Arc System Works CEO thinks IP will determine the future of fighting games

Arc Systems CEO Minoru Kidooka argues that more games based on other beloved franchises will help the fighting game genre thrive.

During this weekend's EVO 2022, Minoru Kidooka, CEO of Guilty Gear Strive developer Arc System Works, spoke to IGN about the future of fighting games. The next generation of fighting games is always on his mind, he said, and building that future will involve the company pursuing intellectual properties to develop games for on a more active basis. 

Kidooka talked about how in the past, games such as 2018's Dragon Ball FighterZ were conceived when an IP holder approached the studio. Going forward, he wants it to be more of the other way around. "We need to expand fighting game communities through IP," he said. "In the future, if we have such an opportunity, we are actively pushing to collaborate with new IP owners."

Major licensors such as Sony, Disney and Warner Bros. have made a bigger push lately to partner with game developers to make major big budget games based on their biggest properties. They've also worked with live service game developers to build smaller scale crossovers that can drive in-game spending. Fortnite adds characters from properties like Street Fighter and Star Wars on a frequent basis, and Microsoft's Sea of Thieves recently had an in-game campaign themed after Pirates of the Caribbean. 

With licensed games and characters becoming a bigger trend, Arc wants to make an actual effort to get in on the market, and Kidooka expressed an interest in licenses with large western audiences.

In 2018, Arc's BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle included characters from Rooster Teeth's RWBY, and the studio is co-developing RWBY: Arrowfell with developer WayForward. 

As far as its own original properties is concerned, Arc announced a new season of DLC characters for Guilty Gear Strive at EVO. Kidooka also teased that he has ideas for BlazBlue to expand beyond another fighting game. 

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