History of Sega in Slovakia

From Sega Retro

History of Sega in Slovakia
Official Sega distributor(s): Independent retail outlets (1988-1990), Nissho Iwai (1990-1995), DDC Agency (1996-1998), Game Line (2000-2002), CD Projekt (2004-2016), Cenega (2016-present)

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Consoles existed in Czechoslovakia during communism and an example is the Tesla XD 8001 produced by the Czechoslovak company Tesla.[1]

The first information about Sega's entry into this market comes from 1988, when independent retail outlets began the sale of Master System.[2] The information gathered shows that Czechoslovakia was probably the first country in Eastern Europe where Sega products were introduced. This fact is little known, so it can be expected that the Master System was not successful in the country, especially since the political changes in Czechoslovakia continued during this period.

In 1990, Sega established its first office in the country[3] with help of Nissho Iwai who established network of retailers selling Master System. At the time, Sega had competition in form of Rambo TV Game (Atari 2600 clones distributed from <1990), CDTV (distributed from 1992 by AB Comp) and Game Boy[4].


In mid-1992, Nissho Iwai reorganized it's retailers network and began to work with sub-distributors like IBEA. That fact was announced on COFAX 92 that took place in June 1992, where IBEA promoted first model of Master System[5].

After the break-up, Sega consoles were still supply by Nissho Iwai to local sub-distributors. In the first year, Slovakia got Mega Drive[6], Master System II[7] and Game Gear[8]. In mid-1993, ITO Slovakia, subsidiary of Czech ITO CS became one of the Sega's authorized distributors and distributed games with Czech manuals. In the following years, Slovakia saw the release of the Mega Drive II (in 1994)[9], the Mega CD II (in 1994) and the Mega Drive 32X (in 1995).

During this time, many famiclone began to appear in Slovakia, such as Terminator 2 which box design resemble Sega Mega Drive 2. Bootleg versions of Sega games and consoles like for example Super Alpha II‎‎ were also distributed. Besides Famicom and Mega Drive clones, Sega had competition in form of Super Nintendo, Game Boy and Nintendo Entertainment System (distributed from 1993 by Triangle Group International[10][11]), 3DO (distributed from 1994 by Vision[12]) and Amiga CD32 (distributed from 1994), Atari Jaguar (distributed from 1994 by JRC[13]) and Atari Lynx (distributed from 1995 by JRC[14]).

Nissho Iwai lost it's contract with Sega in mid-1995 (likely between August-October 1995), which meant end of existing supply chain. In mid-1996, DDC Agency got autorization to distribute Sega and Atari Games in the Czech Republic with Slovakia and started delivering all previously released consoles, new Sega Saturn and translated game manuals into Czech language. Unfortunately, at the very beginning the company had no dealers in Slovakia[15] and the first ones appeared something around late 1996/early 1997. The market was took over by PlayStation (distributed from December 1996 by Sony Slovakia[16]), which caused Sega to withdraw from the country.

Sega Dreamcast was distributed in Slovakia from March 2000[17] by Game Line[18][19]. Due to Sega's intention to focus on the most key markets (UK, Spain, France, Germany), console was sold here only in selected retailers without affordable price and proper advertisement.

In 2001, the Slovak Trade Inspection Office recognized Sega Mega Drive 2 as a product threatening the user's life and health. This consoles were imported by Hong Tran Thiová, Vina Centrum, Poprad and the owner was from Vietnam.[20][21]

In 2004, the CD Projekt company became a distributor of Sega in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.[22]The company slowly became a representative of Sega in other countries of the Visegrad Group. In 2016, Cenega become representative of Sega.[23]

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