History of Sega in the Netherlands

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History of Sega in the Netherlands
Official Sega distributor(s): Homesoft (1986-1989), RCA/Columbia Pictures Video (1989-1993), Sega Netherlands (1993-1996), AtollSoft (1996-2006), Sega Benelux (2006-2012), Level03 Distribution (2012-present)

In the 70s Netherlands was one of the countries where Sega imported its game machines.

From the end of 1986 until 1989, Homesoft distributed the Sega Master System. The company created SegaClub.

In 1989, RCA/Columbia Pictures Video began distributing Sega consoles purchased from Atoll. During this time, they created membership club called Sega Masters Club with special magazine for members called Sega Masters Club News, available in both French and Dutch. They also started marketing campaign called Doe me een plezier... Sluit me aan op een Sega. Early on, the Sega Master System games had instructions in French but not Dutch. Atoll has added separate inserts with Dutch instructions to many games. Later European versions will contain Dutch as standard. There was also a bilingual Sega Hotline available. In 1991 Mega Drive, Game Gear and Master System II were released.

Sega had 25% of market in Netherland until April 1992.[1]Awareness of Sega consoles was growing month by month thanks to new marketing campaigns like te SEGA voor woorden and others. By the end of 1992 Sega's market share was 35%.[2]The Mega CD was announced for February-March 1993 with asking price of 800 NGL.[3]The Amstrad Mega PC was released in the Netherlands in March 1993 by Amstrad Benelux for NLG 2499.

In August 1993, Sega Europe took over product distribution and founded Sega Netherlands based in Hilversum. [4]The Mega CD II was released on September 15, 1993. [5] In October 1993, in Amsterdam, advertisements appeared in which a group of English investors presented a proposal to organize a Formula 1 street race in the capital. The route was to be announced by Damon Hill. This sparked a general outrage among the press and the community. Many people have suggested that Sega is behind it because Damon Hill appeared in the ad,[6] but Sega Netherlands representative denied it. Soon all the confusion vanished.[7][8]

In 1994, Sega continued the attack with new marketing campaign called Beat us if you can and Radio 538 created Sega Pirate Radio 538. Sega Multi Mega was released in this year and later also Mega Drive 32X.

Sega Pico was released in Netherlands.

In March 1995, Sega Netherlands announced that there are 200,000 Mega Drive consoles in the country. The Sega Channel was also announced to start in June for NLG 35 a month. [9] Sega Saturn released on July 12, 1995. [10] but on March 1, 1996, Sega Europe closed its branch in the Netherlands. The reason was the decrease in turnover in the Benelux countries by 50%. AtollSoft took over distribution for the Benelux markets. In 1996, TCI's technology group got the rights to distribute Sega Channel in the Benelux Union. In the Netherlands, the service was provided by Eneco from October 1996 but results were poor.

Dreamcast appeared at the same time as the rest of Europe. Dreamcast Internet was available from December 2000. By February 2001, more than 20,000 consoles had been sold in the Benelux countries.[11]

In 2006 Sega returned to the Benelux region, with Sega Benelux opening up an office in Amsterdam.

Following restructuring in 2012 Sega Europe once again closed down it's Benelux operations, handing over distribution to Level03 Distribution.

References

  1. https://www.delpher.nl/nl/kranten/view?query=sega&facets%5Bperiode%5D%5B%5D=1%7C20e_eeuw%7C1990-1999%7C&page=7&maxperpage=50&sortfield=date&coll=ddd&identifier=ddd:010646740:mpeg21:a1520&resultsidentifier=ddd:010646740:mpeg21:a1520
  2. https://www.delpher.nl/nl/kranten/view?query=sega&facets%5Bperiode%5D%5B%5D=1%7C20e_eeuw%7C1990-1999%7C&page=10&maxperpage=50&sortfield=date&coll=ddd&identifier=ddd:010637573:mpeg21:a0129&resultsidentifier=ddd:010637573:mpeg21:a012
  3. https://www.delpher.nl/nl/kranten/view?query=sega&facets%5Bperiode%5D%5B%5D=1%7C20e_eeuw%7C1990-1999%7C&page=12&maxperpage=50&sortfield=date&coll=ddd&identifier=ddd:010691539:mpeg21:a1332&resultsidentifier=ddd:010691539:mpeg21:a1332
  4. https://www.delpher.nl/nl/kranten/view?query=sega&coll=ddd&identifier=ddd:010691590:mpeg21:a0921&resultsidentifier=ddd:010691590:mpeg21:a0921
  5. https://www.delpher.nl/nl/kranten/view?query=sega&facets%5Bperiode%5D%5B%5D=1%7C20e_eeuw%7C1990-1999%7C&page=22&maxperpage=50&sortfield=date&coll=ddd&identifier=ABCDDD:010842423:mpeg21:a0141&resultsidentifier=ABCDDD:010842423:mpeg21:a0141
  6. Damon Hill advert
  7. https://www.trouw.nl/nieuws/het-jaap-van-der-scheur-circuit~b53b0a40/
  8. https://www.trouw.nl/nieuws/een-formule-1-race-in-amsterdam-bleek-in-1993-geen-geslaagd-idee~b8b19364/
  9. https://www.delpher.nl/nl/kranten/view?query=sega&facets%5Bperiode%5D%5B%5D=1%7C20e_eeuw%7C1990-1999%7C&page=47&maxperpage=50&sortfield=date&coll=ddd&identifier=KBPERS01:003252008:mpeg21:a00015&resultsidentifier=KBPERS01:003252008:mpeg21:a00015&rowid=9
  10. https://www.delpher.nl/nl/kranten/view?query=sega&facets%5Bperiode%5D%5B%5D=1%7C20e_eeuw%7C1990-1999%7C&page=50&maxperpage=50&sortfield=date&coll=ddd&identifier=ABCDDD:010870883:mpeg21:a0103&resultsidentifier=ABCDDD:010870883:mpeg21:a0103&rowid=41
  11. https://www.lalibre.be/economie/entreprises-startup/sega-sur-le-point-de-jeter-l-eponge-face-a-plus-fort-que-soi-51b87097e4b0de6db9a56693
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