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The Evolution of Sega 145

Posted by Soulskill
from the building-a-better-hedgehog dept.
Gamasutra is running an interview with Simon Jeffrey, Sega of America's CEO, discussing the gradual change of the company from a hardware manufacturer to a game publisher. Among other things, he talks about how the transition was intended to help keep up with rival manufacturers at a time when Sega was clearly falling behind. "We were on the cusp of the next generation, and on the cusp of Nintendo changing into a different company and opening up a new part of the market. So it felt like the time was right for Sega to reinvent itself. Really what I tried to do was ride that train and make the most of that point in time, bringing new people into the company and start building the kind of products that would get a leadership position in the next generation on the Wii and the DS, rather than just playing catch-up with everybody else, which is what we've traditionally done."
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The Evolution of Sega

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  • by ibanezist00 (1306467) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @01:04PM (#24601545)
    All your blue hedgehogs are belong to us!
    • by An ominous Cow art (320322) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @01:39PM (#24602089) Journal

      A better headline might have been "The Sega Saga".

    • by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Thursday August 14, 2008 @01:43PM (#24602161)

      All your blue hedgehogs are belong to us!

      I've read far greater histories of Sega told by far greater men within the company then this guy. Instead of waxing poetically into the failure that is today's Sega maybe he outta be down with the workers ensuring the next Sonic game isn't a critical failure as has become the norm. Hey we may see a lot of Mario, but by and large [wikipedia.org] he is kept to games of acceptable quality. But hey maybe I'm just a little bitter, considering the company had the best hardware they could of ever asked for with the Dreamcast and yet it was a non-starter. Too much 'change' was the problem, to many add ons for core hardware that shouldn't have been neglected with such piss poor hardware releases [gametrailers.com]. And here we have an article about more change from Sega... 9th time is a charm eh?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Sega has produced a few good games this generation, true that none of the Sonic games are among them but Sega is hardly failing. They might not garner the hype of a Halo or GTA but most of their current generation titles have solid sales with a decent following.

        Game like Condemned, and The Club are good, I just wish they'd do MORE games like that, most of their releases in the last year have been movie tie ins which isn't all that great for the one noble Sega.

        At least their modern versions of Sega Ral
      • The truth be told, the company was failing and he wanted to save is ass. The bottom line is still the influx of cash.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Toonol (1057698)
          The truth be told, the company was failing and he wanted to save is ass. The bottom line is still the influx of cash.

          Which is commendable, and exactly what we want in an executive.
      • by PhotoBoy (684898)

        I agree. Just as damning is that Jeffrey didn't even know if Yu Suzuki was working for Sega anymore! If Jeffrey doesn't even know if Sega's most prolific and successful game creator is still working for the company I find it hard to bother listening to what he has to say.

        Now if only they'd let Suzuki make more than one game in 5 years (Sega Race TV). And preferably that game would be Shenmue III.

  • What's weird... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday August 14, 2008 @01:08PM (#24601599) Homepage Journal

    ...is how all the animosity has gone out of the relationship between Sega and Nintendo. Not just in the corporate world (where most of it was blustering, anyway) but in the minds of consumers as well. When was the last time you heard someone say, "Sega is way better than Nintendo!" or "Nu-uh, Sega beats the pants off Nintendo!" Even when the Dreamcast came out, it was well received on both sides of the fence.

    Of course, the wussifying of Sonic the Hedgehog might have something to do with this. Considering that he's now portrayed as a "cute" character rather than "cool and edgy", this might have gone a long way toward changing the public's perception of Sega.

    • Re:What's weird... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by genner (694963) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @01:15PM (#24601707)

      Considering that he's now portrayed as a "cute" character rather than "cool and edgy", this might have gone a long way toward changing the public's perception of Sega.

      It's hard to been as a edgy talking hedgehog when you have to compete with GTA.

      • Well, the edgy hedgehog now is Shadow. He's got a gun.

      • by k_187 (61692)
        But what if its an edgy talking blue hedgehog that's also a werewolf?
      • Well it's more that Sonic's positions have moved into the mainstream. He started off as a radical environmentalist who wanted to Free The Animals from their Evil Robotic Prisons, but now everyone's a freaking animal-freeing hippy ;-).

