What’s Next For The SaGa Franchise?
The once notoriously niche SaGa series has experienced a renaissance thanks to the buzz around its more recent endeavors. In terms of Switch support, there have been a total of five titles – seven if you count the Collection of SaGa individually – released so far, and based on a recent interview with key members of the SaGa team (including father Akitoshi Kawazu himself) via RPG Site, we’re all but guaranteed more titles in the future, especially on the Switch.
According to the interview, both the Collection of SaGa and SaGa Frontier Remastered have exceeded sales expectations, with the latter performing exceptionally well and selling the majority of units on the Nintendo Switch. Obviously, we’re going to be getting more SaGa on the Switch, and probably everywhere else too.
So, what could be next for the SaGa franchise? We already know from reports earlier this year that a brand new SaGa game is in development, but no details were given about it. Unfortunately, speculating on a development cycle from historical data is pointless, since there was a massive 13-year gap between the last two dedicated console releases from the SaGa team – and that is also assuming that this new game isn’t being designed around the mobile market in the first place. I’m certain, however, that the console success they’ve experienced will – at the very least – keep those versions on the table. Regardless, this new SaGa entry – whatever it may be – is probably a long way out at this point.
That leaves us with ports, remakes, and remasters of existing titles. We already know the team is interested in getting SaGa Frontier 2, Romancing SaGa 1, and Unlimited SaGa into more hands. It is logical to assume that SaGa Frontier 2 may be a high priority considering how well SaGa Frontier Remastered has performed thus far – but there’s also a case to be made for Romancing SaGa 1, or its Minstrel Song counterpart from the Playstation 2. This is the only Romancing SaGa title that hasn’t been re-released in recent years, so it’s safe to assume that it is also a priority. As for Unlimited SaGa, well…even Kawazu admitted that the title would need some additional work to be presentable today. Whatever the case may be, we’ll likely be seeing SaGa Frontier 2 and/or Romancing SaGa 1 before Unlimited SaGa.
While re-releases of those three games would complete the SaGa circle on the Switch – in terms of console games, anyway – there are still several remakes (or maybe even certain mobile entries) that could potentially make their way to modern platforms. Notable entries include the aforementioned remake of Romancing SaGa 1, Minstrel Song, the Japanese-exclusive Wonderswan remake of The Final Fantasy Legend (Makai Toushi SaGa), and the two Japanese-exclusive DS remakes of Final Fantasy Legend II and III (SaGa 2 Hihō Densetsu: Goddess of Destiny and SaGa 3 Jikū no Hasha: Shadow or Light, respectively).
Since Romancing SaGa 1 (in some capacity) is basically guaranteed to be coming, let’s focus on the other releases. All three “Legend” remakes feature obvious quality-of-life advantages that are sure to appeal to fans and newcomers alike. As much as I enjoy the original Game Boy versions (I reviewed all three earlier this year), their decades-old design and trailing hardware limitations are certain to turn many players away almost immediately. The 3D overhauls of the II and III may not be for everyone (I’m a fan, personally), but at least I is inline with the original Game Boy design. Regardless, I’d LOVE for these remakes to get a second chance not only for my own enjoyment, but also for others that may have not, or will not give the original Game Boy games a chance.
Of these three, I’d imagine the Wonderswan remake would be the easiest to port. Since the other two were designed around the dual screens of the DS, those would likely fall under the category of Unlimited SaGa and might be possible, but would require more time in the oven. Let’s not rule out the possibility of the Game Boy games getting brand new remakes either, though I’d have to believe that porting the existing ones would make more sense at this point.
Who knows what SaGa we will end up with next? All I know is that I can’t wait. What do you think is coming next? What would you like to see? Let me know!