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New Virtua Fighter for PS4 leaked by game rating

Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown may be Sega’s new esports-focused fighter

Akira poses in a screenshot from Virtua Fighter 5
Akira from the most recent entry in the franchise, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown
Image: Sega
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

A recent rating for an unannounced Virtua Fighter game could point to an imminent revival of Sega’s fighting game series. In March, Korea’s Game Rating and Administration Committee rated Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown for PlayStation 4, a release that could be linked to Sega’s esports ambitions.

According to the rating, spotted by Gematsu, Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown is also known by another name: Virtua Fighter esports. Back in September, Sega teased a project named “Virtua Fighter × esports,” but did not announce a specific game title or platform. Sega said at the time that Virtua Fighter “will be restarted as an esports title to commemorate the 60th anniversary of SEGA’s establishment.” A teaser video for the project showed footage of Virtua Fighter tournaments and ended with a shot of Akira, the face of the fighting game franchise.

Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown would be the (somewhat) logical follow-up to the most recent entry in the franchise: Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown. That version of the game was released in arcades in 2010, and ported to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2012.

In February, Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada teased that he wanted a representative from Sega to come on the next episode of the Japan Fighting Game Publishers Roundtable, a panel show on YouTube that has featured developers from Capcom, Bandai Namco, Arc System Works, SNK, and Arika. Harada did not explain why he specifically wanted Sega to appear, but he may have insight into the publisher’s fighting game plans. The organizers of the Japan Fighting Game Publishers Roundtable have not announced a date for the stream’s third episode.