Sega


Sega

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Sega Corporation is a multinational video game software and hardware development company, and a home computer and console manufacturer headquartered in Ota, Tokyo, Japan. The company had success with both arcades and home consoles, but on January 31, 2001, officially left the consumer console business and began concentrating on software development for multiple third-party platforms.

Sega's main offices, as well as the main offices of its domestic division, Sega Corporation (Japan), are located in Ota, Tokyo, Japan. Sega's European division, Sega Europe Ltd., is headquartered in the Brentford area of London. Sega's North American division, Sega of America Inc., is headquartered in San Francisco, California; having moved there from Redwood City, California in 1999. Sega Australia's headquarters are located in Sydney, New South Wales. The company also has offices in France, Germany and Italy.

On November 1st, 2000, Sega changed it's company name from Sega Enterprises, Ltd to Sega Corporation.

History

[edit]Origins and entry into the video game market (1945–1989)
Sega was founded in 1940 as Standard Games (later Service Games) in Honolulu, Hawaii, United States, by Marty Bromely, Irving Bromberg, and James Humpert to provide coin-operated amusements for American servicemen on military bases. Bromely suggested that the company move to Tokyo, Japan in 1951 and in May 1952 "SErvice GAmes of Japan" was registered.

In 1954, another American businessman, David Rosen, moved to Tokyo and established the company Rosen Enterprises, Inc., in Japan to export art. When the company imported coin-operated instant photo booths, it stumbled on a surprise hit: The booths were very popular in Japan. Business was booming, and Rosen Enterprises expanded by importing coin-operated electro-mechanical games.
Rosen Enterprises and Service Games merged in 1965 to create Sega Enterprises. Within a year, the new company released a submarine-simulator game called Periscope that became a smash-hit worldwide.

In 1969, Gulf+Western purchased Sega, and Rosen was allowed to remain CEO of the Sega division. Under Rosen's leadership, Sega continued to grow and prosper. In 1976, they released a big screen TV, Segavision (not to be confused with their upcoming portable game system, Sega Vision).

In the video game arcades, Sega was known for games such as Zaxxon and Out Run. Sega's revenues would hit $214 million by 1982 and in 1983, Sega would release its first video game console, the SG-1000, the first 3D arcade video game, SubRoc-3D, which used a special periscope viewer to deliver individual images to each eye, and the first laserdisc arcade game, Astron Belt.

In the same year, Sega was one of the victims of the video game crash. Hemorrhaging money, Gulf+Western sold the U.S. assets of Sega to famous pinball manufacturer Bally Manufacturing Corporation. The Japanese assets of Sega were purchased for $38 million by a group of investors led by Rosen and Hayao Nakayama, a Japanese businessman who owned Esco Boueki (Esco Trading) a arcade game distribution company[8] that had been acquired by Rosen in 1979. Nakayama became the new CEO of Sega, and Rosen became head of its subsidiary in the United States.

In 1984, the multibillion dollar Japanese conglomerate CSK bought Sega, renamed it to Sega Enterprises Ltd., headquartered it in Japan, and two years later, shares of its stock were being traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. David Rosen's friend, Isao Okawa, the chairman of CSK, became chairman of Sega.
In 1986, Sega of America was established to take advantage of the resurgent video game market in the United States.

Sega would also release the Sega Master System and the first Alex Kidd game, who would be Sega's unofficial mascot until 1991 when Sonic the Hedgehog took over. While the Master System was technically superior to the NES, it failed to capture market share in North America due to highly aggressive strategies by Nintendo and ineffective marketing by Tonka. However, it did dominate the European and Brazilian markets until Sega discontinued the system in Europe in 1996, and in Brazil in 2000

Shift to a software manufacturer (2001–2005)
On January 23, 2001 a story ran in Nihon Keizai Shimbun that said Sega was going to cease production of the Dreamcast and develop software for other platforms After the initial denial, Sega Japan then put out a press release confirming they were considering producing software for Playstation 2 and Game Boy Advance as part of their "New Management Policy". Then on January 31, 2001, Sega of America officially announced they were becoming a third-party software publisher.

