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Katsuhiro Harada says Bandai Namco will not release a new fighting game in 2020

Which is not that surprising I guess

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • December 28, 2019 at 6:33 a.m. PST • Comments: 50

With less than a week left in the entire decade, the video gaming industry is looking forward to the next 10 years starting with 2020 and the next generation of consoles in the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

As has been tradition in Japan for quite some time now, publications like Famitsu and 4Gamer interviewed some of the biggest developers, producers and directors of the Japanese scene including one quite relevant to the fighting game community, Bandai Namco's Katsuhiro Harada.

Like the rest of the developers included in the year-end roundup, Harada was asked about his favorite games, movies and media of 2019 along with a look forward to what they have in store for 2020.

The Tekken boss revealed to 4Gamer that he was surprised by Apex Legends specifically partially for releasing out of nowhere and shared his admiration of the marketing director of the Joker movie from this year.

For fighting game fans, however, Harada also apparently dashed the hopes of us seeing a new title releasing from Bandai Namco in 2020.

"In 2020, titles that we have prepared, as well as still unannounced titles will certainly release. (No, not fighting games)," said Harada to 4Gamer as translated by Gematsu. "But personally, I want to get ready to work on something new and big, I want to dive in again… making games is truly fun."

Some fans with a better memory than me did remember, however, that Bandai Namco will be releasing One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows and My Hero One's Justice 2 in 2020... so either Harada didn't think about them because they're licensed titles (and he works in original IP) or he doesn't really consider them fighting games.

While that may be a bit disappointing on the surface, his statement makes sense considering Tekken 7 and Soul Calibur 6 will be running on their own world tours next year plus SC6 and Dragon Ball FighterZ are still less than two years old at this point.

Bandai Namco's fighting games have pretty much all proven to be quite successful this generation between those three aforementioned titles, and at least two of them still have announced season pass plans for 2020.

Harada also recently brought up Tekken X Street Fighter once again to say that he doesn't see now to be the right time to make the crossover game with both Tekken 7 and Street Fighter 5 currently performing well. He did still put out feelers to the community though to ask if the FGC was indeed still interested in the project coming to fruition at some point.

The longtime Tekken producer and director was more recently promoted within the company to focus on producing Bandai Namco's original IP as a general manager with Michael Murray taking over responsibilities as producer of the now 25-year-old series.

Tekken 7 still has Fahkumram coming in 2020 as the last character of the third season pass while Soul Calibur 6 will see Samurai Shodown's Haohmaru join the 3D realm alongside the rest of its second season pass.

While nothing has been officially revealed yet, evidence is also mounting that Dragon Ball FighterZ may also receive a third year of new content following its world tour finals in early 2020.

Even without a new Bandai Namco fighting game in 2020, the FGC will still have its hands quite full with the dozen or so titles still being supported plus some big launches like Granblue Fantasy: Versus and Guilty Gear Strive on the horizon as well.

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