Arc System Works Acquires Rights to Double Dragon, River City Ransom and More
All Games Beta reports that Arc System Works' official Japanese website announced that the company has acquired the property rights to a group of classic franchises from Million Co, Ltd. These franchises, including the Double Dragon, Super Dodge Ball, River City Ransom and Kunio-Kun series, have remained relatively dormant, minus the few remakes and reboots the Double Dragon series has had over the past 15 years.
Arc System Works is primarily known for its work on the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue fighting game franchises, but the company has done a variety of other 2D fighting games with anime-esque visuals, including Persona 4 Arena and the upcoming Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden. Surprisingly, Arc System Works previously worked on the Double Dragon series back in 1988 for the Sega Master System port of the original game.
These video game franchises, mostly referred to as the "Kunio-Kun" series, were all developed under Technos Japan from 1981-1996. Super Dodge Ball, Renegade and River City Ransom were actually parts of the Kunio-Kun series but were given different names for their Western localizations. After going bankrupt in 1996 (mainly due to the arcade failures of WWF Wrestlefest, Combatribes and Shadow Force), Million purchased most of Technos Japan's intellectual properties. Since acquiring Technos Japan's franchises, Million did not do much with them other than a few ports to modern systems and handhelds, most of which never debuted in the West. In 2012, Arc System Works published Double Dragon Neon, which was another reboot of the original game. Million had no involvement in its development.
Here's to hoping Arc System Works does more with these franchises than their previous owners.