History of Sega in Ukraine

From Sega Retro

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Ukraine 
History of Sega in Ukraine
Official Sega distributor(s): Buka (1994-1999), Bitman (1996-1997), R-Style (1997-1999), NVT (2000-2002), Softprom (2007-2012), 1C-SoftClub (20xx-20xx)

Ukraine declared independence in 1991. Since that year, the country has been a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

Video game consoles

Steepler, which had rose to prominance in the newly-created Russian video game market by selling unlicensed Dendy consoles (i.e. Famicom clones), expanded into Ukrainian markets around 1993. Steepler would go on to sell its Mega Drive clone, the Pro 16 Bit, as well as imported Asian model 2 Sega Mega Drives and North American Sega Multi-Megas also with games from this region.[1]The company also brought pirate games from Asia.

In 1994, Nissho Iwai offered Buka (Бука) the status of authorized distributor, so the company also began selling consoles from Forrus.[2] Buka managed to get along with Steepler and Dendy for the sale of original Mega Drive 2 but company sold them at a more expensive price than unofficials. By 1994/1995 the first officially-licensed Sega products arrived in the CIS, including the Mega Drive 2 (European PAL and Asian PAL), Sega Saturn (Asian NTSC and later European PAL), Sega Mega-CD model 2 (Asian NTSC and European PAL), Sega Game Gear (European PAL), Master System 2 (European PAL) and Sega 32X (unknown specification).

At that time, new clones of Sega consoles appeared in Ukraine. Bitman started their consoles called Super Bitman and Turbo Bitman. Kenga which was established in Ukraine, started the distribution of the Mega-Ken console and Mega Drive II (clone). Kenga got along in 1995 with Sega for the official distribution of the Sega Multi Mega console.

Kenga created its own TV program called Kenga Predstavlyaet to promote it's games. Steepler, on the other hand, supported the Hrayutʹ Usi! There was also a Sega Ostrov show and some rumors say that the Russian series Sonic - Super Hedgehog was also broadcast in Ukraine.

Despite the large piracy, Sega recognized Mega Drive as a success in the Ukraine. To act even more effectively against piracy, in 1996 Bitman, became the distributor No.1 of Sega Europe in both Russia and the CIS, replacing Forrus' role in the latter. Bitman distribute the Mega Drive 2, Sega Saturn , Sega Mega-CD model 2, Sega Game Gear, Sega 32X and Sega Pico in addition to the Super Bitman all in the European PAL system.[3][4] After the success of Mega Drive, Sega had high hopes for the distribution of Sega Saturn. The Russian and CIS markets have become a priority among former Eastern Bloc countries.[5] Despite the efforts of Buka and Bitman, Sega Saturn just as in other countries of the world did not sell as good as Mega Drive.

In 1997, Bitman was acquired by R-Style, which inherited the former's distribution agreement. R-Style continued selling Saturn (European PAL and NTSC-U) , Mega Drive II (European PAL) , Mega CD II (European PAL) and Pico (European PAL).

Sega Dreamcast has also reached Ukraine. In 2000 NVT was appointed a distributor and started selling consoles.[6] Consoles were sold along with Russian documents. The end of 2000 was marked by a boom for DC consoles in the CIS countries, which was related to the mass distribution of Russified versions of games (pirated ones) and the decrease in prices of the console and games thanks to official distribution.[7] Despite the failure of Dreamcast in the world, in the CIS countries the console was well received and could be bought until the end of 2003. The original games were rare and pirate games were popular, which were translated into Russian. Several companies producing unoriginal Russian translations such as Vector, had their representatives in the CIS.[8]

In the early 2000s, in addition to the Mega Drive clones from Russia, there were also Ukrainian Sega clones. Their advantage was that the boxes and instructions were localized in Ukrainian. There were two major brands of such clones. The first is Mega Drive with variants such as Mega Drive One, Mega Drive 2 and Mega Drive III. The second was Kombat with variants like Kombat 16, Super Kombat, and Kombat Obuchayushchii. In later years and today, most of the clones distributed in Ukraine come from Russia.

Softprom and 1C SoftClub

Softprom took over the distribution of games in 2007 and ended it in 2012.[9]

In the following years, the games were published by the 1C company. The company's branch - 1C SoftClub had partners in this region. 1C published several Sega games before 2013. In 2019, SoftClub stopped selling games in Ukraine. Sega games are still available in digital distribution and Ukraine itself belongs to the RU-CIS-UA region when it comes to digital keys. Until 2018, digital game distribution platforms such as Steam suggested lower prices for this region.

Sega Amusement

Since 2006, the distribution of arcade machines and equipment for children produce by Sega is being carried out by KidsPlay.[10]

QubicaAMF is a strategic partner in Russia and CIS countries.

Sititek

Sititek is the official distributor of Sega Toys in Russia and CIS countries.[11]

References

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