Innoventions

From Sega Retro

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Innoventions
Location: Florida, United States
Opened: 1994-07-01[1]
Closed: 2001-01

Innoventions was a museum in Epcot at Walt Disney World, Florida. Its purpose was to highlight technological advancements and their practical applications in daily life, and is split into two halves; "Innoventions East" and "Innoventions West". Both were typically sponsored displays featuring two or more technology companies, and were changed, on average, between two and five years, until the museum's permanent closure and subsequent demolishment in September 2019.

Upon its opening in 1994, Sega of America sponsored a relatively large area of Innoventions and kept doing so until the early 2000s. In it, both home releases for a variety of consoles and large arcade mid-size attractions such as Virtua Formula were showcased. Alongside Sega VirtuaLand in Las Vegas, this effectively made it a precursor to the GameWorks chain of entertainment centres.[2]

Other forms of Innoventions existed in other Disney parks, but only the one in Florida was sponsored by Sega.

Displays

Given that Innoventions constantly evolves to demonstrate the latest products, Sega refreshed their offerings several times during their tenure.

1994-1997

Prior to the opening of Innoventions, Sega and MCA/Universal had planned to open a 30,000-50,000 sq ft attraction at rival theme park Universal Studios at around the same period for an estimated cost of $20 million USD. These plans fell through for unknown reasons, with Sega presumably signing a deal with Disney instead.

Initially Sega had a 10,000 sq ft space, which it used to demonstrate 150 Sega Mega Drive (Genesis in this region), Sega Mega-CD (Sega CD) and Sega Game Gear titles[1]. Sega 32X and Sega Saturn games were added later.

The exhibit was divided into five sections; action/adventure, sports, family and kids, future and arcade[1]. The arcade was placed in the centre of the exhibit and featured both an AS-1 machine and an 8-player Virtua Formula setup[1].

The designs for Sega's area were handled by Van Sickle & Rolleri, Ltd, also responsible for Sega's E3 1996, 1997 and 1998 as well as Sega City Irvine.

Sega used its Innoventions exhibit, and Walt Disney World's 25th anniversary celebrations of 1996, to reveal the Sega Saturn's NetLink modem, as well as NiGHTS into Dreams[3].

While Sega offered a number of arcade games, the cabinets were coin-operated, despite disgruntled customers having already paid a fee to get into the park[4].

On the 15th of October, 1997, Sega's area of Innoventions was closed for refurbishment.

Games featured

Mega Drive

Saturn

Arcade

Gallery

1998-1999

Sega's area of Innoventions was moved, and re-opened on the 15th of January, 1998 (the previous space going to IBM). This period lasted eighteen months, with the reduced Sega booth closing on the 15th of July, 1999 for a second refurbishment.

Gallery

1999-2001: Video Games of Tomorrow

With the launch of the Sega Dreamcast, Sega returned with a new area on 30th September 1999[4], focusing solely on their new console. It is thought much of the display originated from E3 1999.

With a new title; "Video Games of Tomorrow", Sega initially offered 34 Dreamcast games to play (including titles not yet released), replacing the arcade cabinets of the previous exhibit[4]. Later a portion was devoted to online play via the SegaNet service.

Sega pulled out of Innoventions in January 2001, wherein the space was occupied by Disney Interactive (who retained the "Video Games of Tomorrow" name).

Games featured

Dreamcast

Gallery

Aftermath

Following the pull-out of Sega from Innoventions, its 8-player Daytona USA cabinet is thought to have moved to Disney Quest in Downtown Disney.

Magazine articles

Main article: Innoventions/Magazine articles.

References


Sega-related venues in the United States
GameWorks
Seattle (1997) | Las Vegas (1997) | Ontario (1997) | Grapevine (1997) | Tempe (1997) | Auburn Hills (1998) | Orange County (1998) | Miami (1999) | Sawgrass Mills (1999) | Chicago (1999) | Columbus (1999) | Irvine (1999) | Tampa (2000) | Newport (2002) | Minneapolis (2002) | Long Beach (2003)
GameWorks Studio
Austin (199x) | City of Industry (199x) | Daytona (199x) | Henderson (199x) | Indianapolis (199x) | Kansas City (199x) | Littleton (199x) | Orlando (199x) | Philadelphia (199x) | San Antonio (199x) | Tucson (199x)
Sega Center
Anaheim Plaza (19xx) | Carson Mall (19xx) | Fashion Valley Shopping Center (19xx) | Fox Hills Mall (19xx) | Los Cerritos Center (19xx) | Montclair Plaza (19xx) | Puente Hills Mall (19xx) | Sherman Oaks Galleria (19xx)
Sega City
Indianapolis (1995) | Cedar Park (1995) | Irvine (1995) | Lone Tree (1996) | Albuquerque (1997) | Baltimore (199x) | San Jose (199x)
Time-Out
Fox Hills Mall (19xx) | Golden Ring Mall (19xx) | Great Northern Mall (19xx) | Time-Out on the Court (19xx)
Sega Station
Kansas City (1997) | Las Vegas (199x)
World Sports Grille
Tucson (2008) | Seattle (200x) | Detroit (20xx)
P.J. Pizzazz
Eastland Center (1980) | Garden Grove (1982) | Puente Hills Mall (198x)
Others
Game City (1992) | Sega VirtuaLand (1993) | Innoventions (1994) | Sega Speedway (1995)