The company has since developed primarily into a platform-neutral software company, known as a "third-party publisher", that creates games that will launch on a variety of game consoles produced by other companies, many of them former rivals, the first of which was a port of Chu Chu Rocket to Nintendo's Game Boy Advance.

Arcade units are still being produced, first under the Sega NAOMI name, and then with subsequent releases of the Sega NAOMI 2, Sega HIKARU, Sega Chihiro, Triforce (in collaboration with Nintendo and Namco) and the Sega Lindbergh.
By March 31 2002, Sega had five consecutive fiscal years of net losses. To help with Sega's dept, CSK founder Isao Okawa, before his death in 2001, gave the company a $695.7 million private donation, and also talked to Microsoft about a sale or a merger with their Xbox division, but those talks failed. On February 13, 2003, Sega announced plans to merge with Sammy, but plans fell through. Discussions also took place with Namco, Bandai, Electronic Arts and again with Microsoft.

With this shift to software development, this affected Sega's Australian operations. Sega Ozisoft ceased to operate in its current form with Sega Enterprises selling its share in Sega Ozisoft and was bought over by Infogrames in 2002. This led to Infogrames having an Australian presence for the first time but decided to change the company name for its Australian operations to GameNation. Sega then went to find an Australian distributor, and made a deal with THQ Asia Pacific, who at the time until 2006 had deals with Capcom. In 2003 GameNation was changed to Atari Australia and then challenged THQ Asia Pacific to the distribution rights to Sega's IP's in Australia but failed. In early 2008 Sega Corporation announced that Sega would re-establish an Australian presence, effectively ending THQ's distribution of Sega's products in Australia and would be a subsidiary of Sega of Europe, rather than being a separate local subsidiary like Atari Australia, Nintendo Australia and THQ Asia Pacific.

In August 2003, Sammy bought the outstanding 22% of shares that CSK had, and Sammy chairman Hajime Satomi became CEO of Sega. With the Sammy chairman at the helm of Sega, it has been stated that Sega's activity will focus on its profit-making arcade business rather than its loss-making home software development. In late December, Sega released Sonic Heroes selling over 2 million copies. It was the first Sonic game to be on both the Xbox and the PlayStation 2.

During the middle of 2004, Sammy bought a controlling share in Sega Corporation at a cost of $1.1 billion, creating the new company Sega Sammy Holdings, one of the biggest game manufacturing companies in the world. With the merger, Sega reabsorbed its second party studios and began to reorganize them. Tetsuya Mizuguchi, father of Sega Rally and Space Channel 5, cited the changes in the corporate culture after the Sega-Sammy merger.

On January 25, 2005, Sega's Visual Concepts, a studio Sega dubbed a "1.5" developer, was shut down by Take-Two Interactive. Sega used the parlance "1.5" as a mid-point of sorts between first-party and second-party developer status: that is, a wholly owned studio that would otherwise be known as a first-party developer, but was outside of internal development teams. Visual Concepts was known for many Sega Sports games including the ESPN NFL Football series, formerly NFL2K. The sale also came with Visual Concept's wholly-owned subsidiary Kush Games. Take Two subsequently announced the start of the publishing label 2K Games because of this purchase.

Current Status (2006–present)
By the end of 2005, Sega experienced strong earnings growth across multiple divisions. Contributing to the company's success were strong pachinko sales, and sales of software titles Ryu Ga Gotoku (known as Yakuza outside of Japan), Mushiking, and Sonic the Hedgehog.

In an effort to appeal to western tastes, they partnered with Obsidian Entertainment to develop a new RPG for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC based on the Aliens Franchise.[33] The partnership was the latest in a series of collaborations with western video game studios, including Monolith Productions (Condemned: Criminal Origins), Bizarre Creations (The Club), and Silicon Knights (who have yet to announce their project with Sega).

