Sega Mobile

From Sega Retro

SegaMobile logo.svg
Sega Mobile
Founded: 2002-04-18[1]
San Francisco, California, United States

Sega Mobile was a division established within (a division of Sega of America) to tackle the then-emerging mobile video games market. It was founded in April 2002 and initially run by Ryoichi Shiratsuchi[1]. Sega Mobile was responsible for Sega's mobile content in North America - other regions of the world were handled differently.

Sega Mobile was established as part of an initial mobile "boom" in the early-2000s, as mobile phone and handheld PDA technology was accelerating at a rapid pace. Sega had already been catering for such a market in Japan, where at the time of this US branch's launch, was estimated to involve 2.5 million users subscribing to "wireless content"[1]. It was widely expected by industry analysts that similar growth would occur stateside, leading to a multi-billion dollar industry for Sega to take advantage of.

Sega Mobile was not the first venture into this market for Sega (a deal with Motorola was announced in June 2000 for their line of iDEN-enabled handsets), but it was the first concentrated effort to bring multiple games to multiple handheld platforms. Progress began in May 2002 after a deal was signed with US carrier Sprint[2], the first game being Sega Monkey Ball[3].

Sega Mobile added other carriers and platforms to its list towards the end of the year and into 2003, including Pocket PC[4], AT&T Wireless mMode[5], BREW[6] and Palm OS[7]. It later made a deal with publisher Handago to increase the number of distribution outlets[8].

Sega Mobile charged for its games, which were downloaded through 3G services. Many of the earlier games offered through the service were designed to stop working after 30 days forcing the user to re-purchase software.

Sega's US arm produced very little of the content offered through the service - roughly half the games were outsourced to smaller development teams (typically simpler or original titles), while the other half were brought over from Japan (usually arcade or console conversions). The US operation never matched the volume or diversity of titles available in Japan, whose market was far more mature at the time and had more capable handsets on general sale. Furthermore Sega Mobile would stop openly advertising older games and possibly pull them off the market, while in Japan games were available for much longer.

Products for Nokia's N-Gage platform, were not handled directly by Sega Mobile, with responsibilities instead going to the parent company.

Sega Mobile continued its operations throughout the decade, however accelerated change in the mobile market led to two dominant mobile platforms; iOS and Android. Sega Networks Inc. was established in 2012 to cater for this new smartphone market - Sega Mobile subsequently found itself without platforms to support, and so likely folded back into Sega of America.


  • Sprint (since May 2002)
  • AT&T Wireless (October 2002-October 2004)
  • Cingular/AT&T (since October 2004)
  • Verizon Wireless
  • T-Mobile
  • Qwest Wireless (until October 2009)
  • Alltel
  • Hawaiian Telcom
  • Embarq (May 2006-October 2009)
  • Cox Wireless
  • CenturyTel (October 2004-October 2009)



Pocket PC

Palm OS





External links


Overseas Sega companies, studios and subsidiaries
84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
CSK Sega Sammy Holdings
Sega of America
Sega Technical Institute
Sega Away Team
Sega Europe
Sega France Sega France
Sega España Sega España
Sega Vertriebsgesellschaft
Sega Interactive
Sega Germany Sega Germany
Sega Taiwan
Sega Austria
Sega Denmark
Sega Belgium
Sega Netherlands
Sega Multimedia Studio
Sega Midwest Studio
Sega Amusements USA
Deith Leisure Sega Amusements Europe Sega Amusements International
Sega Total Solutions
Sega Prize Europe
Sega Music Group
Sega Entertainment
No Cliche
Sega of America Dreamcast
Sonic Team USA Sega Studios USA
Visual Concepts
Sega of China
Sega Mobile Sega Networks Inc.
Sega Publishing Korea
The Creative Assembly
Sega Benelux
Sega Studios San Francisco
Sports Interactive
Sega Studios Australia
Three Rings Design
Relic Entertainment
Atlus USA
Demiurge Studios
Go Game
Sonic Studio
Amplitude Studios