History of Sega in Ukraine

From Sega Retro

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

Ukraine declared independence in 1991. Since that year, the country has been a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and remained there until 2014 due to the country's crisis.

From Mega Drive to Dreamcast

Most of Sega's history in this region from this period is related to History of Sega in Russia with minor changes, so the events are briefly summarized.
1. Steepler releases Dendy in 1993 and starts selling Sega clones (Pro 16 Bit and High Quality) and the original Mega Drive 2 from Asia, Genesis CDX[1] from USA with US/EU/Asian/Bootleg games.
2. Nissho Iwai gets licenses to distribute games in CIS countries and in 1994 selects several authorized distributors such as Buka who supply Mega Drive 2 [2](EU/AS PAL), Mega-CD 2[3] (EU PAL/AS NTSC), Master System 2 (EU PAL), Game Gear (EU PAL), Sega Saturn[4] (AS NTSC/EU PAL), Mega Drive 32X[5]. Steepler starts selling Mega Drive 2 from Nissho Iwai channels.[6]
3. The wave of Sega and Dendy clones begins to flood the CIS countries on flea markets, small stores and from specialized sellers (like Bitman and Subor), which means that the original systems reach a smaller number of people. There are Ukrainian brand from Kenga with Mega-Ken, the fake Mega Drive II and Fugi Star Drive 2 by Teplostar. Kenga obtained the rights to officially sell Multi Mega in 1995 in CIS countries.
4.Kenga created its own TV program called Kenga Predstavlyaet to promote it's games. Steepler, on the other hand, supported the Hrayutʹ Usi!. Sega created its own show called Sega Ostrov and some rumors say that the Russian series Sonic - Super Hedgehog was rebroadcast in Ukraine. Besides Famicom and Mega Drive clones, Sega had competition in form of Super Nintendo and Game Boy (distributed from November 1994 by Steepler[7]), 3DO (distributed from late 1994 by Buka), PlayStation (distributed from March 1995 by Buka[8], which distribution was taken over from July 1997 by Sony CIS[9]), CD-i (distributed from 1995 by A –STIMUL[10] with chain of 3 authorised distributors) and Atari Jaguar (distributed from 1995 by Game Land).
5. Despite problems with clones, Sega says Mega Drive had good sales in Russia and CIS[11] and decides to push Sega Saturn. They signs a deal with Bitman as distributor no.1[12] (making Super Bitman legal)[13], Buka as distributor no. 2 and R-Style as distributor no. 3 and starts selling all Sega consoles in its stores in the PAL system.[12]
6. Sega Saturn turns out to be a failure and Bitman is bought by R-Style in 1997[14], which with Buka solds Sega consoles until late 90s.
7. The region was flooded in the late 1990s and early 2000s with Sega and Dendy clones, from Russia by specialized sellers (like Simba's Video Games and New Game) with translated into Russian console box, game boxes and later localized games. The second wave was from Asia by companies like Kin Wai (Hong Kong) Investment Limited which through TOV Kombat sold localized console boxes in Ukrainian and Russian and sold it's own tanslated games into Russian. Kin Wai distributed Mega Drive One, Mega Drive 2, Mega Drive III, Genesis 3, Sega 2000, SAGA PS, Saga XXI Century, Kombat 16, Kombat 16+ and Super Kombat.
8. Sega returns with Dreamcast, released by NVT in 2000.[15]In the end of 2000, due to pirated translations of games into Russian and their distribution through its own sales channel in CIS countries,[16]the console became popular[17]. After Big Ben Interactive became a distributor in Western Europe, local Russian distributors bought out the consoles and distributed them to the CIS countries, so that the console was sold long after its withdrawal in other parts of the world.

Softprom and 1C SoftClub

Softprom took over the distribution of games in 2007 and started active promotion but this lasted to around 2012.[18]

From 2012, games were released in Ukraine by the 1C-SoftClub[19]. The only Sega game that distribution has been stopped in CIS countries was Company of Heroes 2.[20]

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. This was mainly due to piracy.

In 2010s and 2020s, Sega clones could still be bought from local retailers. Most of them were imported from Russia with Russian language bootleg games but some of the distributors sold it's own copies, different only in package like IgroMen or VideoGames.

Sega Amusement

Since 2006, the distribution of arcade machines and equipment for children produce by Sega is being carried out by KidsPlay.[21]

QubicaAMF is a strategic partner in Russia and CIS countries.


Sititek is the official distributor of Sega Toys in Russia and CIS countries.[22]


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