After a two year absence, Panzer Dragoon creator Yukio Futatsugi appeared on Twitter to mark the series’ 25th anniversary and comment on the VR title Panzer Dragoon: Voyage Record, which was announced on March 10, 2020.
Futatsugi clarified that he is not involved with either the upcoming VR game or the remake of Panzer Dragoon coming to PCs and Nintendo Switch later in 2020. That said, he said wishes the best for both projects to succeed.
Futatsugi has long talked about remaking the Panzer Dragoon series. While he isn’t directly involved with either project–as Voyage Record is being developed by Wildman in Japan and Panzer Dragoon is being remade by Forever Entertainment in Poland–it seems that Futatsugi and art director Kentaro Yoshida played an early build of the remake and gave some feedback, according to a Sega Bits interview.
As for the upcoming VR game that relives iconic scenes from across the entire Panzer Dragoon trilogy, a bit more information has been revealed by Wildman CEO and founder Haruto Watanabe on Twitter. Firstly, Wildman is not only the developer of the game, but also the publisher, meaning that, in a sense, this game is an indie game. Content wise, Watanabe said that due to only having limited resources, he’ll be picking and choosing the scenes that will be recreated, so essentially ]they will be completely subject to his personal biases.
The 3D model used in the screenshot was created by digitally scanning a garage kit of the dragon, which was inspired by the official manual for the game. The sky textures shown in the screenshot are from ++skies, which provides CG-generated hi-res panoramic textures.
As for Wildman itself, the company was founded by Watanabe in 2018, but he has quite a history with VR production and is a superfan of the Panzer Dragoon series. He was previously a VR Engineer Specialist at Gumi, and was one of the people who invested heavily into Oculus Rift’s Kickstarter back in 2012.
Back in 2014, a short clip what a prototype for what Panzer Dragoon could look like in VR was posted by him onto Youtube:
Additionally, Watanabe was the one who sunk his own money into developing a VR fan game for the series, titled The Gunner of Dragoon:
Here is a second 2018 video from Tokyo Sandbox.
The Gunner of Dragoon won the BitSummit Serendipity Award and Unity VR Expo Akiba Players Choice Award in 2016. That said, now that Wildman is making an officially licensed VR game with scenes from all three games, it seems that The Gunner of Dragoon development will be halted or shut down. (It also uses ++skies textures, if you want to see how the upcoming VR game might look.)
Panzer Dragoon: Voyage Record will launch for VR headsets sometime in the 2020 Japanese Fiscal Year, which lasts until March 2021.