It’s always interesting to see how a success story can shape a company’s future business practices. SEGA just recently launched a port of the PSP exclusive Persona 4 Golden on Steam. This was a huge surprise, as it was the first time the franchise has left the realm of PlayStation. Luckily, this paid off for them in record time. It is now Steam’s most-played non-MMO JRPG. As a fan of the franchise, this was fantastic to see, as it could entice SEGA to release ports of older entries. I never had a chance to play the third installment and always was hoping to get a chance to do so. Sadly, the game is not available where I live and some used copies can fetch a price of up to €250.
Luckily, this gamble paid off so well that SEGA has confirmed this notion moving forward. In a recent investor Q&A, they confirmed that they plan on broadening their approach to porting past releases. That means not only through Steam but also through other platforms. This could indicate that dormant franchises could finally make a return. We already have seen the first steps of this strategy. In a recent Nintendo Direct Mini, they announced a remaster of the cult classic Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne for the Switch. This is a perfect opportunity to potentially reignite interest for new entries in these franchises.
A personal hope would be to see the return of Skies of Arcadia Legends. It was one of the best-reviewed games on the Dreamcast but it sadly under-performed on a dying console. While it did get an expanded port to the GameCube, the dwindling interest in JRPGs at the time sadly disheartened any further development. Even the creator has been vocally pushing for the franchise’s return. Persona 4 Golden‘s success proved that there is a noticeable market for this genre once again. If a port of this game could draw in an audience, there is a chance we could see this franchise make a return after almost 20 years. This is just one example of what SEGA could accomplish with this strategy and am looking forward to what the future will bring.