Will there be a Virtua Fighter 6? Sega executive talks series’ future

is virtua fighter back

Sega is bringing back many of its classic franchises, and there are hints that Virtua Fighter might finally make a comeback.

Virtua Fighter has been on a long hiatus. The latest franchise installment, Virtua Fighter 5, was released in 2006. While the game has had plenty of remasters, re-releases, and ports since then, a new game for the modern era has yet to arrive. It’s quite bizarre given the game’s esteemed history and how the overall fighting game genre is enjoying a boom thanks to Street Fighter 6, Mortal Kombat 1, and Guilty Gear Strive.

Virtua Fighter was the first ever 3D fighting game, preceding the first Tekken by about a year. It’s a franchise that commands strong respect among veteran fighting game players, but before long there will be adults who haven’t had a game in the series released during their lifetime. The closest thing fans have had to Virtua Fighter 6 was the guest characters in Dead or Alive 5, but that might not be the case for much longer.

Is Virtua Fighter 6 confirmed?

Virtua Fighter 6 is not confirmed to be in development, but it’s being discussed by Sega.

SEGA made a statement during The Game Awards 2023 by confirming new games for five of its iconic properties. Jet Set Radio, Crazy Taxi, Golden Age, Shinobi, and Streets of Rage are all confirmed to be getting new games. Each of these titles is long in history, but small in current fanbase and industry-wide visibility.

The same can be said for Virtua Fighter as well. Although the series hasn’t had any new games in the last decade and a half, fans are still pining for a sequel. SEGA promises that it wants to revive even more classic properties, and Virtua Fighter was acknowledged by Sega of America’s CEO Shuji Utsumi as a series that could use an overhaul.

It’s unclear how far along these plans might be, or what sort of position Sega might be in to execute on them. Regardless, the series hasn’t been forgotten about and doesn’t seem to be dead.

Virtua Fighter has a steep learning curve and a more grounded approach to its combat. The series was also handicapped by Sega’s emphasis on arcades and the failures of the Saturn and Dreamcast consoles.

Virtua Fighter was first released at a very specific point in history, when Sega was releasing various “Virtua” games that boasted 3D graphics and aimed at being more realistic than competitors for arcades and its comparatively powerful gaming consoles. Alongside this were titles like Virtua Tennis and Virtua Racing.

Following that theme, the series has traditionally been more realistic than the likes of Tekken, Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat. Though fighters have eccentric designs, the games don’t have fire balls or extended juggles. Although Virtua Fighter continued to refine its deep style of combat, it lacked the memorable characters and iconic imagery of its competitors.

Even so, the series has a continued presence in the competitive fighting game scene. EVO Japan 2023 included Virtua Fighter 5 in its roster of games, with a respectable prize pot of ¥1,000,000 or, roughly $7,500. The big question is whether Sega can remain rooted in the series’ style while making it appeal to a broader audience.

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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