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Chris Burke (6130)

        It's hard to been as a edgy talking hedgehog when you have to compete with GTA.

        Doesn't mean they won't try! [vgcats.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Sonic's asshole 'tude was an American marketing invention. In "reality," the character has changed very little, other than the design reboot in Adventure.

      He has not been marketed as a "cute" character even in post-Adventure times in Japan, to any greater degree than any other game company mascot. Relatively speaking, Sonic hasn't been marketed at all; the interviewee in TFA acknowledges as much. Rather, SoA have simply stopped being advertising jerks, because they no longer have any reason (competing pro

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by teslar (706653)

      When was the last time you heard someone say, "Sega is way better than Nintendo!" or "Nu-uh, Sega beats the pants off Nintendo!"

      I think that pretty much stopped when Sony entered the scene.

      Funny little related anecdote though... way back in the mid-90s when said animosity was going very strong with the Megadrive and the SNES fighting on the front lines, a French game magazine (I think it was Player One, but not sure) ran an April Fool's joke that was basically a 2 page article on how Sega and Nintendo we

      • by hairyfeet (841228)
        Yeah,and the way Sony killed that dead was the original Twisted Metal. A Plumber VS a Hedgehog just doesn't compete with Sweet Tooth. The first time I saw Twisted Metal playing on a demo machine with the whole "R U Red E" ad playing the first thing I thought was "Nintendo and Sega are screwed." It was the only time I ever did the whole "Camp out on launch day for a machine" bit. Because Twisted Metal was worth it,at least for me. But as always this is my 02c,YMMV
    • Re:What's weird... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Moryath (553296) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @01:41PM (#24602125)

      What's left to antagonize? Sega lost - and not just lost, but lost spectacularly, and then cheerfully admitted they lost.

      If you aren't in competition, antagonism tends to die. See the M$/$ony flamewars for today's animosity.

      As for the wussifying of Sonic... actually, if Sega would ever make a good, playable Sonic game again, they might generate a little bit of "competition". The last enjoyable Sonic game I played was Sonic & Knuckles on the old Genesis. The newer 3D-style "Sonic" games are anything but fun.

      You might also be interested in the trend away from mascots in general. I mean, check out this list [wikipedia.org]; how many do you still REALLY identify with a particular platform? For that matter, has $ony ever managed to make a real mascot? Crash Bandicoot never caught on, and their biggest "properties" have forever and always been third-party games. Even old iconics like Megaman can't get much more than a slow death as they get to be the focus of mindless, boring "pokemon-alike" portable platform titles these days. In fact, I'd say that Nintendo is the only company that even invests much in the brand identity of its chosen mascots these days, and even they subject us to a shovelware title like F-Zero GX or Starfox Adventures for every Metroid Prime or Zelda:Twilight Princess they still deliver.

      Of course, the death of mascots has also accelerated with the lack of a pack-in game for most consoles and the lengthening of the development cycle. Part of what made Mario and Sonic so iconic was that their adventures were packed in with the consoles during the height of their formative years, and gamers could rely on at least one new, solid game a year. Now, we wait years between games, and some of the best titles are actually the "off-cycle" ones (look at the Paper Mario/Super Paper Mario series, which delivered a lot more fun with a lot less nuisance/annoyance time than the last two Mario64-alikes).

      Finally, the changing "strageties" kill it too - Master Chief *might* qualify as a mascot for the original Xbox, but not quite as much for the 360 (which has really sold best due to Xbox Live Arcade and the ease of getting downloadable content for games like Rock Band).

      • by DCstewieG (824956)

        ...and even they subject us to a shovelware title like F-Zero GX...

        Funny you should mention that since Sega actually developed it. NOT funny that you could actually call it shovelware. That was an incredible title and I wasn't the only one who thought so [gamerankings.com]. IMO it was by far the best F-Zero and no other games in the futuristic racing genre - or whatever you want to call it - could touch it. Personally, I hope Nintendo has already knocked on Sega's door to get a sequel on Wii with online play.

        • by Moryath (553296)

          Sorry, no.

          F-Zero GX's controls were much less responsive than F-Zero X; in addition, it lost the multiplayer value that had made X so much of a blast.

