Virtua Fighter 3 & Crazy Taxi from Sega almost came to Nintendo 64

Sega of America president Bernie Stolar had plans to bring Sega games Virtua Fighter 3 & Crazy Taxi to Nintendo 64 via Acclaim ports Greg Fischbach James Mielke

Anyone who knows anything about the history of video games is bound to be confused by that headline, so let’s jump right in. Via Nintendo Life, video game journalism veteran and current Limited Run Games producer James Mielke has revealed that former Sega of America president Bernie Stolar briefly had plans to bring the Sega games Virtua Fighter 3 and Crazy Taxi to Nintendo 64 — through a contract with (now defunct) publisher Acclaim no less!

This occurred back in 2000, when Dreamcast was struggling and Sega was quietly deciding to exit the hardware business. (Sega would formally announce its exit on January 31, 2001.) Thinking ahead, former president Stolar apparently went to Acclaim CEO Greg Fischbach to structure a deal to put Sega games on other platforms, ultimately landing on a contract to have Acclaim port Virtua Fighter 3 and Crazy Taxi to Nintendo 64. Stolar apparently did not seek approval from Sega of Japan for the deal, and it is believed that Sega of Japan strongly vetoed the whole idea when it became aware. Also, there is the fact that Virtua Fighter 3 and Crazy Taxi were tech-flaunting arcade and Dreamcast games, and there is no way they could have possibly been ported to Nintendo 64 without severe technical compromises.

However, according to Mielke, the contract between Sega and Acclaim had already been signed, so Sega was forced to break the contract to some extent. Seemingly as an act of appeasement, the Sega games 18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker and F355 Challenge ultimately ended up being ported by Activision though. It’s certainly no Virtua Fighter 3 and Crazy Taxi on Nintendo 64, but it’s something.

All of this information comes from a source within Acclaim and another source at Sega of America that Mielke had at the time. Apparently, the only reason why it was never fully reported on back in 2000 is that his boss at his employer at the time, GameSpot, oddly would not run the story unless he specifically identified his sources in the article. Mielke refused, since it would have endangered their jobs. But bizarre, fascinating news like this is better later than never.

Can you imagine what Sega games like Virtua Fighter 3 and Crazy Taxi would have looked like on Nintendo 64?

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John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming, Managing Editor at The Escapist. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea. And I'm developing the game Boss Saga!