Fighting games have been receiving a second wind as of late. Sure, the genre did get a kickstart in 2009 with Street Fighter IV. But as much as the genre has grown since then, signs of stagnation were present. Fast-forward to now, and we have a new entry in the Guilty Gear and The King of Fighters series, as well as another Street Fighter on the horizon. And now, a new Japan Fighting Game Publishers Roundtable is coming next week. It brings together the heads of numerous fighting game developers to discuss the genre at present, and may provide glimpses into where it’s headed.
Developers had to find a different way to get their message out following the pandemic. The Japan Fighting Game Publishers Roundtable was a way for the various companies involved to push their latest products, discuss developments in the genre, and even hint towards the future. Plus, it was just cool seeing people like Katsuhiro Harada, Akira Nishitani, and others all coming together to talk. The third Roundtable is scheduled for Monday, Match 21 at 15:00 JST, or 2 AM EST.
Fingers crossed for more Virtua Fighter
The roundtable is scheduled to last for two and a half hours and feature some familiar faces. Akira Nishitani representing Arika, the developer of Fighting EX Layer, is first on the guest list. Nishitani is followed by Osamu Matsumoto, the producer of Street Fighter V, and SNK’s Yasuyuki Oda (who we recently interviewed), the producer of The King of Fighters XV. Arc Systems Works’ Akira Katano, the director of Guilty Gear Strive, is present, as is Daisuke Ishiwatari, the general director of the Guilty Gear franchise. Finally we have Katsuhiro Harada, the series producer of Tekken from Bandai Namco, and, the most surprising addition to the roster, Moriji Aoki from Sega.
Aoki is the producer of the recent, and evidently very successful, Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown. While I doubt his appearance means anything drastic will be announced like, rollback netcode for Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown, or Virtua Fighter 6 (as much as myself and others wish that were the case), it will be interesting to hear what he has to say. You can catch the stream on both the Arc System Works official Twitch channel, as well as the Virtua Fighter official YouTube page. Hopefully the fact that it’s being streamed on the Virtua Fighter YouTube channel is a good sign, because I would love to be wrong.