In January this year, Data West announced that they were getting back into the video game industry. Back in the late ’80s to ’90s, Data West developed a multitude of rail shooters, shoot ’em ups, and visual novel adventure games, as well as action RPG Brave Prove. However, they left the industry in the late ’90s, and have focused on developing car navigation systems since then.
In particular, their visual novel adventure games have been cult classics especially in Japan, where they would release for PC-98, FM Towns, and other such Japanese PCs alongside Windows PC. Some of their popular series include The 4th Unit series, and the Psychic Detective series. A young Ishii Jirou would work on a game named Imitation City while part-timing at Data West, and would later go on to create his own visual novel adventures with 428: Shibuya Scramble and Time Travelers.
In a newly published interview by DenFamiNicoGamer, a Data West representative explains just why they are coming back to the games industry in the year 2020, 20+ years since they left it. Apparently, things just fell into place, and there were employees in the company who were fans of their games, and so there has been an increase in staff who wish to conclude series that never got a proper ending.
Currently, Data West wants to make a sequel in The 4th Unit series, but because it’s so beloved by its core fans, they’re hoping to have fans participate in some form in the making of the sequel, so that they won’t create a game that sullies the series for them. Additionally, they’re thinking of remakes and brand-new games as well. More info in this regard will be announced as things progress.
Finally, Data West is considering digital rereleases of their games, although it’ll be limited to Windows PCs only.