          "Build-a-car" mode got stupid fast, especially when trying to figure out where you could find parts that wouldn't make it like you were trying to build a jet-assisted hippo.

    • Re:What's weird... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kestasjk (933987) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @01:42PM (#24602143) Homepage

      When was the last time you heard someone say, "Sega is way better than Nintendo!" or "Nu-uh, Sega beats the pants off Nintendo!"

      I think it was when video game consoles stopped being kids toys

    • by qoncept (599709)
      "Nu-uh, Sega beats the pants off Nintendo!"
      I've never heard anyone say that. Because..

      "rather than just playing catch-up with everybody else, which is what we've traditionally done."
      ..which they've always done very poorly. They were consistantly using inferior technology and pushing inferior games. The only time I think I've ever heard anyone prefer Sega was when the Genesis version of Mortal Kombat had red blood and SNES didn't. The best thing Sega ever had going for them was Toejam and Earl.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by AngryLlama (611814)

        Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Genesis/Megadrive come out between the NES and SNES? That means for a while Sega did have the upper hand.

        Not only that, but even after the SNES was released, the Genesis and SNES were very different machines with their own pros/cons.

        • Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Genesis/Megadrive come out between the NES and SNES? That means for a while Sega did have the upper hand.

          Yes, but they squandered their lead. While the Megadrive made System 16 arcade ports easy, most of these games had already been ported to the Master System, which made the system less appealing to Master System owners. And Sega had trouble getting third-party giants to jump ship, so the game selection as a whole was poor.

          By the time Sega got off their ass and cre

      • by Nursie (632944)

        Ehh, no.

        Sonic was always FAR superior to the mario bullcrap. Sega also had the Ecco series going for them.

        There was no catch-up or imitation.

        Plus the Megadrive/Genesis was black, which made it way cooler.

    • Of course, the awesoming [youtube.com] of Mario the Plumber might have something to do with this. Considering that he's now portrayed as a "cool & edgy" character rather than "cute", this might have gone a long way toward changing the public's perception of Nintendo.

    • I don't think the hedgehog has anything to do with it. The top factors in console wars, from what I can tell are:

      1. Fanboyism. I swear some people should have been born dogs, the way they must dedicate their life to some Master.

      2. Us-vs-them mentalities. If you can't have both consoles, you already have a criterion by which to divide the world into an "us" camp and a "they" camp. 'Nuff said.

      3. Probably actually the root of both above: Cognitive dissonance. People tend to be the most rabid in either defendin

    • by Val314 (219766)

      When was the last time you heard someone say, "Sega is way better than Nintendo!" or "Nu-uh, Sega beats the pants off Nintendo!"

      They just replaced it with "Sony" and "Microsoft"

    • When was the last time you heard someone say, "Sega is way better than Nintendo!" or "Nu-uh, Sega beats the pants off Nintendo!"

      Holy mother of cheese and rice, that brings me back to the early 90's.

    • by Sockatume (732728)
      I'm pretty sure the animosity only existed in deranged teenage fans' heads and the single-format magazines in the first place. Contrary to the 1990s games mags' posturing, Yu Suzuki does not want to send a brick upside Shigeru Miyamoto's face, and likewise no adult Nintendo customer was ever perversely opposed to Sega products.
      • by Sockatume (732728)
        Furthermore, I should say that fanboys are only defensive about consoles anyway, as they're the expensive part. Kids will vehemently defend a $400 purchase because the cost of being "wrong" is huge. It's the same reason that SUV and Hybrid owners want to murder eachother, while you rarely see a brutal chain beating over bicycle brands. When Sega dropped out of the console business, they no longer threatened to give Jonny Mario a case of buyer's remorse, and therefore were not the enemy.
    • There's a really, really big gap between the "animosity" of former corporate rivals that work together when one completely capitulates to the other in the main market in which they were competing, and the animosity of over-excitable children about whose toy is better than whose. The only continuity between the two is that there may be marketing teams in the former who will cynically exacerbate the latter.

    • ""Sega is way better than Nintendo!" or "Nu-uh, Sega beats the pants off Nintendo!""

