It’s been ten years since the murder mystery visual novel westerners know as Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc launched on the PlayStation Portable in 2010, and Spike Chunsoft has plans to celebrate with monthly broadcasts that will bring news of new merchandise, collaborations, and apparently, new game information, as well.
Spike Chunsoft broke the news on the official Danganronpa Twitter, and while the announcement is in Japanese, Gematsu’s translation says that the first of these broadcasts will be next month, with more information on what we can expect to come next week on April 18 at the Famitsu and Dengeki Game Awards 2019.
— ダンガンロンパ公式 (@dangan_official) April 9, 2020
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So, there’s a lot to speculate about what this could all mean, so I think it’s worth breaking down every specific thing the announcement says it will be discussing in the coming months.
For merchandise, I would expect to see maybe some commemorative Monokuma plushies, or perhaps some limited edition statues of some fan-favorite characters that would have this nice Danganronpa 10th Anniversary logo pictured above on the packaging. The series as a whole has a pretty hefty merchandising push, especially over in Japan. While I’m good on the Monokuma plush, and have a pretty nice statue of my favorite character, I’d be down to buy some limited edition statues if they’re in celebration of the series’ anniversary.
Collaborations, especially in the Japanese games market, typically refers to crossover events in games that feature characters from one property appearing in another. Danganronpa has already been the subject of several of these over the past ten years, like playable characters and music being made available in Crypt of the Necrodancer and characters appearing as cards in Sengoku Asuka ZERO. So it’s not out of the question for some of Spike Chunsoft’s characters to be showing up in other games throughout 2020.
But then, there’s the game announcements we’re going to be getting out of this. To be optimistic, I think there’s a pretty strong chance we’ll hear news of a Nintendo Switch port of these games, as there was even an Amazon Japan listing for a Switch version of the Danganronpa Trilogy last year. Should that happen, I think it would be probably the best place to play these games, as they really lend themselves to handhelds. I would say, despite them having been ported to PC and PlayStation 4, the PlayStation Vita versions of the Danganronpa visual novels are the best versions of those games for that reason, specifically. Putting them on Switch just seems like a no-brainer to me.
However, we have to also consider that this means a brand new Danganronpa game could also be announced this year. Back in December, Spike Chunsoft put out job listings that seemed to imply there is a new game set in this universe in the works, despite Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony using a complex meta narrative to essentially end the franchise so it wouldn’t be run into the ground. It’s worth noting that Kazutaka Kodaka, who acted as the writer of the series, no longer works at Spike Chunsoft, so that game may ultimately just be a footnote on the series’ legacy as the original creator’s final word on the matter before peacing out to form Too Kyo Games. So what Spike Chunsoft plans to do with that game’s message, if anything, is unclear at this point.
I’m excited at the prospect of a celebration of a series I hold very close to my heart, but I’m not looking forward to seeing what Frankensteined version of Danganronpa Spike Chunsoft might be working on without Kodaka. We’ll have to wait and see what the company has to show us when these broadcasts begin next month.