From Sega Retro
|Charles E. Balthaser Jr.|
|Company(ies): Sega of America|
|Role(s): Product Development Manager, Senior Vice President of Product Development|
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Charles "Ken" E. Balthaser Jr. is an American businessman and former Sega of America Senior Vice President of Product Development, most known as one of the company's first producers, and the man largely responsible for bringing Western game developers to the Sega Genesis.
Hired in 1989 by Michael Katz to address the issue of the early Sega Genesis library having a low representation of American-developed games, Balthasar worked to reduce the reliance on localizing Japanese releases. Establishing connections with third-party studios in the United States and Europe for game development to expand the platform’s lineup, he began the Sega of America methodology of having company product managers (producers) supervise development of external projects. Balthaser’s contributions were also key to the establishment of Sega of America’s first in-house game development studios, and can be attributed to much of the success of the early Sega Genesis library.
In 1991, Balthaser would establish the Sega MultiMedia Studio, a state-of-the-art audio video software production house. Complete with professional recording studio and advanced video processing abilities, it would go on to provide media-based development and support for nearly two dozen Sega of America-published games, as well as non-Sega music artists for commercially-released albums.
- Joe Montana Football (IBM PC; 9999) — Producers
- NFL's Greatest: San Francisco vs. Dallas 1978-1993 (Mega-CD; 9999) — Sega Producers (as Ken Balthaser Jr.)
- World Series Baseball (Mega Drive; 1994) — Producers (as Ken Balthaser Jr.)
- Demolition Man (Mega Drive; 1995) — Special Thanks (as Ken Balthaser Jr.)
- Demolition Man (Mega-CD; 1995) — Special Thanks (as Ken Balthaser Jr.)
- Main article: Photos of Ken Balthaser
- A Brief History of Video Game Development article by Matt Powers at Gamasutra
- The History of a Forgotten Computer - Part 1 article by Matt Powers at Gamasutra
- The History of a Forgotten Computer - Part 2 article by Matt Powers at Gamasutra