Sega turned down Dinosaur Games’ pitch to revitalize the Jet Set Radio franchise with a new game called Jet Set Radio Evolution. A proof of concept video was put together for the initial pitch after Sony showed interest in the game, but despite working with a small team of riggers, animators, and character artists to put together a neat little demo package, they were given a big fat “No” as the answer.
In the description of the YouTube video the developers state…
“We made this Visual Proof of Concept after Sony expressed interest in seeing the characters in motion at GDC 2017. We spent a week animating and building the city for this presentation which was ultimately turned down by Sega.
“This was the first step towards a gameplay demo. If Sega was interested we were going to invest in making a functioning prototype.”
You can see the two minute concept video below from the Dinosaur Games YouTube channel, showcasing characters like Beat, Gum and Rokkaku Robot from the original Jet Set Radio and Jet Set Radio Future.
The visual style of the game looks fantastic. The color contrasts and tonal mapping really stands out. It has its own stylistic flair unlike anything else on the market, save for maybe Gravity Rush but I think there’s definitely enough separation in the designs and shaders that gamers are likely not going to get the two games confused in any way.
The recreation of the demo city filled with signs and shops while having all the outrageous Tokyo-pop culture heightened up to 11 makes it look like it hasn’t missed a beat when it comes to recreating the music-filled atmosphere of the original outing of Jet Set Radio.
I’m amazed they managed to create those assets within the week because everything looks really, really polished.
Fans are obviously geeked about the possibility of a new Jet Set Radio game being in the works, but Sony and Sega aren’t on board.
For Sony it’s pretty obvious that they’re currently looking to focus on socially-aware games that seem to be trying to “say” something along the sociopolitical spectrum.
Sega, meanwhile, is doing whatever it is they do. One would think they would be interested in eager and ambitious dev studios working on their stockpile of IPs kept in their vault after seeing the success of something like Sonic Mania, which was handled by fans-turned-devs.
Of course, maybe Sega and Sony saw a character like Gum and realized that sexy females in games are no longer allowed in Western gaming and wimped out?
We just recently saw a huge brouhaha over PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds where Social Justice Warriors complained about what they perceived to be a camel toe on the female underwear model and had the developers change it because they claimed that wedgies hurt in real life. They also complained about the bras being too uncomfortable for the 3D characters.
If Dinosaur Games attempted to take on Jet Set Radio they would likely end up having their work scrutinized from top to bottom from the same kind of individuals, and trust me a character like Gum could not wear what she used to wear in the old games, or what they have her wearing in the 3D concept demo above.
Unfortunately, due to overt political correctness in today’s media, you not only have to be careful with how you portray women but also how you portray other cultures, how different characters with different skin colors are allowed to be portrayed, and whether or not Social Justice Warriors will “okay” your game based on whether they think it’s culturally appropriating another culture, which is what happened with Bravely Second, as reported by My Nintendo News. And even if it isn’t attacked for cultural appropriation, there’s the worry of it being labeled racist, sexist or transphobic in some way.
The best case scenario would be if Sega let them use the IP, a publisher like Devolver stepped in to help fund and distribute the game, and Dinosaur Games was allowed to work with a small budget on the title away from the public’s prying eyes and without the worry of social media inquisitions stepping in to hammer the game into oblivion before it even gets off the starting line.
Anyway, you can check out more artwork of Dinosaur Games’ take on Jet Set Evolution by visiting their page on Art Station.
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