Outside Mario Tennis, there’s a real lack of decent “real” tennis games in the market and Virtua Tennis 3 to this day is arguably the best one that’s ever been made.
Now obviously the biggest (and probably only) hurdle will be the ATP License. It’s hard to know how retired players are covered in this licensing agreement. Luckily some of the players in VT3 are still playing today.
But licensing issues have been worked out before and obviously both the Publisher and Developer(s) are still around so there shouldn’t be issues there.
Even if they could find a way to make the availability of the game timed, for say 2-3 months to give people a chance to buy it digitally I feel like it would be a big deal for Tennis game fans and give the platform the best tennis game on the market as an exclusive.
I’m guessing there’s a good reason why you didn’t state VT4, but I’m only very familiar with 1 and a bit of 2 and I’ll just trust your judgement there.
Would a VT5 that straight up mimics the gameplay of 3 with next gen visuals make sense? I feel like it’s perfect for Gamepass as an exclusive as it’s a game that can be revisited over and over again when friends are over for some local multiplayer.
Also, the gaming world has changed over the last 10 years (when Virtua Tennis 4 came out) and I think a VT game that is completely free that is also…
eSports friendly: Playing ranked and unranked, skill-based match making, regular online tournies, etc. can add so much to the desirability of this game among competitive gamers.
streaming friendly: adding features like having Twitch audience interactivity where they can cheer or jeer through hashtags, add extreme elements in Arcade modes a la IDARB (like ice, or wind, or turn the ball into a beach ball), and have other players commentating could make it more stream friendly.
customization-friendly: personalization is huge in modern games. Creating your own character and unlocking customizations allows players to show themselves off while playing online. Want to wear a cowboy hat in a business suit while wearing LED sunglasses and Sonic’s sneakers? This sort of stuff also lends itself to my next point…
microtransaction-friendly: haha I know people will hate this but if I can play as Akira Yuki, Kazuma Kiryu, or Axel from Crazy Taxi, I will pay for it and I’m sure many would too. Different backgrounds centered around SEGA’s history or real life stadiums, could be popular as well. This is where you can add real life licensed players as skins. Having cheer emotes after you win a rally, or a match, could be good too.
season-friendly: having all of the above as unlockables through seasons where you can earn this stuff though XP. The point of a season is to provide a lot of value so this needs to be done right. Well, all MTX needs to be done right. $2 skins and $1 emotes makes more sense than what you see in current BR games.
There’s a lot of opportunity in making the game look and feel impressive with advanced animations, naturalmotion tech (licensed tech used in GTA among other games), cloth physics, etc.
I’ve hidden the details because I don’t want to derail the thread with potential sequel talk, but I did want to drive (pun intended) the point that this series still holds potential.
I’d accept Sega Superstars Tennis as a substitute because the Tennis physics in that game are fantastic and some of the mini games like Puyo Puyo and Space Harrier are a hoot. Xbox would probably clean up a few of the framerate issues as well. Though I’m biased on wanting to see it back because I used to hold a lot of online leaderboard records in that game. I think the Virtua Cop one I tripled the current score in one marathon two hour session till I got sick of it and failed out, held the record for about two months and got a “WTF How did you manage that?” from Sega QA.