On November 4, 2020 SEGA Sammy Holdings Inc. announced their withdrawal from the arcade operations business in Japan via sale to Tokyo-based arcade rental company Genda. The departure is largely due to the decline in the arcade industry, likely accelerated by the pandemic, and this transition is be completed by the end of calendar year. What does this mean for the future of Virtua Fighter?
The following Q&A from Famitsu with SEGA Sammy (translation via Google) sheds some light on how this withdrawal will likely play out:
And in terms of SEGA's future in arcades and gaming:
What does this mean for Virtua Fighter?
Will this decision ultimately hurt or hinder the future of Virtua Fighter? Well, a decision to exit the Arcade Operations business doesn't just happen overnight, so the recent Virtua Fighter x esports teaser -- the only indication that something is on the horizon for VF -- would most definitely have been done with that context in mind. The Famitsu article above confirms that SEGA will continue to develop arcade games, but will pivot more toward the growing sector of the home consumer market. So it's safe to safe that VF fans shouldn't sweat this.
So assuming there will be a new VF, will it still be an Arcade-first title, or will SEGA break tradition and either lead with, or simultaneously release, a console version? And what does Fog Gaming have to do with any of this?
Answers on the back of a postcard!