Difference between revisions of "Sega of America"

From Sega Retro

(cleanup, fixed some links, minor rewrite)
Line 35: Line 35:
  
 
===32-bit Struggles===
 
===32-bit Struggles===
The Sega Super-32X was originally designed as a standalone console to replace the [[Sega Mega Drive]]. In Japan, the Mega Drive was not as popular as had been hoped, and a more-modern but still backward-compatible system seemed more reasonable. In the United States however, the [[Sega Genesis]] had a significant market share and was already installed in millions of American homes. To ask those consumers to replace their systems entirely was unfeasible. [[Sega of America]] reasoned that, if the Sega Super-32X had to happen at all, the hardware should be an addon for existing 16-bit machines, especially with the runaway success of the North American Sega market. Sega of America’s arguments won out, and although the Super-32X would see eventual worldwide release, it was this push to protect the American Sega Genesis market that is unfortunately so misremembered by fans.
+
The [[Sega 32X|Sega Super 32X]] was originally designed as a standalone console to replace the [[Sega Mega Drive]]. In Japan, the Mega Drive was not as popular as had been hoped, and a more-modern but still backward-compatible system seemed more reasonable. In the United States however, the [[Sega Genesis]] had a significant market share and was already installed in millions of American homes. Sega of America reasoned that to ask those consumers to replace their systems entirely was unfeasible, and the end result of these discussions was the Super 32X’s redesign as a peripherial for existing Mega Drive hardware.
  
 
{{rewrite}}
 
{{rewrite}}

Revision as of 21:28, 5 April 2021

https://segaretro.org/images/7/76/Sega_logo_International_R.svg

Sega logo International R.svg
Sega of America
Founded: March 21, 1985 (as "Sega Enterprises (USA)")[1]
Headquarters: Irvine, California, United States

This short article is in need of work. You can help Sega Retro by adding to it.


Sega of America, Inc. is the company responsible for Sega's North American operations.

History

Pre-1986

Sega has technically had a presence in the United States ever since its 1946 inception as an American entity, but it was it’s later Japanese incarnation Sega Enterprises, Ltd. that would grow to see actual success. Acquired by Gulf+Western in 1969, the purchase allowed the company to expand into the American market in 1974 with the establishment of Sega Enterprises, Inc. in Los Angeles, California. Initially importing Japanese games while producing games of their own (and even a consumer television), this American branch also traded under the name “Sega of America” for the next decade.

Eager to expand Sega’s newfound presence in the United States, the company acquired American arcade developer Gremlin Industies to become Gremlin/Sega, and with the increased production capability was able to steadily establish itself in the arcades of the early 1980s. It also began to develop arcade ports for the fledgling home market, with games being released on the Atari VCS, home computers, and other platforms. Renaming itself Sega Electronics in 1982, the division continued to produce games up until its assets were purchased by arcade manufacturer Bally Midway the next year.

Later seeking to rejoin the American market, Sega Enterprises, Ltd. would established two new American subsidiaries: Sega Enterprises, Inc. (U.S.A)[1] on March 21, 1985 to again distribute its arcade games in the West, and Sega of America, Inc. on March 10, 1986[2][3] to assist with consumer products like the upcoming Sega Master System. The two subsidiaries co-existed for several years and both had San Francisco Bay Area offices closely nearby another.

Tonka and the Master System

In late 1987 Sega of America partnered with Tonka to market and distribute their recently-launched (and poor selling) Sega Master System. Tonka’s knowledge of the American toy market was seen as highly valuable, and the joint venture exceeded expectations in turning around ailing Sega Master System sales. While Sega of America choose not to continue this partnership, the experience it gained in the home console market would prove indespensable.

At this time, the American branch served mainly as a channel for bringing games to the West, and as a result Sega’s first home console saw little third-party support. Although sporting a library of quality Sega-produced titles, the console was unable to effectively establish itself in a market dominated by the wildly-popular Nintendo Entertainment System. Nearing the launch of what was now Sega of Japan’s upcoming 16-bit machine, American executives identified what they believed to be holding the company back, and what changes would be necessary, for eventually taking on Nintendo’s monopoly of the home market. Above all however, it was felt that the American market needed games tailored for American tastes; a philosophy would be at the heart of much of Sega of America’s methodology. Instead of waiting for the production of Japanese software, only to have to further localize them, Sega of America could establish in-house game development and produce software domestically.

While the company prepared for the release of the Sega Genesis, newly-hired Director of Product Development(?) Ken Balthaser realized many of these domestic productions would not be ready by the system’s launch. It was decided that Sega of America would contract third-party developers in the United States and Europe to ensure the Sega Genesis launched with games tailored to American tastes. Externally-developed games would be supervised by a Sega of America producer who would coordinate between the two companies, with games often being conceptualized and seen to completion by the same producer. A strong showing of quality sports games was also deemed as crucial to breaking through to the Western market, and together with the upcoming machine being leagues above what the Nintendo Entertainment System could currently provide, Sega of America was ready to introduce North America to the next generation. And it needed to show consumers that a geared-up competitor had finally arrived; one that could dethrone Nintendo.

