Sunday, 16 March 2014

Wayback Sunday? SEGA!

SEGA started off as two companies; Service Games was a jukebox and slot machine company that was started in 1940 by Raymond Lemaire and Richard Stewart, while Rosen Enterprises was a photo booth company that was started in 1954 by David Rosen. As Rosen Enterprises grew and grew, making coin-op games, Rosen Enterprises merged with Service Games in 1965, and thus started SEGA. In 1966, SEGA made their first game, Periscope, a submarine simulator, and then they were sold to Gulf and Weston, not to be confuse with Smith And Western. I know how people get games consoles mixed with FINE FAMILY DINING!

10 years later, and SEGA had made $100 million because of the arcade boom, and they kept on getting more and more money. Come 1982, SEGA had made the first ever 3D game, SubRoc 3D, but the next year they lost some money, albeit making their first ever console, the SEGA 1000, in Japan. By 1986, SEGA were expanding their horizons to the US and Europe. They released the SEGA Master System, which was popular in everywhere but the US and Japan, and made their first mascot, Alex Kidd. Still, the NES seemed more popular, and then the first console war started.

Coming out in 1989 in the US and 1990 in Europe, the Sega Mega Drive was released, and so was an anti-Nintendo campaign. Once Nintendo released the SNES, the two companies really started clashing. To beat the SNES, SEGA decided they needed a new mascot: Sonic The Hedgehog. The game helped the Mega Drive outsell the SNES at one point, and SEGA kept on going, making a CD Drive add-on for their consoles, therefore making their games more powerful, and the same year they created their most successful game ever, Sonic The Hedgehog 2.

In 1994 SEGA released an upgraded version of the Mega Drive, the 32x, but because of their upcoming Saturn console, it wasn't that popular. The next year, the SEGA Saturn was released, but because no good Sonic games were made for it, and the fact that it was pricier than the Playstation 1, meant it really didn't sell much. SEGA started to go into decline, and they needed something special to save them.

That was the Dreamcast. It was sure to be a winner; it had a great price, and powerful parts. It pretty much failed in Japan, as people preferred to buy the Nintendo 64 or the Playstation 1, but in the west, it was wildly successful. The Dreamcast kept on selling and selling until the PS2 was launched in 2000 worldwide, mainly because of such innovative games as Jet Set Radio, Shenmue and (My personal favorite) Seaman. However, once the PS2 launched, Dreamcast sales fell, and with SEGA knowing that they were beaten, stopped making consoles and became a third-party publisher.

However, by 2005, SEGA were making money again, mainly because of their arcade machines and highly successful Yakuza game. The same year they also managed to buy the Football Manager franchise, publishing every year and providing a steady source of income. Somehow, SEGA still earned money years later, because of such games as Shadow The Hedgehog and Sonic Riders, but in 2006, their profits had almost dropped to 100%. However, they got back up on their feet, and made some great titles in the following years, including Super Monkey Ball Touch & Roll, Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Colours and Sonic The Hedgehog 4, Part 1 and 2. SEGA are still going strong, but have controversially revealed that their next game, Sonic Boom, will have the Sonic characters redesigned. Time will tell how SEGA will do in the coming years.

So for making games like Sonic The Hedgehog, Virtua Fighter and Yakuza, SEGA, we salute you!

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