History of Sega in Estonia

From Sega Retro

History of Sega in Estonia
Official Sega distributor(s): Jesting Projekt (200x-2008), Andrico (2008-2013), Gamelab (2009-2013), TKM Baltics (2014-2019), iWare Distribution (2019-present)

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In August 20, 1991 Estonia declared independence from the USSR and became an independent state. For foreign companies such as Sega, this meant a new market must be obtained. From the beginning of the 90s, Zhiliton 938-A , a clone of the Nintendo Famicom, was popular in the Baltic countries. This console had exactly the same design as the Sega Mega Drive. However, no one suspected that the console was similar to Sega's products due to their lack in the region.

It is also known that the Dendy console, popular in other USSR countries, appeared here by Steepler's distributors - Linakor, Galantis and Egard[1][2][3] The Dendy received some attention, but was never as popular as Zhiliton especially with more and more new and cheap clones on the market such as UFO, Liko, Nintendo compatible, Terminator 2 and Subor. Later Steepler distributed here Mega Drive clones like Pro 16 Bit, High Quality and also some original Asian Mega Drive 2 and US Genesis CDX with original NTSC-U, PAL Asia and bootleg games. In November 1994, Steepler was licensed by Nintendo to sell their products in all former Soviet Union countries, and thus Super Nintendo and Game Boy were released in that region, but these products were not popular.[4]

The first official Sega consoles appeared in the mid 90's. The most popular of them was Mega Drive, which with famiclones and PlayStation still remains as one of the most popular consoles from the 90s in this region.[5]Pirate copies of Mega Drive games and consoles also appeared.[6]. Sega's trademarks were registered by Lasvet Patent and Trademark Agency.

Sega Dreamcast was also released in Estonia. Some stores also started selling accessories and programs from Russia that were produced by, among others, Simba's Video Games, so their products for Dreamcast, such as Game Guru Gold 1, with games and clones for 16-bit Sega, such as Mega Drive 4, appeared here as well.

Somewhere in the beginning of the 21st century, the Jesting Projekt became the distributor in Estonia[7]. They sold Sega games until 2008 when Andrico became a distributor.[8] In 2009, the company made an agreement with Gamelab regarding the sale of games in the region of the Baltic states.[9]Andrico helped Gamelab and translated the game boxes into Estonian. The cooperation ended in 2013. In 2014, the Latvian company TKM Baltics became the distributor of Sega games in this region. The games were mainly available for purchase on the Gamebalt website.[10]

iWare Distribution became a distributor in 2019.

Several publishers from Russia have also released Sega games in this country. 1C-SoftClub sold, among others, Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed and Football Manager 2011. Akella released Sakura Taisen in the Baltic States.There were also many pirate games on PC from Russia.

Until today in Estonia can be find the bootlegs of the Sega Mega Drive console and games. They are mainly from Russia.

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