|Fast facts on Sega AM2|
|Merged with: Sega AM3 (2008)|
|Merged into: Sega AM11, Digital Rex|
Sega Amusement Machine Research and Development Department #2, (Sega AM R&D Dept. #2, Sega AM2) is a division within Sega of Japan. It was formed in 1990 primarily to create arcade (or "amusement") games.
AM2 is arguably the most successful R&D division to have existed within Sega during the 90's, to the point where its internal division name became a marketable brand in its own right. As such, while significant changes have occurred within its lifespan from a business perspective, this division of Sega has always referred to itself as "AM2", even if it has not been exclusively an amusement-only department since 1991. During the 1990s and early 2000s, the chief operating officer of AM2 was industry stalwart Yu Suzuki.
Trough all Sega development divisions, Sega AM2 has remained most consistent in it's naming due to the "Number 2" attached. Thus there no multiple pages on Sega Retro unlike other Sega development teams.
Sega AM2 is thought to have been a continuation of an older R&D studio , famed for arcade games featuring sprite-scaling graphics and moving cabinets with games such as Hang-On, Space Harrier, OutRun and After Burner. It became a pioneer of early 3D polygonal 3D graphics with the 1992 release of Virtua Racing, before creating Virtua Fighter, beginning one of Japan's most popular arcade series ever made. Virtua Fighter was, incidentally, the first time AM2's name (and signature palm tree logo) became publically visible - a trend that would continue in the majority of its releases going forward.
AM2 was also the first arcade division to involve itself with the home console market, producing titles such as Sword of Vermillion and Rent-A-Hero for the Sega Mega Drive. It soon found itself at the forefront of Sega Saturn technology, producing the Sega Graphics Library in 1995 in conjunction with its Saturn conversion of Virtua Fighter 2. The AM2 palm tree would even become an unlockable character in in the AM2-developed Fighters Megamix.
As with other R&D divisions within Sega, Sega AM2 was briefly renamed Sega Software R&D Dept. #2 in May 1999. Unlike its sister divisions, however, the department continued to trade as AM2 and was largely unaffected by the internal restructure. In 2000 the division went one step further, becoming an entirely separate (but wholly owned) subsidiary of Sega officially known as Sega-AM2 Co., Ltd. AM2 was at this point the only R&D division to still rely on the "AM" name.
Isao Okawa's CSK was the parent company of Sega at the time, with its own software development division, CRI. CRI absorbed Sega AM2 in February 2000 (occasionally leading to credits to AM2 of CRI) and renamed itself Sega-AM2 Co., Ltd. in August 2001. Confusingly, CRI Middleware Co. Ltd. was then established to handle the sale of CRI's former products such as ADX and Sofdec.
Sega's separate development companies were merged back into the main business in 2004, and this included AM2, trading once again as "AM R&D Dept. 2". Due to the closure of AM3 in May 2008, some members moved to AM2. In May 2010, the arcade departments lost their "AM" name, becoming R&D2. During the March 2015 restructure, Sega' arcade division became Sega Interactive, thus becoming R&D2 of Sega Interactive rather than Sega proper.
The AM2 name and logo continues to surface to this day.
|Domestic Sega companies, studios and subsidiaries|
|CSK||Sega Sammy Holdings|
|Sega Enterprises, Ltd.||Sega Corporation||Sega Games & Interactive|
|R&D #1||Sega AM1||WOW Entertainment||Sega WOW||Sega AM1|
|Sega AM11||R&D #4||Amusement Vision||New Entertainment||Sega CS1|
|Ryu ga Gotoku Studio|
|Sega AM3||Hitmaker||Sega AM3|
|AM Annex||R&D #5||Sega Rosso|
|Sega AM4||Sega Mechatronics||Product R&D|
|N. Pro. R&D|
|Sega AM5||Mirai R&D||Family Entertainment|
|Sega R&D2||Sega CS||Sega CS1||R&D #6||Smilebit||Sega Sports Design|
|PC Software||PC Network Department||Online R&D|
|Sega CS2||R&D #7||Overworks||GE2||Sega CS3|
|R&D #9||United Game Artists|
|Sega Digital Studio||Wave Master||Wave Master (label)|
|Mobile Content R&D||Sega Networks|