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History of Sega in Taiwan

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History of Sega in Taiwan

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Sega has had operations in Taiwan (officially known as the Republic of China) since the early 1980s, however its dubious political status means it is often confused with the People's Republic of China, otherwise known simply as China. Both modern China and Taiwan were originally united as the same country until 1949, when the Chinese Revolution saw China's ruling party, the Kuomintang, "pushed off" the mainland. Taiwan has since experienced rapid growth and has transformed into a multi-party democratised nation. In contrast, though mainland China is the fastest growing nation in the world, it is exceptionally difficult to market and produce video games in this region due to tight restrictions imposed by the state.

Taiwanese factories, as is the case for many Asian countries, are often responsible for the manufacturing of electronics equipment, including video game consoles, accessories and games designed by Sega. However, cheap manufacturing costs and relaxed copyright laws have led to Taiwan being a hub for unlicensed hardware and software too. The majority of unlicensed video games for third and fourth generation video games (such as the NES/Famicom and Sega Mega Drive) originate from the country.

Sega's endeavours in Taiwan are hard to track at the present time, however an early partnership with Aaronix saw officially licensed versions of the SG-1000 II and Sega Mark III released in the country. Taiwan presumably fits within Sega's definition of "Asia", and has therefore likely received Sega-branded NTSC versions of the Sega Mega Drive and Sega Saturn too, though the extent to which they were supported is not known. Taiwanese companies such as C&E and Realtec have managed to get their unlicensed products overseas, and C&E's Xin Qi Gai Wang Zi (otherwise known as Beggar Prince) was given a global release by Super Fighter Team. C&E would later work with Game Bank to release official Saturn games, and another Taiwanese developer, Softstar Entertainment, received a publisher's license of their own.

Koei was one of the first Japanese video game companies to have active operations in both China and Taiwan, so Saturn games such as Sangokushi IV and Sangokushi V have seen official releases in these regions. Sega has had an official branch of the company since 1981, though did not form Sega Taiwan until 1992. Sega does not produce games within Taiwan, but does maintain a large share of the arcade market in this region, as well as running a Sega World.

References


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