Press release: 1995-10-18: Sega and SOFTBANK enter joint distribution venture

From Sega Retro

This is an unaltered copy of a press release, for use as a primary source on Sega Retro. Please do not edit the contents below.
Language: English
Original source: The Free Library

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 18, 1995--Sega of America and SOFTBANK Corp. of Tokyo Wednesday announced that the two companies have entered into an equally held joint venture to distribute interactive entertainment and PC software and hardware in the United States.

The new company will combine and expand the distribution capacities of these two companies in order to provide less expensive and more efficient distribution services to the entire videogame and PC markets.

The joint venture brings together the leading interactive entertainment company in the world with one of the largest distributors of PC software in the world; SOFTBANK is rapidly becoming the premier "infrastructure provider" in the worldwide computer industry.

To be incorporated on Nov. 1, 1995, the new company will be headed by acting president Bud Werner, who retains his position as group vice president, operations and distribution, at Sega of America. A new president will be named in 1996.

The new company will help both the videogame and PC software industries to reduce the high cost of distribution. In addition, it will create a "one-stop shopping" entity for the more than 30,000 retailers in the United States that sell videogame and PC software.

"All of the many videogame companies have struggled to maintain a high degree of efficiency in the distribution of what has traditionally been a sporadic stream of products," Tom Kalinske, president and CEO, Sega of America, said. "With this new joint venture, now we have a company that can provide the overnight and specialized services our retailers demand, with less cost to the publishing companies."

According to Masayoshi Son, president and CEO, SOFTBANK, the new company takes advantage of both companies' distribution strengths.

"No two companies are better suited to serve the whole interactive entertainment and software industries than SOFTBANK and Sega," Son said. "Sega has perfected the distribution operations for videogames, while SOFTBANK has virtually re-created the method of distributing PC software upgrades to retailers and customers. Now the whole industry can benefit from our collective expertise."

Sega of America currently distributes hardware and software products to more than 20,000 retailers in the United States. SOFTBANK, through its subsidiary UCA&L, the largest telemarketing, transaction processing and fulfillment company in the PC industry, ships more than 30,000 interactive software and PC-related orders per day in the United States and Canada.

The new company will be located in Hayward, Calif. The 225,000 square foot facility is a state-of-the-art distribution center, complete with an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to facilitate the receipt of orders and the tracking of all shipments. Currently, the facility can ship to 16,000 retail destinations in one day.

All of the personnel currently dedicated to distribution services at Sega will remain with the joint venture. Future plans include opening a distribution center in the eastern United States.

Sega of America is the arm of Tokyo-based Sega Enterprises Ltd. responsible for the development, marketing and distribution of Sega videogame systems and videogames in the Americas. Sega Enterprises is a nearly $4 billion company recognized as the industry leader in interactive digital entertainment media, and is the only company that offers interactive entertainment experiences both inside and outside the home.

Sega of America's World Wide Web site is located at

Founded in 1981, SOFTBANK is Japan's largest distributor of computer software, peripherals and systems, as well as Japan's largest publisher of computer-related magazines and books.

SOFTBANK, whose stock is traded over-the-counter in Tokyo, had revenues of approximately $1 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 1995. SOFTBANK's U.S. subsidiaries and joint ventures include: UCA&L, which provides telemarketing and fulfillment services to software developers; Phoenix Publishing Systems, which publishes the software and documentation that personal-computer manufacturers bundle with their products; and SOFTBANK COMDEX Inc. and SOFTBANK Exposition and Conference Co., which produce a number of trade shows worldwide, including COMDEX, Windows World, NETWORLD+INTEROP and WINDOWS SOLUTIONS.

SOFTBANK is the founding partner for the Novell Japan joint venture, and the majority partner of the recently announced Gamebank joint venture with Microsoft Corp.

CONTACT: Sega of America

Lee McEnany, 415/802-3943

Dan Stevens, 415/802-3996



Joanne Biltekoff, 716/871-7631
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