We’ve got some exA news for you today, starting with a personnel announcement.
Paul Jacobs is very well known in the industry, having worked for numerous amusement companies over the years including Data East, SNK, some distributors, and more recently Gold Standard Games/Shelti. His latest move has him joining exA-Arcadia as the “general manager of North American sales.” He was president of SNK USA back when that company launched the Neo Geo MVS, and where the exA is the modern successor to that, he is certainly a great fit. Replay has a couple of statements about it that you can read here
Now that it’s official, I can add that Paul reached out to me prior to joining the company where we discussed the company and system in detail [As a disclaimer, I do not work for exA, but since I’ve been one of the few covering it in detail and I’ve been operating one, he wanted to get my take on it]. He had really done his research on everything about it, seeing plenty of parallels with his time at SNK. His involvement will help beef up exA’s operations stateside, which until now has been strongly focused on Japan and other pockets of Asia with some exceptions. They do have some US staff, a couple of which I met with at CAX 2018, but I imagine that once trade shows can take place again, you’ll see Paul at the exA booth. More details on what the US arm of the company will be offering will be revealed soon.
On the game side of things, there’s some movement there too. The company opened pre-orders for two games yesterday morning: The highly anticipated DoDonPachi True Death Exa Label and the ultimate edition of a dragon shooter called Vritra Hexa. Both are shoot ’em ups, but one certainly has a huge name attached to it. DDP comes with the higher price tag, marking the highest cost on an exA game to date, but from what I heard about the reaction to testing in Tokyo, it’s going to pay itself off in no time flat. Vritra is a beautiful game that should scratch any Dragon Spirit itch that one has. Both games require firmware 1.3 or higher (contact exA if you need the upgrade), which I believe is part of the package that supports 4k and a few other under-the-hood improvements.