      It would be fair to say that the majority of the animosity has gone because Nintendo more or less won, or atleast beat Sega as far as consoles went, it doesn't seem like so long ago some people either owned the Megadrive (or Genesis) or a SNES, or even the NES or the Master System, and stuck fiercely to there guns about it.

    • by Chris Burke (6130)

      ...is how all the animosity has gone out of the relationship between Sega and Nintendo. Not just in the corporate world (where most of it was blustering, anyway) but in the minds of consumers as well. When was the last time you heard someone say, "Sega is way better than Nintendo!" or "Nu-uh, Sega beats the pants off Nintendo!" Even when the Dreamcast came out, it was well received on both sides of the fence.

      Eh. I was never that way. Even when I was a kid, it wasn't "Sega is the greatest!" and "No, Ninten

    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      You can't have console fanboys without a console.

    • People still argue about SMS vs NES, MegaDrive/Genesis vs SNES. BTW the Genesis is better.
      • by jez9999 (618189)

        Sonic 1 and 2 on the Genesis are better.

        Everything else on the SNES whips the shit out of anything the Genesis had.

  • by XanC (644172) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @01:08PM (#24601609)

    Most companies would keep plodding along, doing exactly what they've been doing because that's what they do. Sega would have fallen farther and farther behind and eventually evaporated to the sound of nobody caring.

    This is why executives get the big bucks (not that all of them are worth it). You need somebody able to step back and evaluate where the company really stands.

    • by kestasjk (933987) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @01:51PM (#24602273) Homepage
      I don't really think it was a choice; they made way too many Dreamcasts, wasted loads of money making Shenmue II (and then didn't even release it on the Dreamcast in the US). Plus the Saturn before that was a flop, and Sega were a big arcade games maker and that market also dried up rapidly. It was a major squeeze all around.

      Don't get me wrong; I bought a Dreamcast and loved it, but I don't think they had the momentum or money for another release after that.

      The sad thing is if they had as much money as Microsoft they could have bounced back easily in the next generation (the current generation), but being such a specialized company means excellent games but volatile profit margins.
      • by BenoitRen (998927)

        wasted loads of money making Shenmue II (and then didn't even release it on the Dreamcast in the US)

        Do you know why they didn't release it in the US and why the European version didn't have English voice acting? Microsoft gave money to Sega, saying "Don't release this game for the Dreamcast in the US; release it for our XBox. Also, we'll pay for the English voice acting.". The rest is history.

    • Are you kidding? Companies reinvent themselves all the time, sometimes not even for good reason. Especially when a new boss comes around, he just _has_ to piss on everything to mark his territory. Whole processes get turned on their head just because the new guy has to show vision and initiative.

      To it, Caldera went from an obscure Linux distribution, to a major proponent of Linux standardization, to buying the SCO name and reinventing itself as an expensive Unix vendor, then to the litigation clown we all l

  • I hate that they went out of the hardware business, but they did what they had to do. But man, did I love my Genesis, especially taking those pre-Internet trips to the software store at the mall to buy games for it (and programs for the PC before the Net really caught on). Coming home from work to blow off some steam with Sonic or Jurassic Park or Echo the Dolphin. Good times.

  • it's a shame (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworldNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday August 14, 2008 @01:10PM (#24601645) Homepage
    The Dreamcast was imo the best console ever made. Years ahead of its competitors, and could even frequently go head to head against consoles that came out years later.
  • by xpuppykickerx (1290760) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @01:11PM (#24601659)
    Have they programmed a game that a girl would rather play with you, rather than go out for breakfast or meet your mother?
  • What killed Sega? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Thursday August 14, 2008 @01:13PM (#24601683) Homepage Journal
    It went downhill(in the US at least) with their release of the Sega CD [wikipedia.org] and other crappy genesis add-ons as well as the ill-fated Saturn which were expensive with not much noticeable difference between the original Genesis games. The Dreamcast was good but Sega never quite recovered from the other crap they made, and they were eaten for lunch by Sony and Nintendo.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by macshome (818789)
      Ahem...

      The Saturn wasn't a noticeable change from the Genesis? I'm assuming you are talking about the SegaCD and 32X here.

      FWIW, Sonic CD is pretty awesome.
      • by Abcd1234 (188840)

        FWIW, Sonic CD is pretty awesome.

