Back in December, Taxi Chaos was announced for a wide range of systems, including the Switch. Clearly inspired by Sega's legendary Crazy Taxi, the game involves picking up passengers and dropping them at various locations around a sprawling city, with the aim to do so in the fastest time possible so you score the most points.
The game's uncanny resemblance to Crazy Taxi – a franchise which has been dormant on consoles for years – didn't go unnoticed, but the original PR for the game issued in December last year stated that Sega was involved – the company was listed as distributing the game in Asian markets, which suggested that it was OK with the release:
The American retail version will be published and distributed by GS2 Games, the European retail version by Mindscape, and The Japanese and other Asian versions will be published by Epicsoft and distributed by SEGA®.
However, we've been contacted by Sega (on Taxi Chaos' launch day, no less), and the company is keen to stress that it is in no way involved with Taxi Chaos' release or distribution in any market:
A game resembling SEGA’s Crazy Taxi is currently being promoted by an external company. As inaccurately reported in some news, this title and its publisher and developer have no official or unofficial support from SEGA CORPORATION and its international divisions. We are currently investigating this situation. SEGA places great value on our heritage and will ceaselessly protect our intellectual property. We are also continuously assessing all opportunities to remake/reimagine our universes and bring them to the public as innovative and high-quality experiences.
Interestingly, that statement appears to suggest that Sega is looking into ways to bring Crazy Taxi back to the market. The last title to feature the name was Crazy Taxi Tycoon on smartphones, which arrived in 2017.
Furthermore, the launch day PR blast for Taxi Chaos includes the following text, which is very similar to the statement made in December but with one key omission – Sega's name is missing:
The American retail version will be published and distributed by publisher GS2 Games, the European retail version by Mindscape, while the Asian digital and retail versions are published by goGame and distributed by Epicsoft Asia.
Was Sega involved initially, or did the PR behind that initial email pop its name in to create a bit of easy publicity for the game? We've approached them for comment and will update this story as it develops.
Our review for Taxi Chaos goes live later on today, so keep an eye out for it.