Giant Bomb News

Arc System Works Buys Rights to Double Dragon, River City Ransom

Hey, what if the people who brought you Guilty Gear made a new Double Dragon? Or a new River City Ransom? Or Super Dodge Ball?

Hopefully more of this stuff starts coming to North America.
Hopefully more of this stuff starts coming to North America.

OK, let's start with the facts, get those out of the way, and then we can freak out and speculate a little bit.

Technos Japan is the company that brought you such hot, hot hits as the Double Dragon franchise and the Kunio-kun franchise. That, in case it isn't ringing any bells, is the Japanese franchise that came over here in such games as River City Ransom and Super Dodge Ball. They also developed Karate Champ, so in some way they're directly responsible for the fighting game genre. They're an important studio that has been long defunct. The rights to those games ended up with a company called Million, which licensed some of these games out here and there, leading to some interesting stuff... and some positively dreadful stuff.

Well, Million has dealt those properties--the entire Technos catalog, actually--to Arc System Works, the developers of the Guilty Gear franchise. When I consider how well Arc has done in the 2D space (even going so far as to make polygons look like sprites in Guilty Gear Xrd), the idea of these amazing franchises ending up there sounds like one of the best possible outcomes.

Looks like Arc actually published that last 3DS game. Huh!
Looks like Arc actually published that last 3DS game. Huh!

The quick and dirty page that Arc has in place to confirm the news makes it sound like they're going to put in work on a new Kunio-kun game, but that other franchises will be revived and licensed, as well. There's already been one Kunio-kun release this year, the samurai-themed Downtown Nekketsu Jidaigeki for the 3DS. Hey, maybe they'll localize that and put it out? I'd play that game.

Of course, one has to expect that another Double Dragon game will come out of this sooner or later. Maybe Arc will take its fighting game team and have them make something a little better than that weird Neo Geo game.

OK, I could sit here and speculate about things Arc might do with all of these franchises all day, but instead I'll just say that this seems like a great combination! Arc is certainly capable of making cool-looking 2D-like games and they just acquired the rights to some real classics. Now we'll just have to sit back and see what their next move will be.

Jeff Gerstmann on Google+