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Sega FY1997 Brand Review

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Black Squirrel, Jul 3, 2023.

  1. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    This was uploaded to archive.org overnight.

    It's basically "Sega of America: 1995-1997". Sales, marketing, internal emails, E3, dodgy photocopies of cereal boxes. There's a lot to digest.

    Wiki it up, buds.
     
  2. Gryson

    Gryson

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    Wow, this is huge. Almost overwhelming.

    For starters: The cost to manufacture the Saturn in March 1996 was $232 (p. 10). Retailers earned just 6% on each Saturn sold. Sega was barely breaking even with a retail price of $250.

    There is so much here, it's going to take time to parse.

    By the way, do you have the original archive.org link? I couldn't find it via search.
     
  3. Pirate Dragon

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    Oh wow! Can't wait to get home from work to go through this.
     
  4. Ted909

    Ted909

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    Original IA upload

    It appears to be the work of GoldenDreamcast, who also did this.

    There is so much information released here that it's hard to be left wanting more, but this is just for one fiscal year. Imagine if we had others.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2023
  5. Gryson

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    The one thing I didn't see is any financial statements. I'd love to know SOA's financials beyond the snippets we get from news articles.
     
  6. saxman

    saxman

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    I certainly hope there is nothing personally embarassing or invasive about these e-mails. Has this stuff been properly vetted?

    Unfortunately it doesn't seem to load on mobile.
     
  7. doc eggfan

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    The only embarrassing thing I saw was that "Duke Newcomb 3D" was misspelled more than once, but I quit about two thirds through. There weren't too many emails, unless they were all at the end.
     
  8. Ashura96

    Ashura96

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  9. Pengi

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  10. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Undocumented games so far:

    Alien Hive was a Saturn game by Sega InterActive (which are often prefixed with "Star Wars" - I suspect this means it's a spiritual successor to Star Wars Arcade rather than another tie-in, since you don't really get "hives" in that franchise). Think what Perfect Dark is to GoldenEye.

    Some design documents were spotted on ebay x years ago but nobody took a record. It doesn't look very Star Wars-y (nor related to the Alien(s) films). Curious.


    Roach Racing we should have spotted because it's briefly mentioned in Bootleg Sampler, a pack-in demo disc. One of the emails seems to suggest it had "internet compatibility".


    There's talk of a Mega Drive version of Indy 500, which is a little odd. I'm wondering if it was a code name for something else. There's also a Saturn version which was talked about back in the day, but this confirms its existence.


    Significant planning was put in place for X-Women. Looks like there was a tie-in comic that wasn't published(? any comic fans about?). The internet's assumption was that it was a vague, easily disposable afterthought, but no, a key title it seems.
     
  11. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    There was a Pinocchio game for the Pico. Good luck finding it.

    An "(NFL) Spectacular (Football)" game is mentioned a lot. Sega had to poach an American football game for the 1996 holiday season, NFL '97, but I'm guessing they had plans to make one in-house. I'm surprised there's nothing online about this - Sony's NFL GameDay is mentioned as a genuine threat.


    I suppose the good(?) news is that SoA were aware of their shortcomings (at least in terms of Saturn software) in 1996. They didn't have to wait for others to tell them.
     
  12. Azookara

    Azookara

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    From my notes looking through it...

    - "Vectorman 3" is listed for Genesis and GG as well as a separate Vectorman game for Saturn in the '98FY.

    - Virtua Fighter 2 for Genesis is listed as "Virtua Fighter Animation", meaning it was possibly to sell alongside the GG game of the same name. Why they changed it to VF2 is beyond me.

    - Sega Sports made a game called "Microprose NFL" that was apparently so poorly done and so far behind schedule that they had to kill it ASAP.

    - NiGHTS was percieved by SoA as "targeting a very young audience" and there were initially plans to localize it. This may explain that horrible art we saw on Sega Forever a few years back. Thank God they ended up not touching it.

    - '98FY mentions an STI-developed Jurassic Park game, and a title just called "UFO". Do we know anything about either of these?

    - '98FY also mentions Virtua Fighter 3, Virtua On 2 and Virtua Cop 3. Unsure if these were for sure in development, or if they were guesstimates by SoA.

