History of Sega in Caucasian States
From Sega Retro
|History of Sega in Caucasian States|
|Official Sega distributor(s): Buka (1994-1999), Bitman (1996-1997), R-Style (1997-1999), NVT (2000-2002), 1C Company (20xx-20xx)|
Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia declared independence in 1991. In the next years they became a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Video game consoles
Initially, Sega had no official representitives across the CIS region, and similar to Russia, very little protection was in place to stop companies from infringing on Western video game copyrights. As such, Steepler, which had rose to prominance in the newly-created Russian video game market by selling unlicensed Dendy consoles (i.e. Famicom clones), expanded into CIS markets around 1993. Steepler would go on to sell its Mega Drive clone, the Pro 16 Bit, as well as imported Asian model 2 Sega Mega Drives and North American Sega Multi-Megas also with games from this region.The company also brought pirate games from Asia.
In 1994, Nissho Iwai offered Buka (Бука) the status of authorized distributor, so the company also began selling consoles from Forrus. Buka managed to get along with Steepler and Dendy for the sale of original Mega Drive 2 but company sold them at a more expensive price than unofficials. By 1994/1995 the first officially-licensed Sega products arrived in the CIS, including the Mega Drive 2 (European PAL and Asian PAL), Sega Saturn (Asian NTSC and later European PAL), Sega Mega-CD model 2 (Asian NTSC and European PAL), Sega Game Gear (European PAL), Master System 2 (European PAL) and Sega 32X (unknown specification).
Despite the large piracy, Sega recognized Mega Drive as a success in the CIS. To act even more effectively against piracy, in 1996 Bitman, who have been selling its own Mega Drive clones in the region at the time, became the distributor No.1 of Sega Europe in both Russia and the CIS, replacing Forrus' role in the latter.Bitman distribute the Mega Drive 2, Sega Saturn , Sega Mega-CD model 2, Sega Game Gear, Sega 32X and Sega Pico in addition to the Super Bitman all in the European PAL system.
After the success of Mega Drive, Sega had high hopes for the distribution of Sega Saturn. The Russian and CIS markets have become a priority among former Eastern Bloc countries. Despite the efforts of Buka and Bitman, Sega Saturn just as in other countries of the world did not sell as good as Mega Drive.
In 1997, Bitman was acquired by R-Style, which inherited the former's distribution agreement. R-Style continued selling Saturn (European PAL and NTSC-U) , Mega Drive II (European PAL) , Mega CD II (European PAL) and Pico (European PAL).
Sega Dreamcast has also reached the CIS. In 2000 NVT was appointed a distributor and started selling consoles. Consoles were sold along with Russian documents. The end of 2000 was marked by a boom for DC consoles in the CIS countries, which was related to the mass distribution of Russified versions of games (pirated ones) and the decrease in prices of the console and games thanks to official distribution. Despite the failure of Dreamcast in the world, in the CIS countries the console was well received and could be bought until the end of 2003. The original games were rare and pirate games were popular, which were translated into Russian. Several companies producing unoriginal Russian translations such as Vector, had their representatives in the CIS.
In the following years, some games were released by the 1C Company. Sega games are also available through digital distribution and the region is part of RU-CIS-UA when it comes to digital keys. Digital game distribution platforms such as Steam suggest lower prices for the region.
In the Caucasian States, clones of Sega Mega Drive can still be find. Most of them are from Russia.
QubicaAMF is a strategic partner in Russia and CIS countries.
- File:Migr_8_RU.pdf, page 91
- File:Radio 2001-12 RU Dreamcast.gif