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Sega Sports

From Sega Retro

SegaSports Logo.svg

Sega Sports was a brand used by Sega to market sports video games during most of the 1990s and the early 2000s. First appearing in 1993[1], Sega used the Sega Sports name for about ten years, following in the footsteps of Electronic Arts' EA Sports label (or Electronic Arts Sports Network as it was originally known).

Sega of America had been using sports personalities to sell games since the US launch of the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) in 1989. With lucrative markets from the national American football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey leagues, and EA's proven business model of releasing sports games annually (with updated teams and statistics), SoA chose to create a dedicated "Sega Sports" team to handle the production and marketing of sports software.

The distinction was to help position Sega as a trusted brand for sports titles, that it was dedidcated the the genre and that Sega consoles were the best place to play such games. Sega's rivals, such as Nintendo (who were not producing annual sports games at the time), could then be painted as being indifferent to the genre. At a time where marketing drove the industry, having a "range" of up-to-date sports titles was considered a huge plus by Sega's American branch.

Sega of America's Sega Sports team is presumed to have had a played a similar role to other parts of the company - it was a set of producers, designers and testers which oversaw sub-contracted game development. Elsewhere in the world, "Sega Sports" became a label which was applied to Sega-published sports games regardless of origin. With the Sega Saturn, the scope was often extended to racing games such as Manx TT Super Bike and F1 Challenge.

While the brand appeared all over the world, not all sports games published by Sega used it. Most sports games intended only for Japan or Europe were sold without the branding, as were more light-hearted games such as Sega Soccer Slam.

Sega Sports branding continued to be used until 2003, when Sega sold Visual Concepts to Take-Two Interactive. Take-Two and Visual Concepts would then produce sports games under the 2K Sports label (which continues to this day), while Sega would drop its ambitions to produce sports titles annually.

Games with Sega Sports branding

Mega Drive

Mega-CD

Game Gear

Sega 32X

Saturn

Dreamcast

Windows

PlayStation 2

Xbox

GameCube

Gallery

References