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Are Sega being forgotten?

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Ted909, Jan 18, 2022.

  1. doc eggfan

    doc eggfan

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    I think perhaps the question is "Is Sega's output from the 80s, 90s and early 200s being forgotten" and to a large extent this is due to licensing issues. We all know the issues with Sonic 3, but a lot of iconic Sega output is tied up in licensing hell. Want to re-release Daytona? Need to check whether we're still allowed to call it "Daytona". Want to re-release OutRun, we'll need to check with Ferrari. Want to re-release Sega Rally? Toyota and Lancia might need to be involved. Wouldn't it be nice to finally get some home ports of Star Wars Arcade Trilogy or Jurassic Park Lost World, oops sorry, need to renew the license. Want to play the remake of Castle of Illusion? you'll have to pirate it because our license ran out. Want to play Crazy Taxi? Not with the original soundtrack, sorry.

    A large chunk of Sega's back catalogue is just not immediately accessible, and is really only available through piracy, which is a crying shame.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2022
  2. Yash

    Yash

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    The fact that these never happened on Dreamcast is ridiculous to this day, tbh.
     
  3. Ted909

    Ted909

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    Lost World was, at the very least, planned to get an expanded home version on the Dreamcast, but that seems to have lagged behind projected development targets (it was supposed to be out and released by early 2000) and was unsurprisingly confirmed as cancelled by 2001.

    As far as we currently know Star Wars Trilogy Arcade was indeed not even considered, however I do wonder whether shelling out for the rights to use not just Jurassic Park but SW again in the midst of continually worsening financial difficulties was among Sega's bigger priorities at that time.
     
  4. Deathscythe

    Deathscythe

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    From The Magic Box archieves:

    [​IMG]

    (If you're wondering why Sonic 3 & Knuckles sales are so low, the sales start from 1995 and those games came out in 1994)

    It seems Sega's biggest hit series in Japan was Virtua Fighter, but even that got dethroned by Tekken. Sad because I much prefer Viruta Fighter. Where as in the US, their biggest hits were Sonic (still a big title today) and NFL (which died when EA bought the licence)

    Sadly, it just never seems like Sega really had much success in their homeland. If you look at this 1996 Japanese sales chart, right before the FF7 knocked the Saturn out of the market, you can see the highest ranked Sega game is NiGHTS into Dreams....at #21.

    Some people say Sega dominates arcades, but according to this list of highest grossing arcade games Sega isn't even in the list. Maybe it is different in Japan? For what is worth, from my own personal experience, a lot of people seem to know House of the Dead.
     
  5. Gryson

    Gryson

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    I would caution you to be really careful with trusting any sales numbers, since the data is just not very accurate (especially for comparing across decades). I would stick with the sales charts from Game Machine and such.

    If you want examples of how Sega dominated arcades in Japan, there are many. Take a look at Game Machine's Top 15 Best-Selling Dedicated Arcade Cabinet chart for Japan 1995:

    1995 Best-Selling Dedicated Arcade Cabinets in Japan
    1. Virtua Cop (Sega)
    2. Virtua Fighter 2 (DX) (Sega)
    3. Ace Driver (Namco)
    4. Daytona USA (2P) (Sega)
    5. Sega Rally (2P) (Sega)
    6. Sports Fishing (Sega)
    7. Daytona USA (DX) (Sega)
    8. Point Blank (Namco)
    9. Final Lap R (Namco)
    10. Quiz Doremifa GP (Konami)
    11. Sega Rally (DX) (Sega)
    12. Out Runners (Sega)
    13. Ridge Racer 2 (Namco)
    14. Lethal Enforcers (Konami)
    15. Wing War (Sega)

    9 out of 15. Not bad.

    https://onitama.tv/gamemachine/pdf/19960201p.pdf#page=12
     
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  6. Deathscythe

    Deathscythe

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    I'll give you that, and I'm glad to see Sega was doing well in arcades back then.

    On the consumer side though. All sources I've seen have the Saturn as Sega's best selling system in Japan, and it only ever is the Virtua Fighter games crossing over a million. Some people say Sakura Wars was a killer app, and it did get a lot of multimedia, but it only ever seems to be in the 500-600k range.
     
  7. Gryson

    Gryson

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    It's more complicated than total sales, though (and, by the way, take those reported sales numbers with a grain of salt--none of that is officially reported and the sources are not clear).

