After a long hiatus in North America, Sunsoft returns to release three new games based on its catalog of classic games. They include Ikki Unite, a multiplayer co-op roguelike; the return of Gimmick, a classic NES platformer; and Ufouria, a metroidvania expected to hit consoles in 2023.
The releases are part of a new strategy from Sunsoft, drawing on its large catalog of classic games to capitalize on the popularity of retro gaming.
“The revival of porting original games to game consoles is a big part of our strategy,” Sunsoft general manager Yuichi Ochi told IGN. “We have a plan to bring our original title to current consoles, two or three titles a year.”
The most notable of these is Ikki Unite, a new game based on the kusoge or “crap game” that once sold over 500,000 units in Japan. Sunsoft will also release a port of Gimmick on Switch, PS4, and Steam later this year, with a Ufouria port in 2023.
Sunsoft’s First Three Games – Gallery
Sunsoft was first founded in the 1970s and became famous on the NES thanks to classics like Blaster Master, Spy Hunter and Batman. Sunsoft’s games were known for excellent graphics and high-quality soundtracks, which took advantage of the NES’ sound chip in unique ways.
Sunsoft was successful until the mid-1990s, when its parent company, Sun Corporation, went bankrupt after it reportedly lost millions of dollars on a golf course investment. Sunsoft eventually closed all of its offices in North America and Europe, though it continues to develop and publish RPGs, pachinko games, and mobile titles in Japan.
Making another push west, Sunsoft hopes to lean on its nostalgic appeal. However, Ochi says the company plans to develop new IP as well.
“I think the original titles are not enough for me. We will have new IP in the future, brand new titles,” says Ochi.
Sunsoft isn’t the only retro company to delve into its history. Atari is also trying to make a comeback by turning to retro-style updates like Gravitar: Recharged and Kombinera, the latter of which is the first new game in years.
Ochi, meanwhile, says the new impetus behind Sunsoft’s gaming division is a “big part” of Sun Corporation’s future strategy, meaning it could just be the beginning. We’ll be able to see for ourselves when Ikki Unite’s closed beta launches “soon” on Steam.
Kat Bailey is Senior News Editor at IGN and co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Do you have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.
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