acquiring SEGA already.
Going back to the early 2000s after the unfortunately quick rise and fall of the Dreamcast in February of 2001, Sega went third party and one of the big manufacturers it hitched its wagon to was Microsoft and its newfangled Xbox console.
Microsoft threw some cash and marketing backing at SEGA and, in turn, SEGA was able to produce less-inspired but just as quirky follow-ups to original Dreamcast works with Shenmue II, Crazy Taxi 3, and Jet Set Radio Future on the original Xbox. They resurrected a franchise with Panzer Dragoon Orta and introduced a new series with Otogi: Myth of Demons.
Sega Sammy recently said that they’ve have to restructure due to COVID-19 woes and the rumors regarding Microsoft at The Game Awards is that they announce an acquisition. Might it be that we finally get the acquisition we’ve been been waiting for? Or, I should speak for myself…that I’ve been waiting for?
Microsoft showed willingness to drop a big reveal last year at The Game Awards when they introduced the Xbox Series X and an announcement of a Sega acquisition would be a great follow-up to that. They already said Halo Infinite isn’t getting a showcase or update, so why not give long-time fans of both companies something to cheer for?
Microsoft has Halo, Gears, and Forza as its tentpole franchise, but no reason to not go after some more as Sega is ripe for the pickin’. Especially after the 800lb Master Chief Gorilla seems to be so far and away.
Even if SEGA’s best days may be behind them at the moment, the company’s back catalog is still as rich as they come. The following are some examples of what they should bring back:
Skies of Arcadia’s sea-faring adventure — set in an open-world sky — proved a swashbuckling, misadventurin’ joy when all RPGs wanted was to delve into dark themes in the late 90s. I’d welcome a sequel to that.
A modernized Crazy Taxi with an Uber or Lyft veneer as you hit Supreme for the latest elusive drop or make a trip out for gourmet donuts? I’d take a dose of that.
And while I wouldn’t want to completely disregard JSRF, the seminal Jet Grind Radio deserves a true follow-up that would take advantage of all the HDRs and Dolby Atmos that the Xbox Series X can offer. Along with finally fixing the infuriating L-trigger set to both spray and reset the camera!
“Funky rhythm coming ‘atcha!”
They’ll even pick up the great Yakuza and Judgment franchises along the way — which, for all intents and purposes, are the real Shenmue sequels you’ve always wanted.
And, yeah…I guess another lesser-known “blue blur” franchise can tag along too.