History of Sega in Turkey

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History of Sega in Turkey
Official Sega distributor(s): Metin Tekstil (1991-1994), ARAL (1995-present),

One of the first popular video games to be introduced on the Turkish market were Atari Arcades in early 80s followed by Atari 2600 in 1984 (by Meta Elektronik). These games have become so popular in Turkey that the word Atari has become synonymous with the console.

In the early 90's, Sega's arcades were distributed by few companies like Erka Dış Ticaret ve Mümessillik A.Ş[1] and Oygür Elektronik.

Metin Tekstil made the first attempt to introduce Sega consoles to Turkey in the early 1990s. From March 1991, the first advertisements for the Sega Master System console appeared in newspapers.[2] In the same year, the second Master System model was launched and in December 1991, Game Gear[3] was released. From December 1991, Metin Tesktil began publishing magazine called Sega Magazin Mix. The first 4 issues were issued monthly from December to March in cooperation with 64'LER magazine,[4] but later Metin Tesktil started to publish its magazine every three months. In 1992, Mega Drive model I was introduced. Unfortunately, between 1993/1994 the company ended distribution of Sega products.

From the beginning of the 90s, the Nintendo Famicom clones began to gain popularity in Turkey. The most popular were the Micro Genius distributed by ARAL. In 1995[5], Sega began working with them and released again Game Gear (NTSC-USA[6]), Mega Drive II (Asian PAL[7]) and introduced new Sega Pico (PAL)[8]. The games, consoles and accessories had a sticker on the box: SEGA Product officially licensed for sale in Republic of Turkey [9] and / or the consoles had a sticker underneath with Aral's address. ARAL continued selling famiclones and later also gaming equipment, under the brand "Micro Genius" until this day.

Of course, official Nintendo consoles such as Game Boy and Super Nintendo were officialy sold in Turkey by Toys R Us and Begendik retail chains, but the most popular 16-bit console here was Mega Drive. This was because Nintendo products were very expensive for the Turkish population, which was a common thing for non USA, Japan and Western Europe markets. With the increase of Mega Drive popularity, clones of this console and pirated games have been released in this region. The clones include Premier distributed by Velsan Elektronik San Ve Ticaret, Mega Drive 2 sold by Kontorland, Niysa Assai P5 by Niysa IT Company and Game Star 16-bit which is the successor to the 8-bit famiclones sold in this region. In January 1996, TCI's technology group got the rights to distribute Sega Channel in this region, however, so far little is known about the launch of this service here.[10]

Since 1996, ARAL began distributing the Kid's Gear (NTSC-J) and Sega Saturn (EU PAL[11]). Saturn had opponents in the form of PlayStation released in November 1996 by Sony Eurasia and Nintendo 64 released in July 1997 by Toys R Us.

In 2000, Sega Dreamcast reached the country, but the console wasn't popular. 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.

ARAL sells Sega products in Turkey to this day[12]. Red Vault from Red Entertainment Distribution (Sega distributor in the MENA region) was also available in this country.[13]

Sega's arcade machines have been sold by Meridyen Games and Trio Games Group.[14]


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