        It is indeed. Aside from Sonic 2, it's the best in the series, IMHO.

        The real problem with the CD is the damn obsession publishers had on producing FMV games, rather than taking advantage of the greater capacity, improved graphics, and CD sound to produce top-notch games in the same basic genres. Ahh, Sega CD... so much potential, squandered.

    • by Thelasko (1196535) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @01:39PM (#24602095) Journal

      It went downhill(in the US at least) with their release of the Sega CD [wikipedia.org] and other crappy genesis add-ons as well as the ill-fated Saturn which were expensive with not much noticeable difference between the original Genesis games.

      It seemed like Sega had made it their corporate goal to launch a device and discontinue support for it two months later. Sega's whole fan base became alienated by shelling out massive amounts of cash for bricked hardware. It seemed like every few months there was new hardware to buy. All they had to do was take their time and develop a really good platform. By the time Dreamcast came around, it was too late.

      • Plan? There wasn't a Plan! What there was was a seething hatred, the hatred of Sega's Japanese branch for the American branch, a hatred that was paid back by the Americans with the self-same coin!

        .

        In other words, instead of working together as one big happy company, the two branches worked on backstabbing each other in a scary display of self destructive internal corporate politics.

        All one needs to do is read of the train wreck that was the Neptune project [goodcowfilms.com] or find out about the depressing story of the

      • by Pichu0102 (916292)

        Oddly enough, it seems Sony is going down this same path with the PS3 and constant re-releases of it that extract features like backwards compatibility. The PSP is suffering from re-release syndrome, but at least those actually add something to the system or make it sleeker. Anyone have any idea why Sony seems to think this is a good idea?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sesshomaru (173381)
      A Console Too Soon [eidolons-inn.net]
      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        To show what really killed Sega I hope you don't mind me snatching a little snippet from your excellent link:

        "Sega of Japan had gotten so wrapped up in the possibilities of their little CD-ROM experiment that they didn't - or wouldn't - tell the company's Western offices what it was really all about. They deliberately kept their project hidden from their American and European counterparts until mid-1991. They finally sent Sega of America a deliberately crippled Mega CD prototype in the summer of 1991, not

    • While the Saturn was definitely a flop, it was still an amazing console (arguably the best 2D focused console ever made). It's a shame that Sega chose to go 2D when the world went 3D, but the Saturn was still a huge jump from the Genesis (even with Sega CD & 32X attached).

      I've always wondered what would have happened had Sega made a switch to 3D with the Saturn. They had an amazing 3D sonic prototype (the demo of a level was on Sonic Jam), there's a great article called The Greatest Sonic Game We Neve

    • Lol yeah, like the "Menacer" I think that thing had two games?

    • Seriosuly... I haven't been into video games much since the Nintendo64, but when I do feel like playing some games, it's almost ALWAYS my Sega CD I take out and hook up to play. I also have an Atari 7800, NES, Master System, and SNES to choose from here.

      I will agree that the 32X was completely dumb. I have one, and a few carts for it... but none of the games are amazing, and the improvement over Genesis graphics doesn't seem like it's that much.

      But I love some of those Sega CD games still.

      Sonic CD is grea

  • by realmolo (574068) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @01:19PM (#24601773)

    Seriously. With the exception of the various 2D Gameboy Advance and DS versions of "Sonic the Hedgehog" (which are fun, but nothing very new), their games are horrible. The 3D versions of Sonic for the big consoles have been mostly terrible, and never better than mediocre. They even managed to screw up the Nights sequel.

    I guess there is the Virtua Fighter series, which is still well-done. But who plays that anymore?

    Basically, Sega churns out junk based on their (formerly) popular franchises.

  • I miss Sega (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wandazulu (265281) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @01:22PM (#24601825)

    Specifically, the Sega that brought you Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, and Shenmue. Looking at the consoles I've had over the years, the Dreamcast was by far the one with the weirdest, and ultimately most enjoyable libraries out there. Yeah, Soul Calibur 4 looks sweet on the PS3, in high-def and all, but the magic of playing the original, arcade version, on the Dreamcast with no performance or graphics penalty was just amazing.

