The Future of Soulcalibur Is Riding on the Success of VI
For awhile, it looked like the Soulcalibur series may have been permanently shelved by Bandai [...]
For awhile, it looked like the Soulcalibur series may have been permanently shelved by Bandai Namco. But then at The Game Awards 2017, the publisher unveiled Soulcalibur VI, the sixth mainline entry in the series, and the 11th all together.
That said, its somewhat surprise revival after a six year dormancy may be the last time we see the series, at least for the foreseeable future. Why? Well, according to the game's producer – Motohiro Okubo – Bandai Namco won't be returning to the series if VI isn't successful.
According to Okubo, not only is the future of Soulcalibur clouded with uncertainty, the reason VI took so long is because it took time to convince Bandai Namco the series still had legs.
"The first thing is that the IP itself of the Soulcalibur franchise had low expectations from the company," said Okubo while speaking to DualShockers. "It was actually facing a crisis of maybe disappearing. It took time for me to convince the company."
Okubo continued by confirming, when asked if series' future was riding on the success of VI, that if the latest installment doesn't do well, Bandai Namco could kill it.
Okubo clarified that this revelation isn't to serve as any type of blackmail to buy the game, but the truth is it could be the last one.
The producer also noted that because the brand and series is in such crisis, it has actually allowed the team to pursue their vision for the game unrestricted, because, as Okubo puts it, there is "nothing to lose."
What's unclear is what Bandai Namco considers "successful." In other words, what are its internal expectations for the title, because if they are unreasonably high, then there is a good chance Soulcalibur is in trouble. The series has a cult-like following and a ton of history, but it unfortunately isn't a massive seller, and faces stiff competition in the fighting game space at the moment.
Further, Bandai Namco already possesses multiple fighting game series -- such as Tekken and Dragon Ball FighterZ -- so if Soulcalibur can't hit estimates, there's really no reason to keep it around.
Soulcalibur VI is poised to release on October 19 via the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Now, please excuse me while I go and pre-order two dozen copies.