    - That canned third Eternal Champions game also gets mentioned. I could've swore it was cancelled before this point, but I guess not.

    - Sonic 3 and S&K were supposed to be bundled in a "SuperSonic" pack for $129. Why this got canned, I'm not sure. Maybe they heard from Sonic Team that they were working on Jam?

    - A really brutal page about what to do with the 32X, and most of the page is them saying they should consider it's scrap value.

    - SoA were afraid Nomad was going to eclipse GG so they tried to advertise both. Knowing this, Nomad showing potential to consumers was probably partly foiled by it, echoing their mistakes with marketing their home consoles. An especially poor idea when it seemed GG was only continuing to decline, and wasting time making Genesis and GG versions of games when Nomad could've meant only one version had to be made.

    - A lot of e-mails at the end of this mentioning Tom Kalinske's plans (seemingly post-Pluto tests) to undercut PSX with a $149 price tag and a packed-in modem, shifting Sega's gears to be focused on online play and cutting edge internet usage. Seems like SoJ really liked that idea and held onto it..

    Overall interesting stuff, but not super groundbreaking.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2023
  13. MSX

    MSX

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    Nothing like fortunately. All business about Saturn with the one off mention of the Pluto.
     
  14. Ted909

    Ted909

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    Some of the games here are notable:
    [​IMG]
    Outside of all the Psygnosis stuff there's 'Mickey Mouse (SOJ)'. No Sega-developed Mickey Mouse game ever actually released for the Saturn, unless you count the Castle of Illusion/Quackshot port with the stupidly long title from late 1998. And then 'Terra Fantastica (SOJ)' - which can only mean Terra Phantastica, a game that never received an official English localisation. Potential casualty of Stolar when he came in?

    I am 99% certain these are only there to fill up otherwise blank spots. Neither had even came close to releasing in arcades yet - it's hard to imagine them bothering with the same hypothetical hardware advancements for VO2/Oratorio Tangram like they did for Virtua Fighter 3, and VC3 was even further away from release to the point of being completely implausible. House of the Dead's port ended up releasing around the same time anyway, and I don't see any mention of that in here.

    Tying this together with the page complaining about the lack of access they had to the AM1/2/3 producers for promotions, I think it's pretty safe to say SOA had little to no idea what was happening with the arcade side in Japan (despite it being a big source of the Saturn's content).

    It's possible, but Jam was of course first and foremost made for Japan as part of the whole 'Project Sonic' initiative to raise the franchise's awareness over there - so I kind of doubt they had anything to do with that pack being scrapped, as Jam would've sold pittance in the west either way and not cannibalised many sales. That's just how badly the Saturn was going by then.
     
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  15. Black Squirrel

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    The Elder Scrolls: Arena was Saturn-bound... and we sort-of knew this already. In Japan very early material was previewed as just "Arena", and we had a page for that - it's only when you start comparing assets that it becomes obvious it's the first Elder Scrolls game.
     
  16. Black Squirrel

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    Don't worry - it wasn't:
    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Azookara

    Azookara

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    Oh wow! I've never heard about this bundle before now.
     
  18. Linkabel

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    Yeah, my cousins used to have that bundle and the one with just S&K. Was lowkey jealous my little Genesis 3 didn't come with them.
     
  19. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Also because this came from an official Sega source, it confirms that Bethesda Softworks had a license to publish Sega games. It wasn't just pie-in-the-sky thinking - Sega recognised the paperwork.

    Which means they probably had a T-series code we haven't yet documented. I'll need to check the dump of PBA Tour Bowling 2001.

    Other candidates for filling in the gaps in the table (thanks to this folder) are Philips and a company called "Velocity" which I'm not sure managed to release anything. But I haven't looked yet.
     
  20. Battons

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    So is it safe to assume then that Vectorman 3 is a seperate release from Vectorman Ultra, which was the alleged name of the Saturn game? Or was it a cross platform release?
    I'm seeing online that the Saturn game is being referred to as "Vectorman 3: Ultra" but I thus far can't find a source to actually back up that this was the name, and not just an assumption.