Categories: Games News

Classic game publisher Sunsoft says it’s back and remaking its retro games

Game publisher Sunsoft, best known in the West for games from the 8-bit era like Blaster Master, Batmani Fester’s quest, is trying to get back into publishing and developing video games. On Thursday, the new Sunsoft — which technically never went away — laid out its plan to relaunch and revive its catalog of classic games, starting with Vampire survivors– inspired Ikki Unite and releases of beloved retro games Trick! i Ufouria (known as hebrew in Japan) for modern platforms.

Sunsoft is even hinting that it will bring back Aero the Acro-Bat, the anthropomorphic bat that appeared in a couple of Sega Genesis and Super NES games near the top of the console’s mascot platformer.

The publisher’s first game under the new plan, Ikki Uniteit’s kind of a sequel to twoan arcade game (later ported to Nintendo’s Famicom) about the uprising of a medieval Japanese farming village against its feudal lord. Ikki Unite will expand on the original single-player game with online multiplayer, and is unmistakably inspired by, if not directly copying, the 2021 blockbuster Vampire survivors.

Sunsoft CEO Yuichi Ochi told Polygon in an interview on Wednesday that Ikki Unite is being built upon vampire survivors game design and viral success to help find an audience for the Ikki brand, which he admitted lacks global awareness. (The Famicom port of two is famous for its poor quality and is said to be the basis of the derogatory phrase “kusoge” or “shit game” in Japan).

Only slightly better known than two they are Trick! (which saw a Scandinavian release) and hebrew (what features Metroid-like mechanics and was released in North America for the NES under the name Ufouria: The saga). But Sunsoft hopes to give these underdog games new levels of exposure by bringing them to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC via Steam and Xbox One.

Beyond that, there are many games developed and published by Sunsoft that were cult hits in Japan, but never made it to the West. Ochi hopes to revive as well. while Ikki Unite is being developed by Sunsoft internally, other titles are being developed with the help of external studios. Sunsoft is willing to work with smaller independent studios on games based on its IP, Ochi said: “Our strategy is very open.”

So why return to Sunsoft now, years after their last attempt at publishing games? Simply put, business is good for Sunsoft’s parent, Sun Corporation, and the electronics company wants to reinvest in making games, Ochi said. Ochi himself is relatively new to the company, having joined Sunsoft in July 2021, following stints at Capcom and other game companies in Japan and Taiwan.

But with a recognizable vintage name, a back catalog of under-exploited brands and now an official VTuber named Sunsoft Nosuke to deliver good news on games like Trick! for a global audience, Sunsoft proudly states that it is back.


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