History of Sega in Israel
From Sega Retro
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|History of Sega in Israel|
|Official Sega distributor(s): Bug Multisystem (1987-1993), Suny Electronics (1993-1998), Hed Arzi (200x-present)|
During his stay in New York, Moshe Raviv stumbled upon the Sega exhibition where he saw their games. Later, at a gaming show in the US, he met with Sega's Japan executives and told them that he is interested in distributing the Master System in Israel. It took him a long time to convince the Japanese to grant him a license to import consoles into the country. In 1987, Bug Multisystem began distributing the Sega Master System in Israel. Moshe Raviv amazed Sega of Japan and himself when he quickly sold 5,000 units of Master System in Israel. Bug promoted the products with the slogan הערוץ הרביעי בטלויזיה שלך and organized game tournaments. Additionally, at the end of the 1980s, a gaming magazine called Sega-Tron began to be published. The Master System has been well received in Israel. It was so good that the newer Sega consoles were released in 1992, when Mega Drive, Game Gear and Master System II appeared on the Israeli market. All systems were in the European PAL system. The cooperation lasted until 1993, when Bug decided to focus on the promotion and distribution of Nintendo consoles.
During this time, Sega became the object of interest to businessman Ilan Ben-Dov, who imported Sega consoles since about 1987. In 1991, he founded Suny Electronics, and from May 1991 he was a franchisee of Sega products and also Nintendo (mostly famiclones) products. From 1993, his company began to be known as STV-Sega Israel. From then on, consoles began appearing in Israel very close to the European premiere. Every system released by Suny was the same as in Europe, and this year, active promotion of Sega products began, including the newly released Mega Drive II and Mega CD II. The new distributor had to deal with a wave of US imports and Mega Drive clones resembling the first model in a white box. The advertisements informed about the differences between the originals and to watch out for pirated copies of the games. A black seal with a yellow Sega logo and yellow Hebrew inscriptions was placed on each original console. The game boxes, on the other hand, had a white sticker with Hebrew inscriptions. In the following years, the Mega Drive 32X and Sega Saturn appeared. Mega Drive, like the Master System, was well received in Israel and was a popular console in that country.
In 1996, TCI's technology group got the rights to distribute Sega Channel in Israel , but it is not known that the service was launched there.
In February 1998, Suny withdrew from selling video games and began distributing Samsung cell phones. In the same year, importers began to sell Sega Nomad.
Sega Dreamcast was also released in Israel but it went without much interest.