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Sunsoft Is Back to Remind Fans of Its NES Glory Days

After a long period out of the public eye in North America, Sunsoft is returning to publish three new games based on its classic games catalogue. They include Ikki Unite, a multiplayer co-op roguelike; the return of Gimmick, a classic NES platformer; and Ufouria, a metroidvania expected to hit consoles in 2023.

The releases are part of a new strategy by Sunsoft, which will see it lean on its large catalogue of classic games to capitalize on the popularity of retro gaming.

“The revival of original game porting to game consoles is a big part of our strategy,” Sunsoft general manager Yuichi Ochi tells IGN. “We have a plan to bring our original title to current consoles, two or three titles a year.”

The most notable of them is Ikki Unite, a new game based on the kusoge or “crap game” that once sold more than 500,000 units in Japan. Sunsoft is also releasing a port of Gimmick on Switch, PS4, and Steam later this year, with a Ufouria port to follow in 2023.

First established in the 1970s, Sunsoft found fame on the NES thanks to classics like Blaster Master, Spy Hunter, and Batman. Sunsoft’s games were known for their excellent graphics and high-quality soundtracks, which took advantage of the NES’ sound chip in unique ways.

Sunsoft was successful until the mid-1990s, when its parent company, Sun Corporation, abruptly went bankrupt after reportedly losing millions of dollars in a golf course investment. Sunsoft eventually closed all of its offices in North America and Europe, though it continues to develop and publish RPGs, pachinko games, and mobile titles in Japan.

In making a renewed push in the west, Sunsoft hopes to lean into its nostalgic appeal. However, Ochi says that the company also plans to develop new IP.

“I think for me, the original titles are not enough. We will have new IP, brand new titles, in the future,” Ochi says.

Sunsoft isn’t the only retro company digging into its history. Atari is likewise attempting to make a comeback by pivoting toward retro-styled updates like Gravitar: Recharged and Kombinera, the latter of which is its first new game in years.

Ochi, meanwhile, says that the new push behind Sunsoft’s game division is a “big part” of Sun Corporation’s strategy going forward, meaning this could be just the beginning. We’ll be able to see for ourselves when Ikki Unite’s closed beta launch on Steam “soon.”

Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.