W E L C O
M E T O T
H E N E X
T L E V E L
—US Slogan, 1992-1995
Once upon a time, Sega, a big arcade video game company, was part of the "Big Three
" console developers, its main competition being Nintendo
, and later Sony Computer Entertainment (with the introduction of the PlayStation
in 1994/1995). The company was founded in the mid-1950s
in Hawaii as "Se
mes," a creator and distributor of redemption games designed for overseas markets. As a result of these origins, most of their games are designed for an international market (and as a side result, this is also why they contain a lot of Engrish and spotty English voice work across all versions.) In the 1970s, Sega moved into arcade game development as U.S. governmental crackdowns on gambling machines and pinball, along with increased competition worldwide made it difficult to turn a profit solely from redemption and slot games.
Sega found some of its greatest success with the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
during the 16-bit era
, and a marketable mascot in Sonic the Hedgehog
provided a perfect rival for Nintendo's Mario
. However, a string of questionable marketing decisions with subsequent consoles eroded its star power, and eventually led it to pull out of the console business entirely, after the too good to last Dreamcast
sold below expectations.
Still, Sega has remained a major player in the game development world (though not quite what it once was) by shifting to third-party game development for all of the current-generation consoles and handhelds. Ironically, Sega now publishes Sonic the Hedgehog
games for play
They are also the owners of animation studio TMS Entertainment
(and by extension, Koko Enterprises
/Dong Yang Animation, Seoul Movie
and Mizo Planning
) since 1995. In January 2013, they purchased Relic Entertainment
from the THQ
liquidation auction, and as of the end of that month it is confirmed
that with it came an exclusive license to produce titles based on Games Workshop
IPs. For instance, their internal studio Creative Assembly (Total War
) has is working on an RTS title
based on the other Warhammer
See also Sonic Team
, one of their best-known subsidiaries.
Notable games and franchises released by Sega:
Tropes associated with Sega:
- Always Second Best:
- Since the time of SG-1000, SEGA seems to always struck in second place behind Nintendo, with occasional third or worse place in some situation (PlayStation and PlayStation 2 era, as well as the classical Console War in Japan, where the PC Engine actually outsold the Genesis.)
- Averted in some markets, such as Europe (especially the UK) and South America, where Sega's dominance was unquestioned. In the 8-bit era, the NES (thanks to bad marketing decisions by Nintendo) was practically mythical in the UK but the Sega Master System was pretty popular.
- Console Wars: The Sega Genesis vs. SNES war is possibly the most famous one of them all.
- Frivolous Lawsuit / Disney Owns This Trope: In December 2012, they filed a lawsuit against Level 5 demanding 900 million yen (US $11 million) for allegedly infringing two patents they got in 2009 and 2011 on using drag-and-drop and tap commands on a touchscreen to control characters (i.e. using a touchscreen as a freaking touchscreen). Over a game that Level-5 released in 2008. Level-5 called them out on their patent trolling and tore them a new one in quite possibly the most epic pwning ever to happen via corporate public statement.
- Iconic Logo: In fact, Sonic was originally going to be a lighter shade of blue, but he was given a darker shade in order to match him up with the logo's.
- Logo Joke: Before the arrival of the Sega Saturn, nearly every single game booted up with the Iconic Logo appearing onto the screen, with elements of the game the system's playing usually interacting with the logo or the screen it appears on in some way. Here's a list of them all.
- Mascot: Formally Alex Kidd. Now, it's Sonic the Hedgehog.
- Never Accepted In His Home Town: Sega saw great success in markets such as Europe, South America and eventually North America, but never did well in Japan. Part of the company's downfall is due to obsessing over trying to capture the Japanese market while casually throwing away the loyal fanbase they had built up abroad, by designing the Saturn and Dreamcast largely around things that tried to appeal to Japanese rather than western gamers (painfully obvious when they rebooted the Sonic continuity outside of Japan with Sonic Adventure).
- Screwed By The Game Company: The Dreamcast is too good to last.
- Title Scream: Read the caption below the image. First heard in Japanese Sega commercials, it was most famously used internationally at the start of all the major 2D Sonic games. Variations on the scream can also be heard on start-up of Panic, all the Project Diva games and K-On! Houkago Live!.
- Take That: Their entire advertising campaign throughout their console years famously consisted of lobbing Take Thats at competing consoles.