Tetsu Kayama, Sega's COO, talked about possibilities of an online Virtua Fighter game in an interview featured in this week's Japanese publication Famitsu.When asked about upcoming projects, Kayama commented, "I was thinking of an online game based on Virtua Fighter 4. This is just my personal idea, but I talked with Sega AM2 and they seemed interested. This will be different from Phantasy Star Online. I think it is a new concept and only we [Sega] can probably pull it off."
Also, on the subject of Sega titles being ported to the GameCube, Kayama said, "We'd like to fine-tune the GameCube version of Eternal Arcadia so that kids can also play. I think kids should have fun controlling the airship and shooting cannons. I think it is nonsense to directly port Virtua Fighter to the GameCube. For example, we can make it Virtua Fighter Kids to curtail to the lower age demographic. The game system and fun factor should not be changed so that these players can then move on to the next step with the actual Virtua Fighter."
Kayama also stressed Sega's plans to take different approaches for network games and stand-alone games for different consoles. For network games, the company will maintain its "open device" stance and will not focus on just one console. As for stand-alone games, the company doesn't intend to port the same title to multiple consoles. Each console will receive its own software lineup in accordance with its trends and age demographic.
Titles such as Sega GT 2002 (Xbox), Phantasy Star Online (GC), Virtua Fighter 4 (PS2), and Sakura Taisen 4 (DC) are expected to appear at the upcoming Sega Game Jam 2 event later this month. Sega AM2 also plans to unveil a new title at the event, though it is not yet known whether it is related to Virtua Fighter. We'll have coverage of the event from the show floor, so stay tuned.