    The Saturn did really well in Japan during its first two years. It reportedly outsold the PlayStation by 300k during the 1995 holiday season. Demand was much higher, too, and it was often sold out. Of course, a lot of this was due to the arcade ports (especially Virtua Fighter) that Sega was publishing on the Saturn. So, during those first two years, I'd say that the Saturn and Sega's first-party games were very prominent in the minds of users. After Square announced that they were publishing on the PlayStation, though, it was game-over for the Saturn. The Saturn's modern legacy comes from its first two strong years, though, and that's why people consider it successful in Japan--but in the grand scheme of lifetime sales numbers, it pales in comparison to what the PlayStation ultimately achieved.

    To put it another way: sales numbers aren't always the best way to determine how recognizable or prominent something was, or how strong its legacy is. I think it's wildly inaccurate to say "Sadly, it just never seems like Sega really had much success in their homeland." From personal experience, I can say that more than a few non-gamer Japanese people who were alive in 1995 remember the Saturn, Virtua Fighter, and Segata Sanshiro TV commercials when I mention Sega, but almost none know what the Mega Drive is (despite the lifetime sales numbers of those consoles not being that far apart). As for people who actually went to the arcades in 1995? Sega was huge.
     
  8. Deathscythe

    Deathscythe

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    Yeah, I did mention that it wasn't until FF7 that Sony really pulled ahead. I guess you are right that sales aren't everything. For example, Sakura Wars had a TV Show, manga, movie and musicals. Can't really say something made no impact when it has that much multimedia. Plus it is one of my favourite games ever so I can't diss it, lol. Dunno what else in that era made an impact besides Model 2 ports and Sakura. Maybe Evangelion?

    Won't ever deny anyone who went to an arcade in Japan was aware of Sega. I did see the anime "Hi Score Girl" recently which was about the arcade scene in Japan during that era and a lot of Sega promient in it. Maybe "Sadly, it just never seems like Sega really had much success in their homeland." is a highly inaccurate statement, but being from a country where the Master System and Mega Drive were popular, it does seem like quite a contrast. Arcade and Saturn are exception though.

    I am in the UK. Sonic was huge here and pretty much debuted TV gaming to the British public. Mega Drive was popular for its sports games and the Master System was sold as a cheaper version of the Mega Drive. Once Sony showed up, a lot of the FIFA crowd on the Mega Drive went to Sony because it had 1.) more of a marketing budget 2.) more distribution 3.) was believed to be the most powerful system.

    There was some noteworthy stuff for the Saturn in the UK. Tomb Raider showed up there first, and I still remember the bundle with Lara Croft on the box. Sega Rally was the fastest selling CD game at the time. The first ever Euros game was on the Saturn, and the Worldwide Soccer games were memorable for getting actual UK celebrities commentating. Sonic R was made here too, the only real 3D Sonic game on the system and got some noticeable attention in Western pop culture when it was featured in Malcolm in the Middle.

    As for modern Sega. Well Sonic is definitly still very famous in the UK, due to the strength of mobile games and the movie. I've even been to family friendly pubs that have a Master System or Mega Drive and you will see kids playing Sonic. Plus Sega owns a lot of UK PC studios. Football Manager is an insanely famous game. So from a UK perspective, no I don't think Sega is forgotten.
     
  9. Ted909

    Ted909

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    UK was arguably where Sega had its biggest presence in arcades outside of Japan in the 1990s too; multiple distributors including the wholly owned Deith Leisure, and a chain of arcades loosely based on the Sega World/Park concept that was originally a success domestically in suburban areas. France/Spain/a few other countries got them too but we had the most overall.

    One could point towards SegaWorld London and the eventual failure that turned out to be as emblematic of their diminishing western fortunes post-1995, but that was more to do with what turned out to be quite shoddy management more than wider problems with Sega as a brand and arcades - it was in an entertainment complex with one of the biggest tourist footfalls in the world, the place ideally should have printed money.
     
  10. Deathscythe

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    I was actually at Club Arcade in Leeds today which had an entire section dedicated to Sega driving games. Love it.

    Another great moment for Sega in the UK was when they sponsered Arsenal:

    [​IMG]

    That is massive brand exposure. Really a shame Sega didn't produce more football games on the Dreamcast. All I remember was a port of Virtua Striker and a port of that N64 Michael Owen game being branded as Worldwide Soccer 2000. Shame because if Sega Japan made a proper WWS 2000, or if Visual Concepts mae a Premier League 2k I really think that game could have put the Dreamcast on the map in the UK.

    I also remember a show, GameMaster I think it was called, that showed some Virtua Fighter 2 and 3 compeitive play on UK TV back in the day.

    Actually, the most played video game that was developed in the UK is Sonic Dash, which has 500 million downloads. Sonic rules the waves?