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Double Dragon, River City Ransom IP now under new ownership

Guilty Gear series creator Arc System Works has acquired the IP catalog of defunct Japanese developer Technos, claiming ownership of Double Dragon, River City Ransom, and other classic games and franchises.

Previously under the control of licensing company Million Co, Ltd, Technos’ intellectual property is now exclusively a part of Arc System Works, giving the company the rights to develop, license, and distribute new games and sequels based on Technos franchises.

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Released in 1987, Technos’ Double Dragon established a template for what would become the beat-’em-up genre: a side-scrolling sequence of melee combat encounters, bolstered by a cooperative two-player mode. The genre played a large role in the arcade market’s growth in the late ’80s and early ’90s, leading up to the landmark release of Street Fighter II.

Double Dragon and its sequels have seen numerous remakes and spinoffs in recent years, including the WayForward-developed pastiche Double Dragon Neon for consoles and PC platforms. The series has also made appearances in compilation releases for PCs and mobile devices.

A home console port of Double Dragon was the first in a series of Technos-developed hits for the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System, which later hosted Technos standouts like River City Ransom, Super Dodge Ball, and Nintendo World Cup. The developer maintained a strong industry presence up through the Super NES era with games like Super Double Dragon and The Combatribes.

The deal additionally transfers IP ownership of arcade proto-brawler Renegade, PlayStation puzzler Geom Cube, and dozens of other Technos-developed releases across multiple platforms throughout the ’80s and ’90s.

Recently, publisher Hamster has released licensed PS4 ports of classic Technos arcade games under the “Arcade Archives” banner, including Double Dragon, Renegade and arcade wrestling sim Mat Mania: Exciting Hour. Arc System Works has not yet announced future release plans for its Technos properties.