That desire to have a more Western appeal for Sega was shortly followed up by Sega acquiring British developer Sports Interactive after a successful run of publishing Football Manager 2005 and 2006, in which they managed to sell 1.5 million copies,[34] the deal was said to be worth in the region of £30 million ($52 million) by Miles Jacobson, Sports Interactive’s Managing Director.[35] This was, however, not the only developer Sega acquired, as they also purchased American developer Secret Level. Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed,[36] Secret Level had begun work before being bought by Sega to “recreate a classic Sega franchise" for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in July 2005, which was revealed to be Golden Axe: Beast Rider later that year.

While Sega continued its expansion in the West, on May 8, 2006, it was announced Sega of Japan begun helping famed Sega developer and Sonic Team head Yuji Naka (known for being the main programmer for the original Sonic the Hedgehog games and Nights into Dreams...) to start up his own company titled "Prope" (Latin for "beside" and "near future") in which Sega helped provide 10% startup capital[38] and have the option to publish games produced from the studio if they wished to.

Due to the continued success of Sega’s software sales, the company reported on May 17, 2006 a 31% rise in net profits from that of the previous year of the period ending March 31, 2006, being posted at ¥66.2 billion ($577 million), as well as an increase in operating profit growing by 13% from the previous year, being posted at ¥553.2 billion ($4.82 billion). Notable titles to have helped Sega increase profits in the West, such as Shadow the Hedgehog (which sold over a million copies) and Sonic Riders, whilst in Japan, games such as Yakuza, Mushiking and Brain Trainer Portable continued to have strong sales.

Although Sega seemed poised to continue increasing profits, the company reported a massive drop of 93% profits for the period ending June 30, 2006 compared to the same period the previous year. Net income for the company dropped from $98.3 million (a year earlier) to $7.12 million for this period as well as total sales dropping from $926.5 million to $809.1 million, Sega reported that the decrease in profits was due to no significant big releases by its slot machine division.

Despite this, Sega reported in November a massive 52% rise in profits for the periods between April and September 2006, compared to the same period last year.[42] Software sales for the company had also increased with 5.75 million. Of those units, 1.76 million were sold in Japan, 1.59 million in Europe, 2.36 million in the US and 30,000 in other regions. a number of titles were said to have performed well, in particular Super Monkey Ball: Touch & Roll for the Nintendo DS and Football Manager 2006 for the Xbox 360 having sold well. While Sega performed better in 2006, they had slashed their forecasts for the year ending March 2007 by 20% with an anticipated profit of $536.7 million, down from the initial profits of $656.7 million.

On August 26, 2007, IGN Australia announced that Sega would re-establish itself in Australia, ending THQ Asia Pacific's distribution of Sega products in Australia. Sega Australia has a very close relationship with Nintendo Australia, despite Sega Ozisoft and NAL previously being rivals in the Australian gaming market. Sega Australia currently do not distribute in New Zealand, instead like most other Australian publishers, they opt to let retailers take care of the distribution e.g EB Games Australia and K-Mart.

Continuing to prepare more games for the Western market, Sega was able to bridge a partnership with New Line Cinema in September to develop a game for the movie tie-in game The Golden Compass and also partnered themselves with Fox to develop two new games based on the Alien franchise. Sega then assigned critically acclaimed developers Gearbox software to develop a first person shooter (Aliens: Colonial Marines) and Obsidian Entertainment to develop an RPG based on the popular film franchise for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. The latter was cancelled for undisclosed reasons by Sega. However Aliens: Colonial Marines is still in production by Gearbox and has an expected release date of 2010. Sega has also been publishing games from independent studios (such as Platinum Games), and is currently considering turning them into franchises.

Sega has also designed an online flash game site dubbed "PlaySEGA," which includes both original games and ports of classic games, with retro Sonic games being promised in the long run. Users of this site earn various amounts of "PlaySEGA Rings," which they can use to customize and house their avatar or enter weekly cash drawings.

In September 2009, evidence was uncovered[46] that suggests Sega is expanding into the online gambling sector with the launch of an online casino and poker room in October 2009. (Credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

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