SEGA was started by one man: David Rosen. That's right, an American. He was there selling photo ID's to the Japanese for half of what the government would do it for. After his company merged with a small jukebox manufacturing company in 1965, he formed SErvice GAmes, which has nothing to do with jacking off.

Early attempts at a game system came as the Sega Master System, to compete with the NES. However, the system failed to find a decent market and eventually went under.

The next system Sega produced has been arguably called the best game system of all times: the Sega Genesis, or Megadrive. This won over die hard gamers and new fans alike, those tired of dealing with Nintendo and those looking for more mature games. In 1991, Sega was unanimously awarded system of the year. 1991 was also the year that Sega debuted Sonic the Hedgehog, one of the most famous console system mascots ever

Sega, however, is most notorious for its failures: Sega CD, 32X, the Saturn.

The current system under Sega's command is the Dreamcast, the first console system to sell with a modem. Though the hardware has been discontinued, Sega will still continue to support games well into 2001.

Update: Sega has finally released its plans to develop games for every system, not just the Dreamcast. This is very good news to all gamers, for games are Sega's strong point. From the looks of the plan Microsoft will be getting the Sega Sports franchise as well as games like Jet Grind Radio, Sony will get the arcade conversions and regular console games, while Nintendo will get the Sonic series (gasp) and the more creative Sega games.

Source: Extended Play, on TechTV

We must not forget that Sega also made games for the Atari 2600. Only after the death of the Atari did Sega go on to produce its own console systems. (Some Sega Arcade games were also released for the Atari but Activision did the majority of those).

Sega Atari 2600 Games

Many of the above titles were also released for the Atari 5200 and the ColecoVision.

In the times of the Sega Saturn and the heyday of Sega's arcade development (releasing such classics as Virtua Fighter 2, Daytona USA, and Virtua Cop), Sega's various development teams had cryptic names like "AM2" and "AM3". However, Sega's fate was and is tied to keeping talented producers like Yu Suzuki and Yuji Naka as well as their experienced teams with the company, and, in 1999 and 2000, reorganized their teams and gave them memorable names.

Since then, many of these teams have broken up or been reorganized, especially as Sega went through increasingly difficult times after the death of the Dreamcast.

Sega has 11 teams at last count, all independently developing games for various consoles and handhelds, as well as the arcades.

Of course, Sega has had other development teams in the past, disbanded as key members retired, defected, or were transferred. Info on past teams not listed here would be much appreciated. A handful of them are...

  • Team Andromeda - Creators of the Panzer Dragoon series, this team fell apart due to creative differences after the end of that series. Smilebit had the largest remaining group of the original staff, but most have either left Sega or shifted to Amusement Vision.

  • United Game Artists - Tetsuya Mizuguchi's team specialized in music and rhythm games, like Space Channel 5 and Rez, but, in 2003, when Mizuguchi's proposal for a sequel to Rez was rejected, he left Sega. UGA was basically dead after this, and the remaining members were transferred to Sonic Team.

  • Sega Rosso - Led by Kenji Sasaki (who collaborated on Sega Rally 2 while he worked at AM3) and largely formed of defectors from Namco's Ridge Racer team, Sega Rosso was all about racing games. Games this team has released include Star Wars Episode I Racer Arcade and Initial D: Arcade Stage. Sega Rosso was absorbed by Hitmaker in 2003.

  • Sega.com, Inc. - Not a development team but an independent company, Sega.com developed SNAP (Sega Network Application Package, Sega's online gaming software for the Dreamcast) and operated SegaNet, a short-lived ISP devoted entirely to online play using the Dreamcast. Sega.com didn't long outlive the Dreamcast, though, and it was sold to Nokia in August 2003. Nokia is apparently putting SNAP to use with the N-Gage.


Sega is currently owned by Sammy, distributes Capcom's arcade releases (including Capcom vs. SNK 2) in the US, and licenses its series to THQ for development and publishing on the Game Boy Advance.

Someone else may flesh this out in a larger w/u (or I might get around to it).

In the early-to-mid 1990s Sega sponsored a section of the "Innoventions" pavilion at Disney's EPCOT Center. They filled their section of the pavilion with dozens upon dozens of Sega Genesis, Sega CD, and Sega 32X machines, each one playing a different game. The more popular games, such as Sonic CD, had several different booths at the exhibit. The walls were decorated with giant cutouts of popular Sega characters, such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Tails, ToeJam and Earl, and Sketch Turner from Comix Zone. In later years a few Sega Saturns were added to the pavilion as well as well as some Daytona USA arcade machines that were linked together to form a special 8-player race. Players who wished to take part in this race were required to wait in line and pay an added fee, but the console games on display were free to use as part as the EPCOT admission and often had no lines.

Also on display as playable machines were several Genesises (Genesii?) that were connected to The Sega Channel. While many visitors ignored these stations (after all, who wants to download and play the first level of Sonic 3 when one could walk across the aisle to play the game in its entirety?), they were the only stations in the exhbit that were updated frequently due to the nature of the Sega Channel itself. These Sega Channel machines were often the only opportunity for some gamers to play the limited- and non-release titles on the system (such as Mega Man: The Wily Wars).

As this is a Walt Disney World exhbit, you'd have been hard-pressed to find a game on display such as Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter 2: Special Champion Edition. Primarily it was sports, platformer, and puzzle titles that were on display. One notable exception: Eternal Champions was available, but my theory on that is that EC was a first-party Sega game whereas MK and SF2 were not. Sega pulled out of the exhibit in the late 1990s when their Sega 32X and Sega Saturn were "retired" and their portion of the pavilion was replaced by a telecom technology exhibit.


References:
I've been there.

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