With production of Atlus' Persona 4 Arena all wrapped up and ready to ship for consoles this week in America, Arc System Works is ready to get back to their own star franchise. BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma has been announced through Famitsu, and the third installment in the popular fighting series will be hitting arcades in Japan this winter.

The fighting game specialists had been hitting an annual groove with BlazBlue before its developing studio had taken a break to work on other projects. BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, the last original game in the series, was released in 2009, but it has only seen handheld ports and updated editions since, as is tradition with fighting titles.

BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasm will add three new characters to the roster, Amane Nishiki, Bullet, and Azareal. Arc System Works has always put a heavy emphasis on character design, and fans of the series often point to the unique character designs as their main reason for enjoying it.

Seen as a spiritual successor to Arc System Work's previous franchise, Guilty Gear, BlazBlue has generated an unexpectedly strong following able to contend with traditional fighters on the market. The original, BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, was released the same year as Street Fighter IV and it actually beat its rival for "Best Fighting game of 2008" in several publications.

No American console release date has been confirmed yet, but every other game has found its way over to the states so far, so it's very likely this one will too. Also, be sure to check out Persona 4 Arena when it launches this week.

[via Joystiq]