Sega AM5

From Sega Retro

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Sega AM5
Founded: 1989[1]
Defunct: 1999
Headquarters: Japan

Sega Amusement Machine Research and Development Department #5, commonly known as Sega AM R&D #5 or Sega AM5, was a research and development division within Sega. Specialising in the development of indoor theme park attractions, planning of large amusement facilities, and initially children's amusement machines, it existed for around a decade, becoming Mirai R&D in 1999 after the other Sega AM and CS teams were reformed.

Members

History

AM5, then likely known as R&D5, was reportedly created in 1989[1] and was split from the arcade hardware design department of Sega AM4, at that time still known as R&D4. Opened with the specific aim of creating amusement machines for families to be placed in suburban facilities such as Sega's own Japanese game centers,[1] it initially focused on creating small childrens' arcade machines like the Waku Waku line of kiddie rides, whilst also undertaking more complex work on a number of early large simulators, including the AS-1.[1] These were originally showcased at industry trade shows and expos; some saw more permanent use at a few of the larger amusement venues open around the world at that time, like Sega's own Sega World Cospal, which housed a CCD Cart installation when opened in 1991.[2][3] The team's name change to AM5 occurred alongside the separation of Sega's R&D teams to use the CS and AM names in 1991.[4][5]

Eventually, much of AM5's work became devoted to creating the vast majority of the various mid-size and large attractions that populated Sega's Amusement Theme Park centers in Japan during the 1990s, including (but not limited to) Joypolis.[6][4] Prominent development personnel included Tokinori Kaneyasu, Hiroshi Uemura, and Hironao Takeda; some members of the team, such as Hiroshi Nakanishi, also carried out design and planning work on the centers themselves.[7] Unlike AM4, which frequently provided hardware for the largely software focused departments AM1, AM2 and AM3, AM5 appears to have designed, developed, and programmed most of its hardware/software by itself; however, its two most notable works, the AS-1 and VR-1 simulators, were given software assistance by AM3, as well as overseas collaborators Douglas Trumbull and Virtuality, respectively.[8][9][10]

AM5 was most active from 1993 to 1998, when it was officially deemed the "Joypolis Attraction R&D Department"[11] and Sega's theme park operations were still being continually expanded, requiring the constant development of new showpiece attractions. Initially exclusive to Japan, some of its large-scale produce eventually became available outside of the country in SegaWorld London and Sega World Sydney, however due to financial pressures and managerial problems, the majority of these theme parks were either closed permanently or scaled back, with only the flagship Tokyo Joypolis receiving frequent updates thereafter.[10] In 1999, AM5, like all the AM and CS teams at Sega, was renamed, and ceased to exist. Mirai R&D took its place, which diversified its amusement interests and eventually returned the team to its roots by focusing on arcade machines for small children again.

Sega has continued to develop attractions for the remaining theme park venues they are affiliated with, however, it was only during the 1990s that a specific internal division was promoted for these tasks and largely dedicated to them.

Softography

Magazine articles

Main article: Sega AM5/Magazine articles.

References

Domestic Sega studios
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 Enterprises, Ltd. Sega Corporation Sega Games & Interactive
Sega R&D 1 Sega AM1 R&D #1 WOW Entertainment Sega WOW Sega AM1
Studio 128 Sega R&D 8 Sega AM2 R&D #2 AM2 of CRI Sega-AM2 Sega AM2
Sega AM11 R&D #4 Amusement Vision New Entertainment Sega CS1
Ryu ga Gotoku Studio
DigitalRex AM Plus
Sega AM3 R&D #3 Hitmaker Sega AM3
AM Annex R&D #5 Sega Rosso
Sega AM4 Sega Mechatro Product R&D
N. Pro. R&D
Sega AM5 Mirai R&D Family Entertainment
Sega AM6
Sega R&D 2 Sega CS Sega CS1 R&D #6 Smilebit Sega Sports Design
Megasoft Team Andromeda
Sega PC Online R&D
Sega CS2 R&D #7 Overworks GE2 Sega CS3
Sonic Team
Sega CS3 R&D #8 GE1 Sega CS2
GE3
R&D #9 United Game Artists
Sega Sound Team
Sega Digital Media Wave Master Wave Master (label)
Mobile Content R&D Sega Networks
Visual Entertainment Marza Animation Planet