Genesis Does What Nintendon’t

The 1989 launch of the North American Sega Genesis was overwhelmingly successful. While supported by a quality game library of foreign and domestic games (some featuring something novel - celebrity endorsements), the Genesis most strongly banked on its clever marketing to demonstrate the machine’s superiority over the existing Nintendo Entertainment System. Most notable was the 1990 ad campaign Genesis Does. Created by advertising agency Bozell, it was an instant hit with both Sega executives and the American public. With a tagline of “Genesis Does What Nintendon’t”, the campaign produced a stunning commercial featuring numerous celebrities, shots of colorful games, and a catchy accompanying song featuring the line “You can’t do this on Nintendo.” Many began to see Sega as not just the first real competitor to Nintendo, but as the next step entirely.

Suddenly, Sega of America had created a corporate image for themselves, but one framed by Nintendo: Sega was the cool, cutting-edge company that makes games for cool older American kids, and Nintendo was the safe, slow rival. With the arrival of Sonic the Hedgehog, the continued success of the Sega Genesis against the Nintendo juggernaut was all but assured, and while this corporate image would grow less appealing as more forced attitude was used, it showed that Sega was willing to focus everything in its power to show it was the true “anti-Nintendo.”


Rewrite.svg
This article needs to be rewritten.
This article needs to be rewritten to conform to a higher standard of article quality. After the article has been rewritten, you may remove this message. For help, see the How to Edit a Page article.

Sega of America would later establish the Videogame Rating Council rating system for its games in the summer of 1993. Created in response to Mortal Kombat’s Sega Genesis release to further differentiate mature themes in its games, the system would directly influence the design of the industry-wide Entertainment Software Rating Board created the following year.

32-bit Struggles

The Sega Super 32X was originally designed as a standalone console to replace the Sega Mega Drive. In Japan, the Mega Drive was not as popular as had been hoped, and a more-modern but still backward-compatible system seemed more reasonable. In the United States however, the Sega Genesis had a significant market share and was already installed in millions of American homes. Sega of America reasoned that to ask those consumers to replace their systems entirely was unfeasible, and the end result of these discussions was the Super 32X’s redesign as a peripherial for existing Mega Drive hardware.


Rewrite.svg
This article needs to be rewritten.
This article needs to be rewritten to conform to a higher standard of article quality. After the article has been rewritten, you may remove this message. For help, see the How to Edit a Page article.

Struggles selling the Sega Saturn in North America led to a scaling back of internal production and consolidation of many of Sega of America’s development teams.

End of an Era

Rewrite.svg
This article needs to be rewritten.
This article needs to be rewritten to conform to a higher standard of article quality. After the article has been rewritten, you may remove this message. For help, see the How to Edit a Page article.

During the Dreamcast era, Sega of America came back strong, due to Visual Concepts and the 2K games - as well as strong marketing reminiscent of the Genesis days. Like on Saturn, the bias was more towards localizing Japanese games however. A great deal of work from Sega of America went into the design of the Sega Dreamcast.

Post-2001

Rewrite.svg
This article needs to be rewritten.
This article needs to be rewritten to conform to a higher standard of article quality. After the article has been rewritten, you may remove this message. For help, see the How to Edit a Page article.

Sega of America underwent wide restructuring in 2005.

Sister company Sega Enterprises, Inc. (U.S.A) merged with the company on April 1, 2008[1]. The resulting company retained the name Sega of America.

After a 2015 evaluation of Sega of America’s future, the company saw significant downsizing and relocated from their San Francisco, California office to one in Irvine, California. Now sharing office space with the Sega-owned Atlus USA, both companies are primarily focused on localization and licensing. An additional office dedicated to handling the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise’s American presence exists in Burbank, California.

Softography

Master System

Mega Drive

Game Gear

Sega CD

Pico

Sega 32X

Sega Saturn

Dreamcast

PlayStation 2

GameBoy Advance

Xbox

GameCube

Nintendo DS

PlayStation Portable

Xbox 360

Wii

PlayStation 3

Nintendo 3DS

Wii U

Xbox One

PlayStation 4

Nintendo Switch

PC

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 California Business Search: Entity #C1271130
  2. California Business Search: Entity #C1299989
  3. Sega Visions, "February/March 1993" (US; 199x-xx-xx), page 81
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
SegaSoft
Sega Entertainment
No Cliche
Sega of America Dreamcast
Sonic Team USA Sega Studios USA
Visual Concepts
Sega.com
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
Amplitude Studios