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General Questions and Information Thread

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Andlabs, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I am horrendously wrong about that Sega regional offices post. Or at least kinda - I'm still pretty sure there was never officially a "Sega UK", just a bit of Sega Europe that focused on the UK.

    Sega's policy seems to be, "if times are good, manage your own distribution". So in 1991 Sega bought their way into having distribution operations in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Austria, followed by Belgium/Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Denmark slots in here somewhere. Other than "Sega France" the new companies weren't officially named after the countries they were based in, but as posted, you might get letters from "Sega Spain" to keep things simple for customer. Probably.


    When money was tight, companies were closed and distribution rights were farmed off to Bigben Interactive. First went the Benelux countries in 1996, then France, Germany and Spain in 2001. Denmark and Austria went elsewhere - it's complicated, but the jist of things is that Sega abandoned its dreams of distribution for a short while, and was only handling the UK directly.

    However in 2005, they started to rebuild the empire, and this is why it's confusing. I'm not sure if Sega revived old companies or made new ones, but suddenly we have the return of Sega France, and a new Sega Benelux, and I'm relatively sure a new Sega Spain and Sega Germany. And unlike the 90s set, these ones are officially known by those names. It's confusing because this period isn't very well documented - they're not pushing hardware or running Sega clubs, so it's only retailers that would interact with these bodies.

    So basically in the space of 20 years, there were two Sega Germanys, both trading as Sega Germany, but only one officially known as Sega Germany. Simples.


    Sega Retro doesn't say this though, and I think I know why - the 2005-era companies only dealt in distribution. The 1990s set also dealt with "support" and have a much greater say in marketing - you, the customer, didn't interact with the 2005 set in any capacity, so on customer-facing magazines or websites, they wouldn't be mentioned. Instead, Sega Europe would be there to take your calls.

    The wiki lists companies such as "Maxupport" and Atari as distributors for some European countries. I'm not sure that's true:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20090213161452/http://www.sega.com:80/support/

    I think these companies were brought in to do regional support (of the "hey my disc isn't working" variety). I think Sega had regional offices... they just weren't used for the same purposes as the 1990s.


    In 2012 Sega got bored of it all and sold off distribution rights to Koch Media, which handles most of Europe now. Any regional offices it set up around 2005 no longer exist.
     
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  2. Trippled

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    I know that Sega Germany had a PR person that went to events and stuff
     
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  3. JaxTH

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  4. Trippled

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    I decided to pay for the Beep21 online magazine and already read some neat stuff

    About Sega's entry into consoles with the SG 1000....

     
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  5. Ted618

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    Though he doesn't get too much credit outside of some Japanese sources, Tokuzo Komai defecting is effectively the first domino to fall in the whole Nintendo vs. Sega console war thing.

    As I understand, he'd been with Nintendo since 1951, and was very close to Hiroshi Yamauchi as a result. Komai was in charge of their arcade division since its inception, but he and Yamauchi fought over his preference to get out of coin-op when the Game & Watch started getting big. Komai seems to have thought the money from it would be better spent on getting into the amusement operations business, but Yamauchi obviously wanted the Famicom.

    In the end, he decided to leave the company outright over that power struggle, allowing Nakayama to snap him up and advise on future projects after he got out of their backdoor.

    And this was very much big news in Japan at the time - Game Machine made it a front page feature.
     
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  6. I know that SEGA Germany peed off Sonic Team and SOJ with their constant leaks.
     
  7. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Hey Retro

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'd say maybe most video game companies release these things now - images with game launch details, plus extras, and in the case of Sonic Origins, the bazillion different flavours of the game you could pre-order.


    What would you like to call them?

    Sega has used the terms "array" and "glamshot", neither of which strike me as very good terms. But is there a better one?
     
  8. JaxTH

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    It's always just been Promotional Material to me.
     
  9. Black Squirrel

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    In broad terms it is, yes. But we've also got written press releases, trailers, advertisements and god knows what else falling into that category. We need a consistent heading.


    It's messy in other ways:

    [​IMG]

    What's this? I've always been classing it as artwork, because it's the... art that goes on the box. Ten years ago, that was mostly fine.

    [​IMG]

    But now they do this. Sega release angled shots of what the game box looks like. Technically this is still artwork - it's not a photograph, it was probably made in photoshop... but you wouldn't hang it on your wall. It's made specifically to promote the game - it is promotional material.

    We are calling some of them "stock images", which isn't incorrect either. But do we want to make a distinction between say, an official photograph of the Mega Drive Mini 2 (also a stock image), and a pre-rendered game box? I think... probably.

    Sega calls them both "packshots" - I'm not sure if we should, but I am seriously considering making a distinction between this style of "box art" and more traditional "here's a pretty picture" art. I say this because we've got like, 50 different Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania images so far and that's just from Europe.

    [​IMG]

    Pre-release screenshots of the game could also be classed as "promotional material", especially when they've set the camera up nicely like the above, because it exists solely to promote the game. I'm still more inclined to class these as "development screenshots" since they often reflect a game in development, and we care about such things.


    Humankind, which is doing its best to challenge our ideas, is also offering up bits of its soundtrack and custom TrueType fonts, all in the name of getting you to buy the thing.
     
  10. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    "Box/art" and "Box/pre-render"?

    Also, "Advertising/launch-editions"?
     
