While the following bit of news isn’t really related to any fighting game per se, the person involved has become such an influential part of the fighting game community that we just couldn’t pass this up. Daigo “the Beast” Umehara recently made an appearance at a Square-Enix press conference where he was introduced as an “official supporter” of their upcoming mutliplayer arcade shooter Gunslinger Stratos.
Gunslinger Stratos is a multiplayer arcade shooter by Square-Enix. The gameplay seems to be a cross between light-gun and 3rd person shooter. Players will be able to fight against other players in arcades throughout Japan over the internet. Players can access their characters in different arcades via NESiCA IC cards. Square has already announced a nationwide arcade tournament for the game and made mention of a cash prize.
Daigo had the following to say about the game:
I don’t know all the details yet, but at a glance I feel that this game will become the heart of the arcade—that’s how big of an impact it had on me.
For both people who often went to arcades back in the day and people who are thinking of going to arcades, there maybe hasn’t really been a really good reason to go back, but I think this game could become that good reason.
As for the cash prize in the tournament:
It changes your motivation for playing depending on whether or not there is a tournament, so I’ve been thinking it would be cool to have this sort of competition domestically as well.
Referring to that fact that cash prizes (and sponsorships) aren’t a big part of the tournament scene in Japan.
Daigo made no mention of whether or not this will affect his fighting game career.
UPDATE: Here’s some footage of gameplay from the game’s trailer. Thanks to AnaboliChris for the tip.