History of Sega in Singapore

From Sega Retro

History of Sega in Singapore
Official Sega distributor(s): Ocean Radio (1983-198x), Audio & Photo Distributor (198x-1990), Hi-Star Electronics (1990-1993), Wywy Group (1993-xxxx), New Era (2005-2016), Play Interactive (2016-2018), Epicsoft Asia (2018-present), Sega Singapore (2022-present)

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SC-3000 and Master System

In the 70s Singapore was one of the countries where Sega imported its game machines.[1]

Ocean Radio brought SC-3000 in 1983.[2]

Sega Master System was sold by local retailers from around 1987.[3]It is known that the system was distributed by Audio & Photo Distributor from at least late 1980s[4].

Hi-Star Electronics

From the June 1990, Hi-Star Electronics became the sole agent of Sega in Southeast Asia and Gan & Beng Electronics had a showroom.[5]They introduced Mega Drive in NTSC/PAL System and some popular games such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Shinobi, Herzog Zwei and Rambo III. Most of the good games sold from 800-1,000 units per month in 1991, but one of the first games that break this average was translated into Chinese Sangokushi Retsuden: Ransei no Eiyuutachi which in July-September 1991 sold 2,000 units and demand was still high. Mega Drive cost at the time $185-$225 and games $45-$75.[6] Unitl 1992, Sega owned 50% of the market.[7]

Sega brought Game Gear to Singapore in 1991. It has adopted some Sega hot games such as Sonic the Hedgehog. It did not overtake Game Boy mainly because little pirated software for Game Gear appeared.[8]

From May 1992, Hi-Star began to fight with importers, selling NTSC units packed as PAL ones, by adds showing difference between original Mega Drive's which had black label with Hi-Star name under console, warranty card and warranty seal.[9]From June 1, 1992 to December 31, 1992, distributor organized Sega Peel & Win event. From June 1992, Sega began to fight with piracy of video games in Singapore. The games could be recognized by poorly printed covers, printed white circuit board, poorly printed instructions and no Sega logo inside of casing and opening frame when cartridge is insert.[10] Hi Star said that about 80 % of 200 available titles has it's pirate versions and bootlegs are made in Taiwan or Singapore, three weeks after new title is introduced and are sold in all 200 outlets in Singapore with the price of $20-$30. First raid in July 1992 bring $50,000 worth of cartridges and second in July 1992, $28,000 with 700 bootleg copies.[11] In beginning of December, Sega raid four stores and found 720 copies, Pertama Holding with 102 copies and HiStar at the moment established that pirates copies cost $3-$4 million in lost revenue.[12] At end of December 1992, Sega found 2,800 bootleg copies with value estimated at $900,000.[13] In the meantime, Sega encourage customers with the adverts of buying original games.[14]In February 1993, Hi-Star found two warehouses with 15,000 copy games worth $5 milion that were produced by Maxtronics Enterprises from Taiwan, intended for South East Asia and Middle East.[15][16]


In January 1993, Sega got with Wywy-ST to build 30 new Wywy Wonderspace entertainment centres and appointed them as sole distributor of amusement machines in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.[17]Sega began to deliver machines to Wywy Wonderspace including R-360, seen here first in South East Asia.[18] In September 1993, Wywy Group got full rights to deliver Sega consoles to Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei[19], continuing distribution of Mega Drive I and Game Gear[20] with introduction of Mega CD 2[21] and Mega Drive 2[22]. Dorema Distribution was appointed as sole distributor by Wywy.[23]Every console had Red-Blue Wywy sticker on the console box and game box, with white Wywy sticker on the console and cartridge. Wywy also manage to distribute Mega Drive clone called Magic 2. One of the first promotion actions was Wywy Bonanza, that took place from Spetember 18, 1993 to December 31, 1993.

In September 1993, Sega formed Sega Singapore[24] to buy components from the region like semiconductors, AC adaptors, tuners etc. with plans to expand functions in the future to research, marketing, sales etc.[25]

From Summer 1994, Wywy distributed Multi-Mega[26]. Sega 32X (PAL) and Sega Saturn (NTSC) had been delivered to retailers in December 1994.[27]It was rumored that Singapore CableVision would be distributing Sega Channel from 1995.[28]In July 1995, Sega said that would create theme park called E-Zone Sega World until December this year.[29]Wywy is also known to sell NTSC Sega Nomads and in some retailers Sega Pico and Tiger LCD could be seen but this one wasn't confirmed for now.[30][31]Sega PC games were distributed by Summit[32]

Saturn has been the number one game console in Singapore until 1996, when in December, Playstation was released[33]. Sega Saturn has became the distant second, despite its initial success. One reason is that the pirated CD software for Sega Saturn was fewer in number and higher in price. Unlike Sony PlayStation, Sega has not established a good marketing network and its products can only be found in video game shops.[34]


Sega was back by launching its 128-bit game console, Dreamcast in Singapore, Hong Kong and some other Asian nations in November 1998. Until end of December 1998, Sega sold 500 000 units in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore together[35]. However, the reception of Dreamcast has been lukewarm in Singapore due to high price and limited software.[36]Sega.com Asia planned to launch localized internet service for Dreamcast until end of 2000, but it's fate is unknown[37].

