At the Tokyo Game Show, Sega announced (translation courtesy of Segabits) that they have acquired Technosoft’s video game IPs and discussed some of their plans for making use of the new IPs, with Thunder Force III getting top billing. The Thunder Force IP isn’t the only one Sega acquired, though it is the most well-known IP that Technosoft had.
A quick list of Technosoft’s biggest IP brings up the fact that it was largely popular in Japan and that its glory days were back in the 16 bit era, in particular on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. Here is a quick look at some of their most notable ones:
- Thunder Force: A side-scrolling shoot ’em up that has had 6 main entries starting in 1983, with the most recent being a PlayStation 2 release in 2008
- Herzog: This series is best known for its entry in 1989 called Herzog Zwei, which is considered to be the world’s first real-time strategy game and was cited by Dune II as one of their influences
- Plazma Line: A first-person space racing game released in 1984. Its claim to fame is being the first computer game with 3D polygon graphics.
- Elemental Master: A top-down shoot ’em up for the Genesis/Mega Drive released in 1990 that got rated over 9 out of 10 by several critics
Despite these groundbreaking titles and other releases, in 2001 Technosoft would get bought by pachinko maker Twenty-One in 2001. It appeared there was a brief revival attempt in the mid-200s with technosoft.com being created and the release of Thunder Force VI on the PlayStation 2 in 2008 in Japan. However, nothing else appeared to come of it, although Thunder Force VI development was led by Sega employee Tetsu Okano, which may have paved the way for this acquisition.
Additionally, at the Tokyo Game Show, Sega announced that Thunder Force III will be part of the new SEGA 3D Archives 3: Final Stage joining Sonic The Hedgehog 2, After Burner II, Super Hang-On, Bare Knuckle II (better known as Streets of Rage 2), Gunstar Heroes, and Turbo Outrun. While Sega 3D Archives 3: Final Stage hasn’t been announced for the West, it is possible that it will be just like the second SEGA 3D Archives was, under the title of Sega 3D Classics Collection. These titles are full reprogrammings of the games for the Nintendo 3DS and not just emulation as many re-releases are and make use of the 3DS’ stereoscopic 3D as well.
Additionally, during the SEGA 3D Archives stage show, Sega revealed that they are looking into reprinting Thunder Force IV, V, and Herzog Zweig. Whether those would come to the West as reprints is tough to say.