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It’s (still) thinking: SEGA eyeing reboots to Dreamcast era hits Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, Space Channel 5

By Benjamin Bullard
Getty Images SEGA Dreamcast

The SEGA Dreamcast’s turn-of-the-century demise may not necessarily have been the end of some of the iconic game franchises that went defunct when SEGA’s final home console did. In the wake of the company’s latest investor notes, reports are swirling that Dreamcast gaming greats like Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, and several more could soon see current-gen reboots — a move that would no doubt tap more than two decades’ worth of pent-up fan nostalgia.

SEGA’s recent financial presentation (viewable via SEGASammy) features a slide in which the company lays out a possible road map for future “Utilization of IP Assets,” including dormant game franchises that haven’t seen significant releases since the Dreamcast left the console market in 2001. It’s a ripe-for-revival list for sure, zeroing in on 12 game titles that look like a warp-speed drive down Crazy Taxi memory lane.

In addition to Crazy Taxi, the following throwback game names also appear on SEGA’s potential-reboot checklist: Jet Set Radio, Space Channel 5, Rez, Panzer Dragoon, NiGHTS, Shinobi, Virtua Fighter, Altered Beast, House of the Dead, Streets of Rage, and Soul Hackers.

As for what SEGA might do with all those sleeping old-school giants, a handy directional arrow on the financial slide points to three possible scenarios: converting the originals to HD via straight remaster, remaking the games to feature the “significant addition of new features while maintaining gameplay of the original game,” or — and this is the most ambitious one by far — rebooting the franchises entirely to “reconstruct…a new game while maintaining look and feel of the world of the IP.”

In addition to cracking open its retro gaming vault, SEGA also is eyeing what it’s describing as the “creation of [a] super game” as a “priority” piece of its profit-making puzzle over the next five years. There’s no early information on what SEGA’s “super game” might be, though the report suggests the goal would be to release it by 2026. The report also mentions a separate “new FPS title at European Studio,” which IGN and other gaming media speculate might point to the untitled, little-known sci-fi shooter that SEGA developer Creative Assembly (the same studio behind Alien: Isolation and the Total War franchise) recently teased as an upcoming “ambitious multiplayer” release.

Whatever plans SEGA may have to bring its trove of retro classics into the modern gaming era, they won’t happen at the expense of Sonic, Persona, Yakuza, and Phantasy Star — big-name SEGA franchises that never fell by the wayside. Instead, the report suggests that the company recognizes the abiding affection its Dreamcast library inspires in fans both old and new…and that it’s aiming to cram them all in the cab for what could be a crash course in gaming history, as Crazy Taxi and its Dreamcast pals find new homes in the current-gen present.

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