After Dreamcast

New Era distirbuted some of the PC titles from 1997[38], but full distribution was taken around from 2005[39] up to 2016 when Play Interactive took over.

Sega Amusements Singapore distributed arcades from 2006.

In 2010s, Sega created Sega Asia which handle regional releases of games,[40] but not physical distribution.

In 2018, Epicsoft Asia (represented here by Grand Centrex Limited)[41] was appointed sole distributor of Sega games starting with Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, Shining Resonance Refrain, Valkyria Chronicles 4, Fist of the North Star and Virtual-On[42]. From 2019, they distributed Genesis Mini[43].

On October 13, 2022, Sega established once again Sega Singapore for marketing purpose in Southeast Asia but Epicsoft will still remain as distributor.[44][45]

Passion Marketing distributes toys form Sega.[46]


  1. File:Sega_Company_Profile_1970.pdf
  2. Sega Fun-Tastic! - The Straits Times December 28 1983
  3. https://www.smspower.org/forums/16067-SouthEastAsianSMSModelNo301007
  4. Your world will never be the same The New Paper November 18 1989
  5. Sega TV Game Set - New Straits Times 1990-08-13 Page11
  6. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19910905-
  7. Benjamin Ng Wai-ming, "Japanese Video Games in Singapore: History, Culture and Industry"
  8. Benjamin Ng Wai-ming, "Japanese Video Games in Singapore: History, Culture and Industry"
  9. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19920522-
  10. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19920703-
  11. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19920703-
  12. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/biztimes19921205-
  13. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19921229-
  14. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/newpaper19921218-
  15. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/biztimes19930217-
  16. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19930218-
  17. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/biztimes19930114-1.2.8?ST=1&AT=filter&DF=&DT=&AO=false&NPT=&L=&CTA=&NID=&CT=&WC=&YR=1993&SortBy=Oldest&K=sega&KA=sega&P=1&Display=0&filterS=0&QT=sega&oref=article
  18. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19930619-
  19. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19930918-
  20. https://www.game-gear.de/othergg.htm
  21. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19931006-
  22. https://www.mega-drive.net/othermdsystems.htm
  23. https://www.klik.com.my/item/story/510297/wywy-plans-to-bring-in-virtual-reality-soon
  24. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19930719-
  25. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/biztimes19930909-
  26. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/newpaper19940812-
  27. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/newpaper19941224-
  28. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/biztimes19950524-1.2.6?ST=1&AT=filter&DF=&DT=&AO=false&NPT=&L=&CTA=&NID=&CT=&WC=&YR=1995&SortBy=Oldest&K=sega&KA=sega&P=4&Display=0&filterS=0&QT=sega&oref=article
  29. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/stoverseas19950708-
  30. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19961115-
  31. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19961214-
  32. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/digitised/article/straitstimes19980331-,%20summit&q=sega%20summit
  33. https://sonyinteractive.com/en/our-company/expanded-company-timeline/
  34. Benjamin Ng Wai-ming, "Japanese Video Games in Singapore: History, Culture and Industry"
  35. https://www.itprotoday.com/windows-8/sega-sells-500000-ce-based-dreamcast-machines
  36. Benjamin Ng Wai-ming, "Japanese Video Games in Singapore: History, Culture and Industry"
  37. https://web.archive.org/web/20010208231942/http://www.sega.com.hk/b5/aboutsega/press3.htm
  38. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19970304-
  39. https://web.archive.org/web/20050831023756/http://www.neweraonline.com:80/corp/games.htm
  40. https://www.siliconera.com/sega-established-singapore-branch-to-cover-southeast-asia/
  41. https://sg.wantedly.com/companies/gcl/about
  42. https://www.facebook.com/epicsoft/posts/we-are-proud-to-announce-that-epicsoft-asia-pte-ltd-has-been-appointed-as-the-so/10156093727165775/
  43. https://www.gamerbraves.com/epicsoft-asia-is-bringing-the-sega-genesis-mini-to-south-east-asia/
  44. https://www.kakuchopurei.com/2022/10/sega-opens-new-singapore-branch/
  45. https://gettotext.com/sega-opens-a-subsidiary-in-singapore-to-conquer-southeast-asia/
  46. http://www.passiongp.com/
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