History of Sega in Chile

From Sega Retro

History of Sega in Chile
Official Sega distributor(s): Redi (1991-1994), Radio Center LTDA (1994-1998), Synergex (2007-2012), NC Games (200x-2019), Latam Games (2012-present)

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In Chile, the Sega Mega Drive (original model) and Sega Master System II were distibuted by Redi from 1991. The consoles were based on their North American designs (and hence, the Mega Drive was known as "Genesis" in this region).[1] Both consoles were known to be on sale in 1991, along with Sonic the Hedgehog. In the next year, Redi imported Game Gear and the Sega CD from 1993 could be seen at the exhibitions, which might suggest that it was sold as well.

According to the testimony of Ludwig Carl Kommer Bruger, founder of Redi, on April's 1993 issue of the Chilean magazine Muy Interessante Sega dominated only a 25%[2] of the market for consoles and videogames in Chile, due to a late entry of the company in the business, since Nintendo had already entered in the Chilean market two years earlier, initially by the hands of Remus- Repuestos Musalem[3][2] (owned by a rich family known as Musalem Yunis) and later by H. Briones y Cia [2] (owned by Hernán Briones Gorostiaga, a Chilean industrialist and member of Fundación Pinochet[4], which was President of the Sofofa- Sociedad de Fomento Fabril[4] / Sofofa- Industrial Development Society, one of Chile's leading employers' associations).

H. Briones y Cia had full support of Nintendo of America and Tokyo-based general trading company C.Itoh/Itochu (the company exported Nintendo products to several South American countries including Brazil, where it lost the rights to the brand to Playtronic in 1993), with advertisement campaigns on TV and also published an official Chilean version of the Club Nintendo[5][6] magazine, on the other hand Redi had few advertisement campaigns, with only a few commercials being aired on TV and there was no official Sega magazines in the country except for some Spanish imported magazines like Super Juegos or Mega Sega which were more expensive and could arrive in the country six months later than the date they were originally published in Europe. In fact one of the first commercials, aired on Chilean TV was not favourable to the image of Sega, becoming subject of mockery[7] among Chilean gamers, since in the intro of the commercial (which is actually the intro to Sonic the Hedgehog for Mega Drive) a voice is heard saying "Si, si, si, si, si, si"... ("Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes...") while Sonic is actually saying "No" with its hand.


Sometimes between 1994 and 1995, Redi was replaced with Radio Center LTDA, who besides still importing previously released consoles (Genesis II, Game Gear, Sega CD II), brought new Sega 32X and Sega Saturn. They also seems to collaborated with Brazil's Sega distributor Tectoy[8] which might suggest support for Master System III Compact, but this wasn't confirmed. Metropolis Intercom was responsible for launching the Sega Channel on October 17th, 1996.

In September 1995 Metrokids (born on June 1995), a Chilean children's cable television channel, created by cable operator Metrópolis (before its merger[9] with Intercom in January 1996), premiered an interactive television show called Segamania[10], hosted by Miguel Barriga[11][7] (Miguel Barriga Parra), ex-vocalist of the popular Chilean folk-rock band Sexual Democracia, (which competed with Super Nintendomania a similar show, part of the children's television series Plaza Mayor Monitos, aired on Telekids children's cable television channel, formerly Plaza Mayor Televisión, owned by Intercom, Metrópolis major rival before the merger of the two companies), broadcast from 5 pm to 7 pm, seven days a week[12], similar to also popular "live one-player multi platform interactive game show" Hugo, where players using their telephone keypads as controllers, had to achieve certain goals while playing Sega video games, in order to win prizes.

According to the November 1995 issue of Chilean magazine Metrópolis, in the first two months of the show 55.000[10] phone calls were made and more than 1.000[10] players participated in it. Alex Kidd in Miracle World[10] and Sonic the Hedgehog[10] were the first games selected for the show, followed by Sonic the Hedgehog 2[7], The Adventures of Batman & Robin (Mega Drive)[7], Batman Returns (Mega-CD)[7], Desert Demolition Starring Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote[7] and others. The show lasted until January 1997 when Metrópolis Intercom, replaced the Metrokids channel by Cartoon Network in its channel grid.

A similar show called Segacción[13] (premiered on 1995) was also broadcast, during the same time, every Monday to Friday[13], from 6 pm to 7 pm, on Chilean television channel Megavisión, hosted by Chilean journalist and television presenter Jennifer Warner[14][7] (Jennifer Daniela Warner Pearcy), this time dedicated to the Sega Saturn and Sega 32X consoles and its video games, however the two shows were never able to equal the success of Nintendomania (shall not be confused with Megavisión's previous show, Super Nintendomania) a favorite among Chilean audiences, also created by Megavisión (this time a Metrópolis Intercom channel) in 1996, to replace Segacción.

Synergex, NC Games, Latam Games

In 2007, Synergex became a representative of Sega[15][16] and distributed titles until 2012.

From late 2000s, Sega games are distributed locally by two distributors - Latam Games and NC Games[17][18].

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