  11. Also, see them as a Promotional shot and well it works on me LOL

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    My current thinking:

    [​IMG]
    "Box scan" (or "cover scan" - the key word is "scan")

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    "Box art"

    Art of the box? Art for the box?

    {{art|game=Puyo Puyo Tetris 2|type=box}}

    i.e. it's still classed as "art", but it's a special type of art.

    [​IMG]

    "Stock image"

    Official photographs of a thing. I'd call it "stock photo" but I'm not sure the background is completely real. "Image" is more encompassing.

    [​IMG]

    The best I can come up with right now is "release details".

    {{promo|game=Puyo Puyo Tetris 2|type=release details}}

    I think "array" is too vague, and Sega themselves seems to have moved away from this term.

    And "glamshot" isn't a word. And it's not a screenshot or photograph and it might cover more than one thing (so should be "glamshots") and is just generally annoying.



    So:

    Development:
    - Screenshots
    - Concept art
    - Internal documents
    - how the game was made

    Promotional material:
    - Press releases (as in, documents with text)
    - Release detail images (better name pls)
    - Trailers
    - Print ads
    - TV ads
    - whatever ads

    Artwork:
    - things that are obviously artwork
    - box art

    Physical scans:
    - Scans of things that ship with the game - boxes, manuals, discs, etc.
     
  13. Black Squirrel

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  14. Black Squirrel

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    I learnt a thing:

    [​IMG]

    The day after Digitiser broadcast its last "issue" in March 2003, a replacement, GameCentral was introduced. I did not know this.

    Better yet, it ran for six years, closing in 2009 when the Teletext service as a whole was on its last legs (and then there's some complex noise about it going online, before merging into the Metro newspaper*, and whatever). Super Page 58 got a batch of saved pages yesterday - they might not care too much, but we do.

    Digitiser is being saved thanks to dedicated individuals trawling through old VHS cassettes. Which is fine - it's a challenge finding every "day", but VHS was widespread in the 1990s - everyone had recordings, so you're going to get a good chunk of it.

    But 2003-2009? That's a stretch. Moreover we're talking (analogue) recordings of Channel 4 - a channel required by law to be "different", and thus may not appeal to (one would presume) the older generation still regularly using VCRs. Hell, their HD service started in 2007 - there's a reason I never saw this service live.


    So why does nobody care about GameCentral? Because it's Digitiser without any of the style or humour. It had its fans, and it was still free, but it was living on borrowed time.


    Sega Retro doesn't have proper support for this yet, but it'll be much like Digitiser when I (or someone else) make it. Obviously Sega makes the news far less often in the 2000s, but there are still news topics and game reviews.


    *I think I was approached by someone to write game reviews for the Metro around this time. Couldn't really tell if it was a real request, and it was my second year at university without game consoles to hand. Interesting though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2022
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  15. Pirate Dragon

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  16. Black Squirrel

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    It's Tokyo Game Show season which is why Sega just announced three new not-Yakuza Yakuza games. There might be more in the coming days.

    But Sega has a secondary role in Japan: it works with "partners". I've never been too sure how the relationship works with some of these companies - I don't know if Sega just does marketing, or they're involved in the distribution chain, but they don't seem to get credit when the games launch, so who knows.

    So, odd things at Sega's booth this year:

    [​IMG]

    The latest FIFA in its many forms. So if you were wondering if we'd ever see a new Sega Worldwide Soccer... probably not while they've got a deal with EA.

    [​IMG]

    Hogwarts Legacy. Apparently British taxpayers fund this school, so you'd think we'd get a cut of game sales. Bleh.

    [​IMG]

    Gotham Knights, featuring Robin, Robin, Robin and Batgirl.

    [​IMG]

    Goat Simulator 3, aka "they made more than one?".

    [​IMG]

    Star Wars: Jedi Survivor, sequel to Fallen Order that nobody knows much about.


    These probably won't get pages on Sega Retro since Sega is only tangentially involved, but fascinating all the same.
     
  17. JaxTH

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  18. Black Squirrel

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    https://segaretro.org/index.php?title=The_Rub_Rabbits!&diff=813666&oldid=813450

    So according to contributor Aruru-san, Nintendo DS game The Rub Rabbits! changes its title screen if you're running low on battery life. I've no reason to believe this is wrong, but it would be nice to get screenshots.

    However, I'm not sure if any DS emulators emulate this feature because... why would any normal person want to?


    I don't own a DS and know very little about the hardware. I was hopeful I could poke a register somewhere to simulate low battery - I got this far:
    https://problemkaputt.de/gbatek.htm#dspowermanagementdevice

    then I conveniently got bored of the idea once I discovered it would be a faff.


    I'm curious to know whether other games change if the battery is low. The previous Rub game is an obvious candidate, but does it apply to other Sonic Team games? What about the wider Sega library?? What about other handheld systems - does the Switch have a similar feature???

    ????
     
  19. Huh, I was totally unaware of the feature. I do have a DS kicking around and the game is going for a semi-reasonable price on eBay, but I'm not sure how I could get screenshots from the console itself. I hadn't heard of a game detecting the battery level before; I usually kept my console as fully charged as I could so if any of the games I have do have such a feature I would not have ever seen it.
     
  20. That's cool, if true. I always liked how SEGA Gt 2002 gave you a different title screen, if playing in Widescreen mode back in the day