Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Jul 192023

Remember a year ago when we got our hopes up unreasonably for a potential collection of the original .hack games, only for them to be dashed?

(“Last Recollection” turned out to be a Sword Art Online game.)

Well, .hack hopes are in the air once again – not because of any rumors, but because the developers would like to see it return as much as the fans would.

For a quick explanation if you’re unfamiliar with the series, .hack began with four games developed by CyberConnect2 for the PlayStation 2 set in a fictional MMORPG.

These four games are .hack//Infection, .hack//Mutation, .hack//Outbreak, and .hack//Quarantine. This is why you might sometimes see the original quadrilogy referred to as IMOQ, taking the first letter of each title.

The original four games were followed by an actual MMORPG adaptation in Japan, an anime series, manga, novel tie-ins, and other additions to the franchise, and eventually a sequel trilogy for the PlayStation 2 called .hack//G.U., along with even more spin-offs and tie-ins.

So while conversations about the series often focus on IMOQ and GU, there’s been a lot of .hack media over the years.

Anyway, 2017 saw the release of a remastered collection of the sequel trilogy, .hack//G.U. Last Recode, which also added a short fourth volume. The original four games, however, remain stranded on the PS2 without any ports or remasters in sight.

I played .hack//G.U. thanks to the Last Recode collection, and I enjoyed it! Although some parts were repetitive, the story was interesting enough to keep me invested. It came with a recap of the first four games that I watched, but I’d love to have a chance to play them.

In a recent interview with Noisy Pixel, the Vice President of CyberConnect 2 said they would love to bring back or remake the original .hack quadrilogy, but can’t do so without Bandai Namco’s permission. They “urge the readers to fire away all the requests to them so that we can get the green light from them to work on those titles.”

This has led to a new wave of fans tweeting with the hashtag #dothack and petitioning Bandai Namco in the hopes that the series will return.

Fan movements are nothing new – some of my earliest blog posts here are about trying to get Capcom to localize Ace Attorney Investigations 2 (which I still haven’t given up on) – but it’s less common for it to happen at the developer’s request. If enough .hack fans make their voices heard, maybe we’ll see the a .hack quadrilogy collection or even a brand-new .hack series after all!

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