Sega’s roots stretch back to 1940 and a Honolulu-based company called Standard Games, formed by Martin Bromely, Irving Bromberg, and James Humpert. In 1951, Bromely inspired the company’s move to Tokyo, and Service Games of Japan (also known as Sega) was officially registered in May of 1952. Initially, Sega provided coin-op machines to U.S. military units stationed in Japan. The business branched out from there, supplying the domestic Japanese market as well as parts of Asia and Europe.
In 1965, Sega merged with another coin-op company, Rosen Enterprises, Inc. Formed by American entrepreneur David Rosen in 1954, Rosen Enterprises dealt in everything from instant photo booths to mechanical arcade games. A year after the merger, Sega released Periscope, a submarine simulator that became a worldwide hit. In 1969, Rosen and the other shareholders decided to sell Sega to Gulf & Western Industries, with Rosen continuing on as CEO.
Gulf & Western continued to build on the company's original product and marketing strategy, with revenues hitting $214 million in 1982. By 1983, several "firsts" were introduced, including the first laser disc game, Sega Astron Belt, the first 3D video game, SubRoc-3D, and Sega's first consumer video game console, SG-1000, all marketed in Japan.
The arcades and the U.S. home market crashed shortly after. Gulf & Western, which had spun off 20 percent of Sega, bought back the public shares and sold the U. S. assets to Bally Manufacturing Corp.
However, in Japan, Sega survived. Back in 1979, Rosen had acquired a distribution company founded by a Japanese entrepreneur, Hayao Nakayama. Following the crash, Rosen joined Nakayama and other Japanese investors to buy the Japanese assets of Sega for $38 million. Nakayama became chief executive and Rosen headed the U.S. subsidiary. From that point forward, the company vowed to stick not with one concept too long, realizing that each generation of technology has a life and death.
In 1984, Sega Enterprises was bought by a partnership between Sega Enterprises Japanese management and CSK, forming Sega Enterprises Ltd., a Japan-based company.
In 1986, Sega Enterprises Ltd.'s stock was listed over the counter on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. In addition, Sega of America was established to adapt and market video game products to a rapidly expanding American market. It was subsequently given the charter to develop software products specifically for the American market.
In the late 1980s, Sega Enterprises introduced a line of extremely successful video game systems and software titles that propelled the company into international prominence, making it the world's second largest vendor of consumer video game products. In 1990, Sega Enterprises Ltd.'s stock was listed on the first tier of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. In 1993, the stock was listed on the pink sheets of NASDAQ and available in ADR in the U.S.
Genesis and Beyond
In 1990, Sega aimed its products at a slightly older market than its main competitor, Nintendo, and released the 16-bit console, Sega Genesis™. Sega was quickly recognized by its fast-paced, "in-your-face" marketing and advertising campaigns, putting the company in the ranks of Nike® and Levi's® as favorite brands among America's youth.
In December 1994, Sega of America, in a joint venture with Time Warner® and TCI, launched the Sega Channel, which is a nationwide subscription-based cable network, which provides video games to Sega Genesis owners via their cable box. The Sega Channel was praised by the cable industry as the "coolest new service."
In 1995, Sega of America launched the Sega Saturn™ video game system, bringing arcade-quality gaming to the home. Saturn games earned more coveted "Five Star" product review ratings from a popular industry video game magazine than any other platform. In 1996, Sega launched the Sega Saturn Net Link™, a modem that plugs into the Saturn console for online gaming and full Internet access. To date, there are more than 300 first-party and third-party games in the Sega Saturn library.
On September 9, 1999, the world of video games was forever changed. The Sega Dreamcast™ burst onto the scene becoming the fastest-selling video game console of the time. The 128-bit, Internet ready hardware delivered the fastest, most sophisticated 3D games ever seen on a video console. It launched with nineteen stellar titles, a built-in modem for surfing the Internet, online gaming, and a graphics engine to rival reality. Stunning graphics and best-of-breed titles like Sega Sports NFL 2K™ and Soul Calibur™ fueled sales and raised Sega's U.S. market share to 15%, up from 0.1% only a year before. Dreamcast currently has a library of over 200 titles.
In 2000, Sega promoted Peter Moore to President and COO of Sega of America. Previously Executive Vice President of Marketing, Moore plans to lead Sega into the next generation of gaming, while continuing to maintain Sega's strong brand awareness and position in the marketplace.
April 2000 - Sega.com, Inc. became an independent company and has since gained recognition as an industry pioneer in both the online and wireless gaming frontiers. In September 2000, Sega.com launched SegaNet, the world's first online console gaming network.
Sega.com fuses state-of-the-art technologies with innovative vision to produce compelling experiences for the gamer community. Leveraging our 50+ years of video game history, Sega.com provides the creative, marketing, and engineering expertise to achieve Sega's network entertainment objectives.
In 2002, Sega.com launched a new division: Sega Mobile, dedicated to developing, producing, and delivering game content to cell phone and PDA users in North America. Also introduced in 2002: Sega.com Business Solutions, offering unique, full-service business solutions to game developers, publishers, and other youth lifestyle industries.
Sega - Past, Present and Future
Sega has always been a pioneer and will continue to provide the most advanced and compelling products to consumers. No other company has had more "firsts" in the $8 billion video game market than Sega. Sega created some of the first-ever arcade simulator games including Hang On in 1985.
In 1990, Sega unveiled R-360, the first arcade game to be able to rotate 360 degrees. In 1991, Sonic the Hedgehog was born. Sonic is the only non-Disney character featured at Disney World today.
In 1993, Yu Suzuki pioneered the 3D fighting game genre with Virtua Fighter. Virtua Fighter was added to the Smithsonian Institution's Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology Innovation and is currently kept at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
The year 2000 brought other industry firsts including ChuChu Rocket, the first-ever online console video game, Seaman, the first voice recognition videogame in the U.S., Sega Sports NFL 2K1 the first online console sports title, and Phantasy Star Online, the first ever online console RPG.
On January 30, 2001, Sega announced it would create the world's best games for all gamers by publishing content on multiple platforms, as well as for wireless, handheld and other consumer electronic devices. This new strategy combined with a rich arcade heritage and the world's best developers puts Sega in the unique position to be the world's leading software publisher. Sega's first Game Boy Advance title, which was also Sega's pioneer online game, ChuChu Rocket released in May, 2001. By constantly striving to set the standard for interactive entertainment in and out of the home, Sega will continue to give consumers more ways to play the Sega games they have grown to love.
SEGA's first work that SPOnG is aware of is the 1981 title, "Frogger" (C64).
The company has been involved titles released on the Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, PSVita, 3DS/2DS, Wii, PS3, Xbox 360, PC, DS/DSi, iPad, iPhone, PS2, Power Mac, PSP, Xbox, Gizmondo, GameCube, GBA, N-Gage, PlayStation, Arcade, Dreamcast, Neo Geo Pocket Colour, Saturn, Sega 32-X, Sega Megadrive, Amiga, ST, Mac, NEC PC Engine, Game Gear, Sega MegaCD, Sega Master System, C64, Vic-20, Spectrum 48K, Sinclair Spectrum 128K, Amstrad CPC, Atari 5200, Atari 400/800/XL/XE, Atari 2600/VCS, Intellivision, Colecovision and Videopac/Odyssey2. Of these, "Sonic Unleashed" (PS2), "Sonic 3D Blast" (PC), "Sonic Adventure 2" (GameCube), "Sonic Heroes" (GameCube), "Super Monkey Ball" (GameCube) has been a best selling title.
The company is currently involved with the forthcoming 2014 release "Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric" (Wii U).
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