Sega AM1

From Sega Retro

Sega AM1
Division of Sega of Japan
Founded: 1990
Defunct: 1999
Merged into: Sega AM3 (1990), WOW Entertainment (2000)

Sega Amusement Machine Research and Development Department #1, (Sega AM R&D Dept. #1) was a division within Sega Enterprises. It was formed in primarily to create arcade (or "amusement") games. In May 1999 it became Sega Software R&D Dept. 1, and later WOW Entertainment in 2000.[1][2]

AM1 is supposed to be the oldest development division within Sega[3]. Koichi Izumi who then was at the sister arcade division Sega AM3, counted numeruos titles developed in AM1, claiming so many were developed that he could not list them all.[4] This page compiles the games mentioned, as well as common credits among titles.[5] And then titles from the WOW Entertainment production history website..

The most popular titles and well known titles from AM1 during the eighties were action or beat' em' up titles, with creators Makoto Uchida on the forefront with Altered Beast andd Golden Axe and Alien Storm. Also noteworthy are the very first Shinobi title by Yutaka Sugano or Shadow Dancer by Yoshiki Ooka.

1991, Sega AM1 had a major shake up, especially with the formation of Sega AM3 which had former Sega AM1 members. Previously involved with Phantasy Star III, Kazunari Tsukamoto went on to work on OutRunners, Harley Davidson & L.A. Riders and The Ocean Hunter with AM1.

Overall the most known titles during the nineties were The House of the Dead and Die Hard Arcade. AM1 also made strides with the big eleborate cabinets of Airline Pilots or Sega Bass Fishing, bringing back the "taikan" (body sensation) concept of arcades, previously introduced by Yu Suzuki and Sega AM2. Another speciality of Sega AM1 were games for the Sega Titan Video arcade board which had an identical architecture to the Sega Saturn, making ports easy, such as with the AM1 developed Virtua Fighter Remix.


System 18

System 24

System 32

System C2

H1 Board

Model 1

Model 2

Sega Titan Video

Model 3


NAOMI Multiboard

Mega Drive

Game Gear



List of staff

Magazine articles

Main article: Sega AM1/Magazine articles.

External links


Timeline of Sega of Japan research and development divisions