Sega Temporarily Halts Sales of A Certain Magical Virtual-On; Highly Likely It’ll Come Back Bundled With Twin Sticks
Sega will temporarily remove Toaru Majutsu no Virtual-On from sale in Japan. no particular reason was given out, but one theory is highly likely.
On March 20, Sega announced on Toaru Majutsu no Virtual-On ‘s official site that shipments and digital sales for the game will temporarily come to a halt starting March 21, 2019. Sega kept quiet about why they took this decision besides stating there are “circumstances” behind it. The statement also indicates that this decision won’t affect the upcoming but still not dated PS4 releases of the three Virtual-On games: Virtual On: Cyber Troopers, Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram ver 5.66, and Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Forces. This decision won’t affect the upcoming release of the PS4 compatible Twin Sticks by Tanita either.
Players who already own the game can still play together online. Players who already bought the game digitally can still download it as well.
Toaru Majutsu no Virtual-On released on PS4 and PlayStation Vita on February 15, 2018, exclusively in Japan. The game is a crossover between the Virtual-On franchise, which pretty much inspired every 3D battle arena game ever, and the A Certain Magical Index franchise.
A Certain Magical Index is originally a novel by Kazuma Kamachi and has multiple anime, manga adaptations, and spinoffs such as A Certain Scientific Railgun. Despite the popularity of both franchises, I don’t think the game performed that well in Japan. I think it had to do with the lack of PS4 Twin Sticks, and how fans of one franchise weren’t necessarily interested in the other, and thus didn’t feel any appeal in this crossover.
Back when the first Virtual-On released on arcade and later got ported to Sega Saturn, Sega released along with it Saturn compatible Twin Sticks to give out fans a similar experience to the arcade version. Personally speaking, I think most longtime fans of Virtual-On pretty much don’t feel like playing Virtual-On without those sticks, and Sega knows that. Soon after Toaru Majutsu no Virtual-On, a crowdfunding project to produce PS4 Twin Stick controllers was launched by Tanita in June 2018, but it ended in failure. A few hours before the announcement of the Virtual-On games coming to PS4, the crowdfunding was revived by Tanita, and a few hours after the announcement, the crowdfunding reached its goal.
None of the staff or seiyuu participating in any Index-related anime got recently busted with cocaine either; Taking all of this into consideration, it’ll highly likely Sega will rerelease Toaru Majutsu no Virtual-On at the same time as Tanita releases the PS4 compatible Twin Sticks, perhaps as a bundle.
Toaru Majutsu no Virtual-On was initially a spinoff crossover novel released in May 2016 in Japan, and the novel was then made into a game. Characters and mecha units from A Certain Magical Virtual-On also appeared in the Super Robot Wars X-Ω mobile game for a limited time event.
In any case, Sega should tell us more soon.