Keeping an eye on the coin-op gaming scene
In Edge 323’s Collected Works, Sega’s chief creative officer Toshihiro Nagoshi told us what it was like to work with Yu Suzuki during the company’s arcade heyday. Suzuki, Nagoshi explained, worked without design documents; he was, effectively, making it up as he went along. “He’s the kind of person that, if he wants to do more, cannot stop himself,” Nagoshi said of his work on Shenmue. “Someone must be there to do it for him.” Clearly Suzuki has no such calming influence these days. With a release date for Shenmue III now set in stone – stop laughing at the back – you might think Suzuki would be trying to avoid distractions. Instead, he’s making a VR game.
Vrsus is Suzuki’s first arcade project since 2008’s Lindberghpowered Sega Race TV, and is being made in partnership with Vres, an ambitious tech start-up with Sega connections (it’s being advised by Toshiya Tabata, who used to oversee Sega’s coin-op business). Vres’ business model is essentially a collection of buzzwords – its company name a portmanteau of virtual reality and esports, its strategy involving a cryptocurrency running on the blockchain – and it’s early days, with this one of two projects it took to Tokyo Game Show. As the name implies, Vrsus is a 1v1 VR esport that combines elements of CCP’s Sparc, Ready At Dawn’s Echo Arena, Switch’s Arms and your pick of bullethell shooters. If that mish-mash sounds like an overly hectic mess then, yes, well done – but far be it from us to question Suzuki’s arcade nous. If this means a delay to Shenmue III, though, we’re going to need to have words.
Game Vrsus Manufacturer Vres