    Sega was that crazy friend of yours who was funny as hell and had so many good times with, and is now happily filling out TPS reports and saying he can't go out because he's got to work Sunday too.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by genner (694963)

      Sega was that crazy friend of yours who was funny as hell and had so many good times with, and is now happily filling out TPS reports and saying he can't go out because he's got to work Sunday too.

      So.....Sega got married?

      • by FreonTrip (694097)

        Sega was that crazy friend of yours who was funny as hell and had so many good times with, and is now happily filling out TPS reports and saying he can't go out because he's got to work Sunday too.

        So.....Sega got married?

        To the wrong person, maybe...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sesshomaru (173381)
        Indeed [sega.com], to a lady with a bit of a sleazy reputation for hanging out in pachinko parlors...
    • Re:I miss Sega (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Thelasko (1196535) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @01:55PM (#24602337) Journal
      You only remember the good times. Genesis and Dreamcast were great, and ahead of their time. The stuff in between was horrible.

      Sega was like that crazy friend that would convince you to go out and blow all your money on strippers and booze. You would wake up the next morning with nothing to show for it except a splitting headache.

      Sega went to rehab. The world is a better place because of it.
      • by ronfar (52216)

        Sega went to rehab. The world is a better place because of it.

        What color is the sky on your world?

        • by Thelasko (1196535)

          What color is the sky on your world?

          Usually Magenta, but it's dusk here so it's blue. Why do you ask?

      • by BenoitRen (998927)

        The Saturn times weren't the greatest, but there was great stuff there as well. NiGHTS, Burning Rangers, Dragon Force, Panzer Dragoon, etc.

    • Re:I miss Sega (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Mister Whirly (964219) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @01:57PM (#24602351) Homepage
      I still think that the FASA produced Shadowrun for the Sega Genesis is one of the coolest games ever made. I still have my old Genesis console and every once and a while I pull it out just to play Shadowrun. I also was one of the enlightened ones, err, I mean suckers who bought the CD and 32X units. They actually were pretty cool for their time, it's just too bad that the support wasn't there and more games didn't come out for them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by sesshomaru (173381)

        I also was one of the enlightened ones, err, I mean suckers who bought the CD and 32X units.

        That reminds me, when is the next meeting of the Enlightened Ones, we're supposed to be working on that plan to use those enormous Sega monoliths (SegaCD Original, Sega Genesis, topped by 32X) to summon Lord Hastur. [wikipedia.org]

        Ia, Ia, Hasuturu phtagn!!!

    • Re:I miss Sega (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @02:29PM (#24602971)
      I'd say that the death of the arcade probably killed projects like Crazy Taxi, and projects like Shenmue are a serious risk for any company, but for the life of me I can't figure out why they're not making original games like JSR any more. They're playing it very safe lately.
  • Kudos (Score:3, Insightful)

    by the computer guy nex (916959) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @01:22PM (#24601827)
    Have to respect corporations, especially the size of Sega, that can reinvent themselves to adapt to a changing market. Our Automobile industry would be in better shape if they had this same ability.
  • Goodbye Sonic. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Rod Beauvex (832040)
    I will never forgive SEGA for fucking up Sonic the Hedghog with the Adventure series.
  • by greymond (539980) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @01:33PM (#24601989) Homepage Journal

    "Really what I tried to do was ride that train and make the most of that point in time...rather than just playing catch-up with everybody else, which is what we've traditionally done."

    We were tired of being third to Nintendo and Sony all the time, so we just gave up and now produce rehashed versions of our old games on the new systems to make a living.

    Too bad no one but /. was really interested in the dreamcast.

  • I can't believe the shite they made out of the Phantasy Star franchise. They took one of the best RPG worlds and turned it into a series of mediocre action games. I want a real sequel or prequel to the original series, from the same creative leadership.
    • I would buy whatever gaming system decided to do this. It would be worth $$$ to me just to play something with as much creative ideas behind it as this franchise.
  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Thursday August 14, 2008 @01:54PM (#24602317) Homepage Journal

    You had to be ballsy to use the Italian word for masturbation for a company name!

  • Shouldn't there be a "D" in front of "Evolution"?

