CEO Minoru Kidooka wants to more actively pursue IP collaborations, especially those popular in the West.
Arc System Works creates some of the best fighting games in the business. From Dragon Ball FighterZ, to Guilty Gear Strive, to the recently released DNF Duel, there’s no shortage of great fighting games coming from the studio.
However, beyond recognizable titles like Dragon Ball FighterZ, the studio’s offerings are relatively niche when you travel outside of the hardcore fighting game audience, especially in the West. Arc System Works CEO Minoru Kidooka wants to change that.
At EVO 2022, IGN spoke with Kidooka, who said that in the past, Arc System Works had been very passive with regards to collaborating with other IPs, with IP holders being the ones coming to them with the offers for collaboration. Kidooka wants to change that attitude. Moving forward, Kidooka said the studio plans to be less passive in pursuing partnership opportunities. Specifically, Kidooka wants Arc System Works to create games that will resonate with western audiences. Whether that means licenses with global appeal like Dragon Ball or working with franchises that originated in the West remains to be seen.
“We need to expand fighting [game] communities through IP,” Kidooka told IGN. “In the future, if we have such an opportunity, we are actively pushing to collaborate with new IP owners.”
In the long run, Kidooka’s dream is to develop a new Arc System Works IP planned and developed in the US.
Beyond Dragon Ball, Arc System Works has collaborated with a number of different IP owners in the past, working on games featuring Granblue, Persona, One Piece, and more. But the next step for the studio could be partnering with companies to create new fighting games featuring characters with great western appeal.
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However, even with a widened focus on partnerships, Arc System Works isn’t leaving its original franchises behind. Guilty Gear Strive is still early in its life cycle, and as for BlazBlue?
“I have a plan,” said Kidooka. His first priority is expanding Guilty Gear Strive, but beyond that, he is also constantly thinking about the new generation of fighting games, and BlazBlue could be part of it. He also said that the BlazBlue IP has a lot of possiblities in genres other than fighting games as well.