Today’s release of Bayonetta appears to reaffirm SEGA’s commitment to bringing requested titles from its back catalogue to the PC. The company has practically said as much, including this statement in the Bayonetta press release: “SEGA continues to explore PC port options, and is looking forward to sharing more news soon.”
Not unequivocal, but a pretty solid indication that they want, and plan, to do more. With that in mind, where are SEGA likely to look for their next port project?
Shenmue / Shenmue 2: Rumblings about a Shenmue remaster or re-release have been around forever, but the case for a possible PC version of one or both of these games seems stronger than ever. Shenmue 3, the Kickstarted third entry in the series, has the PC as a launch platform (assuming it ever actually does launch). In early January, SEGA registered a number of Shenmue-related domain names. SEGA Europe have previously said they would “love” to do an HD remaster of Shenmue, but added that such a project would have complex licensing issues to resolve.
Without knowing the extent of those licensing problems, it’s difficult to estimate the likelihood of SEGA following through on their stated desires. But, based on the company’s new taste for PC ports, if an HD Shenmue were to happen it would almost certainly count the PC among its platforms.
Vanquish: Regularly included alongside titles like Bayonetta in hypothetical requests to SEGA, Vanquish feels like another natural candidate for a port. Like Bayonetta, it’s a PlatinumGames developed title – their take on the third-person cover shooter (which was basically to make it not about cover at all, but instead about crazy butt-slides). Since Vanquish was only ever released on the 360 and PS3 there are decent archival reasons for wanting a PC version too. Mostly, though, people just want to play the game at proper/absurd frame-rates and resolutions.
Yakuza series: Fully developed and published by SEGA so there shouldn’t be any awkward hurdles preventing a PC port (or ports). At least, in theory (aspects like licensed music can always throw up unexpected problems). Getting the whole series seems pretty unlikely, but there’s surely a chance that SEGA would test the reception for a Yakuza game on PC with one of the more recent releases. Yakuza 6 came out on the PS4 which is (reportedly) much easier to port from than the PS3, thanks to closer platform architecture. There’s always a home for offbeat, cult-ish releases on the PC, so I’m pretty confident a Yakuza release would justify its porting costs.
Skies of Arcadia: In an era where Trails in the Sky (soon, Trails of Cold Steel), Disgaea, and the Tales of series have all made their appearance on Steam like it’s no big deal, it makes sense to consider Skies of Arcadia as a prime candidate too. A proposed PC release at the game’s initial launch never came to fruition. Time, perhaps, for SEGA to make amends.
Virtua Fighter: Not a series I’ve played a whole lot, but Virtua Fighter 5 seems to crop up a lot when PC players are speculating about SEGA ports. That indicates a certain following, and fighting games tend to fare pretty well on PC. The first two games actually had Windows releases, so it wouldn’t be too crazy to get this series back on our platform.
Not Bayonetta 2: You might think this one would make sense, given that the Bayonetta just appeared. Unfortunately, the sequel was published by Nintendo (and, by most accounts, wouldn’t even have happened without that company’s involvement). While I’m not closely familiar with the rights distribution on Bayonetta 2, it wasn’t published by SEGA, so it’s not going to be up to them to try to wrangle any further versions out of the sequel.