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|Fast facts on Sega of America|
|Headquarters: California, formerly San Francisco|
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Sega of America (SoA) is the company responsible for Sega's North American operations. The sister division is Sega Europe. This page compiles all games which are made within American regions, or are developed by a Sega of America producer.
SoA is largely considered to be Sega's second base of operations, following Sega of Japan which ultimately makes the final decisions. Sega of America was Sega's second attempt at cracking the US market - its first, a company known as "Sega Enterprises, Inc." had previously make traction in the region in the late 1970s and early 1980s, only to have much of its assets sold to Paramount in the wake of the North American video game crash of 1983. Sega subsequently pulled back for a few months (establishing a relationship with Bally Midway for arcade and home console distribution), but re-entered the market some time later with the intent of marketing the Sega Master System to the American populace.
Since the mid-1980s, Sega of America's primary role has been to localize Japanese games for English-speaking regions. It was established relatively early on that an American presence was needed for Sega as the Japanese executives did not understand the American market well enough.
At first, Sega of America allied with Tonka for Master System distribution, though following the launch of the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis in North America), it began to play a much more significant role in the industry. Sega of America's efforts greatly influenced the video game industry as we know it today (for example, it created the VRC ratings board, which led to first industry-wide system, the ESRB)
For many years it was believed that America could not produce video games to Japanese standards - SoA's first home-grown game, Monopoly needed to be "saved" from poor quality production and impending delays in 1988, and this trend often continued, with SoA adopting a policy of quantity over quality (attempting to develop and publish significantly more games than rivals Nintendo to give the impression that Sega systems were backed by more developers, and were hence seen as superior). Over time, Sega of America became the dominant force within Sega, largely thanks to luminous executive Tom Kalinske. This was in thanks to marketing strategies of the Genesis in the US, as well as a strong line-up of games that defined Sega's library like Ecco the Dolphin, ToeJam & Earl, Comix Zone, as well as sports games and other games based on western licenses and movies. The marketing influence of the Sonic The Hedgehog series is also of note, although besides Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the game development staff remained Japanese throughout.
In the mid 90's, SoA largely fell of due to Sega Saturn compatibility and development being very hard for developers. During that period, Tom Kalinske generally disagreed with the policies of Sega of Japan, and went on to do edutainment, which was influenced by SoA's own efforts (mostly by Novotrade) on the Sega Pico. Another venture was SegaSoft an off-shoot branch that focused on original PC games, formed around the mid 90's. Around the same period, Sega of Japan launched a PC initiative by porting a variety of games.
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. In 2005, Sega of America was hit with a large scale restructuring, with it being designed to appeal more to the Western market, due to it being becoming larger than the Japanese market. This however led to numerous questionable games, with some games being some of the worst in Sega's history. This includes licensed games The Golden Compass, Aliens: Colonial Marines and Iron Man, as well ill fated attempts to reboot SoJ franchises such as with Golden Axe: Beast Rider and Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric.
Around 2015, Sega was evaluating on how they should handle the American branch in the future. Effectively, SoA was relocated from San Francisco to Irvine, California, to share the same office with Atlus USA, which Sega had acquired earlier. The main purpose of the new Sega of America and Atlus USA, is to localize the Japanese games of their respective parent company. In addition, a dedicated office for the Sonic franchise in Burbank, California exists as well.
Unlike in Sega of Japan, all games are created with an external company
|Overseas Sega companies, studios and subsidiaries|
|CSK||Sega Sammy Holdings|
|Sega of America|
|Sega Technical Institute|
|Sega Away Team|
|Sega France||Sega France|
|Sega España||Sega España|
|Sega Germany||Sega Germany|
|Sega Benelux||Sega Benelux|
|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 of America Dreamcast|
|Sonic Team USA||Sega Studios USA|
|Sega Mobile||Sega Networks Inc.|
|Sega Publishing Korea|
|Sega of China|
|The Creative Assembly|
|Sega Studios San Francisco|
|Sega Studios Australia|
|Three Rings Design|