Press release: 1997-06-19: SEGA INSTITUTES FIVE STAR GAMES POLICY
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Original source: Sega.com (archived)
SEGA INSTITUTES FIVE STAR GAMES POLICY Sega Declares War On Mediocre Games -- Vows To Release Only Top Titles ATLANTA -- (June 19, 1997) E3 Booth #1546 -- Sega® of America is coming to the aide of consumers hit by a tidal wave of mediocre titles for other next-generation video game consoles. The video game giant announced today it will enact a "Five Star Games Policy" with all its upcoming releases. Games from Sega and from third parties for the Sega SaturnTM, other Sega consoles and the PC, will meet a five star quality criteria, or they will not be released. This policy will take effect immediately. The Sega of America "Five Star Games Policy" was established following an outcry from consumers and critics alike citing the flood of poorly produced, unoriginal games for other gaming systems. Sega is already seen as a leader in creating quality games, as detailed in the April issue of Next Generation magazine, one of the videogame industry's leading trade publications. The magazine compiled reviews for the three leading next-generation platforms, and Sega Saturn came out on top with the most five star reviews -- the publication's highest rating. Next Generation considers a five star game to be "Revolutionary, brilliantly conceived and flawlessly executed; a new high-water mark." Sega will support the "Five Star Games Policy" on several fronts for Sega Saturn, Sega GenesisTM, arcade, PC, Sega Game GearTM and PicoTM. Company chief operating officer Bernard Stolar and a review panel of product developers, testers and marketing staff will review and monitor each game from the initial concept to the final product. Monthly milestones will be set to assure quality standards for graphics, sound, originality, ease-of-use and gameplay are being met, rated on a 100 point scale (20 points for each category). If at any point in development the game does not meet the "Five Star Games Policy" criteria by falling below a score of 90, the panel will direct designers to correct the flaws or just suggest stopping the project all together. As just one example of the new policy, Sega has formed a special group of game designers whose sole job is to create outstanding, realistic driving titles. This Sega Racing team will be committed to developing titles each year that will adhere to the "Five Star Games Policy" and aim to exceed current consumer expectations. Sega Saturn owners will have many five star games to choose from this year, including "Fighters MegaMixTM," the title Next Generation called "the ultimate fighting game." Other titles will include the much-anticipated Sega Saturn versions of "Last BronxTM" and "Manx TT SuperBikeTM," as well as "Panzer Dragoon SagaTM," "World Series BaseballTM '98" and Third-party five star titles include Electronic Art*s "DiabloTM" and Capcom's "X-Men vs. Street FighterTM." This fall the company will also release "The Lost World: Jurassic ParkTM" for all Sega consoles, Game Gear and arcade. For Sega Genesis, Sega will be re-releasing ten of the most critically-acclaimed games that made that system the number-one selling 16-bit video game console of all time. Titles will have a special value price of just $19.99 and will feature such hits as "Sonic 3TM," "VectorManTM" and "Power RangersTM." "The next generation market is getting flooded with mediocre games. History proves this situation can be disastrous to this business," said Bernard Stolar, chief operating officer, Sega of America. "The 'Five Star Games Policy' clearly signals our dedication to quality over quantity." Sega of America is the arm of Tokyo, Japan-based Sega Enterprises, Ltd. responsible for the development, marketing and distribution of Sega videogame systems and videogames in the Americas. Sega Enterprises, Ltd. is a nearly $3.6 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 (http://www.sega.com).