Last week, SEGA community sites across the globe and ours included, reported SEGA Europe Marketing Director Jon Rooke’s statements about SEGA making efforts to bring back its appeal to consumers and making up with them taking Shenmue and Sonic as examples. The statements generated all kinds of debates across the global SEGA community, with most of them arguing about which titles they would like to see on PC and other platforms.
After watching and reading most of those reactions, I ended with more questions than proper conclusions. We, as a SEGA community site are in constant everyday contact with you, the fans. In the course of these years we have read and received directly your opinions about most topics, some of them reflecting on anger and frustration about releases and some others full with joy and wonderful things worth sharing. Among all of these there has been constant public requests to tell SEGA you want X or Y game. In some cases these requests end in successful campaigns like “Save Shenmue” or “SEGA PC ports“, which are absolutely right to be, since you are SEGA’s direct consumers, without you they cannot make an income or survive. So we asked ourselves: Why does SEGA only seems to listen when there’s bad riots like the case of “Sonic Boom”? Can’t they listen to good feedback once in a while? Is there a proper or better way to do so? Do they have better channels to get the consumer’s feedback? How can they collect in a better and more efficient way what the consumers want?
It’s true that some people in the internet lack of proper education by doing their statements in a very insulting or harassing way, that has diminished some channels to express opinions. It is clear that you want your voice to be heard, but remember, the official SEGA community team, they are people too and are there to help you in getting your message to the proper people, final word does not rely on the community team, so it really helps their day and your opinion if you are polite on your say, right? We can always achieve things in a civilized way, which has been proven on the 2 campaigns stated before. 2013 was a hard year since people were pretty aggressive, fortunately that has changed during the last half of 2014 and the current 2015. It’s ok to be critic, we progress thanks to feedback, but there are also civilized ways to provide such opinions.
Another problem with the title requests is that most of them happen in different times, and in small numbers, like spores, not every fan belongs to a particular community to gather more strength for a campaign. Numbers matter because they become a fact stat, that helps to calculate the interest in something and analyse if it is business worth. There is currently no directly aimed platform to collect this. But it shouldn’t be our job to do so, we’re the consumers not the company.
In an experiment of our own to scan the community’s interests about certain game title ports (since it was this week’s hot topic) in numbers and how seriously you take things, we released a poll this week through our social networks. We did it out of the blue by curiosity. The results were shocking. For a start 1,400 of you replied to it, there were no complains, no riots, not a single bad intention to it. We were marveled, it was unexpected for us to have that kind of response to a simple poll. I expected at least 60 or 80 for a start, 1400 in 3 days was way out of any of my predictions. This gave me the first obvious result: SEGA PC ports DO matter to some of you.
On a quick scan during the 3 days I noticed most of you replied from the following western regions: Europe, Latin America, some parts of Africa, and USA. There were no Asian interactions during my scans.
1ST QUESTION: THE ALREADY EXISTING PC PORTS
As I remember, one of the important key assets during last year’s SEGA PC Ports campaign, is that producing them are biz worthy because of the low investment. So tweaking or localizing some of the already existing ones should save some investment money. I gathered, based on a list and the constant replies I have read through the SEGA Nerds social networks I have been in charge during 2 years, the titles most of you are interested on. The results are the following:
The first thing we can notice is that the community sample that replied this question has more interest for the already existing Saturn ports, with Panzer Dragoon as headliner. A logical thing, since Dreamcast and Mega Drive ports have been around for most time and are available on more platforms. Saturn has been hard to port or emulate, so the need for these titles is bigger. While PC titles like the SEGA Rally series who have been present in recent past console generations are not that much missed, these are still easier to get compared to the rest.
2ND QUESTION: ABOUT NEW PORTS
The next question was about possible ports that haven’t been made. Except for 2 titles, the rest represent the titles that people request the most through social networks. What about these 2 out of context? I specifically placed them as a dissing matter to test the seriousness of the poll, it was like trolling clickbait, the fact that the number is very low for “The Ocean Hunter” (a SEGA on rails shooting arcade only a few of us remember) and “Otogi” (a succesful title who actually belongs to “FromSoftware” and could not be cataloged as entirely SEGA’s) indicates that the low amount of people who voted for them actually cared about these titles and not in a trolling way.
We let the respondents pick more than one option, cause this and the past question, are cases were the user is able to get more than one game on Steam sales. We did not want them to divide their liking in things they are clearly fans of.
The next shocking truth takes place: the fact that all 1,400 people that took the survey replied this question reveals people are more into getting a new port than a re-release of a existing one (since a considerable amount dissed the first question). The second shocking fact is that Shenmue had a hard time to get the 1st place against Jet Set Radio Future and Skies of Arcadia, and that the interest for these 3 titles overtakes the Sonic ones. The other reveal is that there is a genuine interest from a sector of the community in Segagaga, a title that may be too obscure for a mainstream audience.
The poll also reveals that there is more interest (at least for our sample number) in good cult classic game releases for PC, than current console titles like Fighting Climax or the Project Diva series. Lastly, we can look that some titles remain too niche for an active sample of the community.
The 3rd question, was done 50% for fun, 50% on serious matter. Sometimes SEGA in the west forgets to bring back early console game catalog, like the SG 1000 titles, so an option to let these arcade type of games is through mobile, a platform were people don’t dedicate much time or commitment. Titles like Kongo Bongo, Flicky, or Yuji Naka’s 1st SEGA title “Girl’s Garden” can be known to the public this way. Of course, people care more about the possibility of a Taxman Sonic 3 and Knuckles port. While classics like Zaxxon get no love at all.
So what do you think of the poll results? Or the whole poll subject that inspired this? Do you think in any better way for the fans opinion to be gathered? Let us know in the comments!