  • I still own my Sega Dreamcast that I got in 2002 (I got it when Toys R us was selling it for $50, trying to make room for the ps2).
    It is an amazing game console, with some really great games (Sonic Adventure 2, Soul Calibur, Jet set radio, Marvel v.s. Capcom 2, Crazy Taxi, etc.). I literally cried when I heard that Sega would stop making games for it soon after I bought the thing.
  • Sega no more (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 14, 2008 @02:02PM (#24602461)

    Sega's console games division pretty much died with the Dreamcast. Their once flagship Sonic games have been reduced to a cash cow, just like Capcom's Mega Man games. But at least the newer Mega Man games aren't bogged down by ridiculously convoluted plot lines, horrible gameplay and the constant addition of useless characters that distance the series from its roots (i.e. PLAYING AS SONIC). It says volumes when the long anticipated sequel to "NiGHTS" had a muted reception. The best that long time Sega fans can hope for is that they don't screw up their old franchises too badly.

    The Sega of today is Sega only in name, similar to that corporate mess they now call Atari. After the deal with Sammy, Sega's chief purpose is to lend whatever cache the name has left to a wide array of games like "Yakuza" and various licensed games (mostly developed by third parties) like "Iron Man" and "The Incredible Hulk". Gone are the days when you could closely identify a game as being distinctly Sega - games like Panzer Dragoon, Space Harrier and the Shinobi series among others.

    The good news is that Sega does release a lot of quality of arcade games - if you can find an arcade to play them in. The House of the Dead and Virtua Fighter series are still going strong, Sega has continued porting both series to home consoles. Just ignore the Sammy titles rebranded as Sega ones - like those darn deer hunting games.

    • Re:Sega no more (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Moryath (553296) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @02:25PM (#24602885)

      But at least the newer Mega Man games aren't bogged down by ridiculously convoluted plot lines, horrible gameplay and the constant addition of useless characters that distance the series from its roots (i.e. PLAYING AS SONIC).

      Uhm... which Megaman games are you playing?

      The Megaman X series - Zero, Axl, and now the three girl-versions from Megaman X8?
      The Megaman Battle Network/Star Force - Pokemon-Alike Series?
      The Megaman Zero/ZX series - where you constantly switch between staff/gun/sword/shield/yoyo/etc weapon styles or which character you're mimicking?

      Of all the modern ones existing today, NONE feel even close to being Megaman,or have anything other than ridiculously convoluted plot lines.

  • The real problem that took Sega out of the hardware industry was a design flaw in the dreamcast system. Someone in their engineering department dropped the ball with the Security of the system. Anyone with any business skillz knows you have to protect your product. Unmodded system playing burned games = extinct console.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by notamisfit (995619)
      Somehow I think that's overlooking a LOT of factors involved in the Dreamcast's demise. The imminent rise of the PS2, the announcing of the XBox and Gamecube, Sega taking a huge loss on every console sold, etc, etc.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by lsmo (1106631)
        Actually I think the 360 and PS3 are still selling them at a loss, but the revenue from game sales gives a little boost. Sega lost that little boost when everyone was able to download and burn. I know its not the only reason for the demise, but I do think it is at the top of the list. And I bet it won't happen to another console ever again.
        • by Cochonou (576531)
          Drawing a parallel, right now the Nintendo DS would be a financial hole, since the encryption of its game cards has been cracked since 2006. From an external point of view, it still seems rather profitable given all the money Nintendo has in bank.
          • That's not much of a parallel unless Joe and Jane Consumer somehow gain the ability to easily and inexpensively manufacture their own duplicate game cards using technology readily available on any PC. Which they don't, so your analogy fails.

            • by Cochonou (576531)
              Does it ? Loading flash memory cartridges are widely available, and they are about the same price range (if not cheaper) as a CD-burner was at the time of the Dreamcast. Once you have a loading cartridge, the only thing you need is a flash card reader, which is included by default on most laptops. I think the situation is quite close.
  • I always liked Sega... seems like they always had quality products and good systems. Now if I could only find the power cord to my old Saturn I'd fire it up and play a few!

  • by gilgongo (57446) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @04:15PM (#24605015) Homepage Journal

    http://flickr.com/photos/gilgongo/752902874/ [flickr.com]

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