History of Sega in Belgium and Luxembourg
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|History of Sega in Belgium and Luxembourg|
|Official Sega distributor(s): Atoll (1987-1993), Sega Belgium (1993-1996), AtollSoft (1996-2006), Sega Benelux (2006-2012), Level03 Distribution (2012-2016)|
In the 70s Belgium was one of the countries where Sega imported its game machines.
Atoll were Sega's distributor for Belgium and Luxembourg for six years from 1987 until August 1993. During this time they released a magazine called Sega Masters Club News, available in both French and Dutch. As early Sega Master System games included French, but not Dutch in the instructions Atoll included separate Dutch language instruction inserts for many games. Later European releases would include Dutch as standard. There was also a bilingual Sega Hotline available. In the next years, Atoll distributed Mega Drive, Game Gear and Master System II. The Amstrad Mega PC was released in March 1993 by Amstrad Benelux.
Until June 30, 1993, there were 83,139 Mega Drives, 50,131 Super Nintendo, 178,616 Nintendo NES, 140,030 Master Systems, 318,310 Game Boy's, 39,616 Game Gears and 20,227 Atari Lynx in Belgium. Between January 1, 1993 and June 30, 1993, Mega Drive recorded the largest sales among 16-bit consoles (6,500 units, only 1,500 more than the SNES), and out of the 8-bit consoles, Master System (12,000 units, 6 times more than the NES).
In August 1993, Sega Europe took over product distribution and founded Sega Belgium based in Brussels. The relesed Mega CD II in 1993, Multi Mega and Mega Drive 32X in 1994, Sega Saturn in 1995 and Sega Pico. On March 1, 1996, Sega Europe closed its branch in the Benelux Union. The reason was the decrease in turnover in the Benelux countries by 50%. AtollSoft took over distribution for the Benelux markets. In 1996, TCI's technology group got the rights to distribute Sega Channel in the Benelux Union.
Dreamcast appeared at the same time as the rest of Europe. The goal was to sell 6,000 consoles in 1999. Dreamcast Internet was available from December 2000. By February 2001, more than 20,000 consoles had been sold in the Benelux countries.
In 2006 Sega returned to the Benelux region, with Sega Benelux opening up an office in Amsterdam.
Following restructuring in 2012 Sega Europe once again closed down it's Benelux operations, handing over distribution to Level03 Distribution until 2016 when it was closed down.