Breakdown of Games Published by Sega of America on the Genesis, 32X, and Saturn

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Gryson, Apr 28, 2022.

  1. Gryson

    Gryson

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    I threw this together a while back and decided to share. Apologies in advance for any errors or omitted games - I put it together quickly.

    This is a year-by-year breakdown (aside from 32X) of all games published by Sega of America on the Genesis, 32X, and Saturn. Games are grouped according to whether they were developed in Japan or in the West (or, anywhere not Japan).

    These are games published by SOA, not necessarily developed internally. Remember that SOA relied on 2nd-party developers for most of the games it was producing.

    Some interesting observations:

    • We can clearly see the shift in 1992 from Japanese-developed to Western-developed Genesis games, which was a big focus of Katz and Kalinske.
    • The vast majority of Western-developed Genesis games were licensed titles. The number of original titles feels vanishingly small. I've long thought that this was a major reason for the poor legacy of the Genesis. Original titles are far better at preserving a legacy and building a fan base than licensed titles (see: Nintendo).
    • SOA published more Japanese-developed 32X games than Western-developed.
    • Look how bad 1996 was for Western-developed games on the Saturn. This really emphasizes how poorly SOA was performing at the time. They published about the same small number of games on both the Genesis and Saturn that year. Keep in mind that the Saturn was officially announced in mid-1993! And preliminary development on games like Panzer Dragoon began by the end of 1993. More than three years later, SOA just could not manage to produce Saturn games of any value. The reasons for this have been talked about before, but include things like the Saturn being difficult to develop for, there not being good documentation and support outside Japan, SOA's own internal animosity towards the Saturn, and Sony being more appealing to small developers. I'll also add that the 32X was a huge distraction.

    Thoughts?

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  2. Deathscythe

    Deathscythe

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    Last edited: Apr 30, 2022
  3. cartridgeculture

    cartridgeculture

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    I love you. Seriously this breakdown is great, thank you for assembling and visualizing this so clearly.
     
  4. Gryson

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    Thanks - I did miss Congo.

    3D Blast was ported by TT as far as I can tell. Sonic Team was involved in the concept design of the original.
     
  5. cartridgeculture

    cartridgeculture

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    Mhm, this is correct. The Saturn port was developed by TT - and Jon Burton occasionally recalls stories from its development on his YouTube show.
     
  6. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Wipeout was published by Sega in the US in 1996. They were going to handle Destruction Derby too but... didn't. Though of course if you count unreleased games, you've got our old pal Sonic X-treme, the pinnacle of mismanaged Western Sega development.

    I would guess the reason the 1996 numbers look dire is because SoA couldn't get their games out in time... but the games still existed. From what I gather, the axe started being waved around in 1997 - that's when Heart of Darkness and Judgment Force and whatever else starts to fall of the schedules.


    And then you've got cases like Shinobi Legions/Shinobi X where the soundtrack was redone. Though that's less "making new games" than "fiddling with old ones".
     
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  7. Gryson

    Gryson

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    Thanks. I had a feeling I missed a few games like this.

    Partially, but it's also been brought up in interviews with people like Kalinske that they had a lot of problems developing games for the Saturn. Internally, their developers weren't experienced because they got a very late start on the hardware (due to the 32X), and externally, they were unable to find as much interest from their 2nd party developers due to the hardware and competition from Sony.

    They certainly never approached the output they had on the Genesis -- and this is doubly worse when you factor in their output on the Sega CD.
     
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  8. Deathscythe

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    Really? First I've heard of that. Who did the special stages in the Saturn version?

    Does Sega of Europe count by the way? They published Euros 96.
     
  9. cartridgeculture

    cartridgeculture

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    The special stages alone were Sonic Team (afaik), and the remainder of the game was TT. Past that, I don't know much.