SEGA should develop gambling games because it can save the company.
When someone says SEGA, the first thing that comes to mind is Sonic the Hedgehog and games with cute graphics, right? But as old-timers will remember, casino games and SEGA goes way back together. Did you know that SEGA was originally established to produce pachinko tables? Very popular in East Asian countries, pachinko is a pinball-like game but has a much more complex gameplay. It is so popular, there are even arcade saloons that have hundreds of pachinko machines. SEGA entered the gambling sector by producing these machines and owes its growth to pachinko games. Pachinko was not the only tie-up of SEGA with luck and slots games: The company developed lots of casino and card games for Master System console during the 80’s. Do you remember “Casino Games” which was released in 1989? It was a game where you were trying to buy a casino by playing poker and slots.
In 1994, SEGA released its first real poker game: Poker Face Paul. Developed for Game Gear consoles, this game also offered the chance to play blackjack. It was followed by Caesar’s Palace, which was developed for the Genesis console. Probably the first real casino simulation game, Caesar’s Palace was licensed and included every game you could find in a casino. In the following years, SEGA has released many gambling games. “Seven Seven Seven Casino” attracted the most attention. Developed for handheld consoles, this game also had a story and RPG features. The company’s last casino game was “SEGA Casino”, developed for Nintendo DS consoles. This was the revamped version of the game released in 1989, and it managed to become one of the best-selling Nintendo DS games.
Every Fairy Tale Has an End
But things did not go very well for SEGA: The company started to experience serious financial problems. In 2005, it had to perform a massive downsizing. More than 1,500 employees were let out, and nearly all senior executives were forced to “retire”. For a long time, SEGA didn’t develop a new game, and this is still the case for today. The current SEGA is like a shadow of the old company: It is only standing with the income from intellectual rights, and to tell the truth, there is no property that generates an income other than Sonic. If there is no “miracle”, the company can be shut down completely or purchased by another company.
Casino games can be that miracle.
Think about it: Gambling is a billion-dollar industry, and this figure is increasing day by day. There is always a place for new companies in the sector, and SEGA is not a new company, its origins are based on gambling. Using its experience, it can develop high-quality gambling games for multiple platforms. It will not be difficult to find a publisher because it already has multiple distribution agreements all over the globe. Every casino will be proud to offer SEGA games: For many gamblers, the SEGA brand means good memories.
But that’s not all: SEGA can achieve much more than being a gambling games developer. It has the required experience and knowledge to create its own private platform. SEGA is already running an online shopping platform called “SEGA store”. This platform can be easily edited to offer gambling games as well. In other words, SEGA can offer its gambling games directly to players without using a middleman and become an online casino on its own. There are still unexplored potentials in the industry: No gambling game is available for PlayStation and Xbox consoles, for example. SEGA is a genuine expert on consoles and can easily develop a game that will close this gap. VR gambling is another opportunity Sega can evaluate: It can develop casino games for both VR and Gear VR devices. Even in this regard, the AR (augmented reality) sector can offer many opportunities. Despite the great potential, there is still no AR gambling game available. SEGA has the experience and competence to cover all the missing parts of the gambling industry.
Such an initiative will also provide the company with regular revenue generation and offer numerous options for the use of existing intellectual properties. What about a Sonic-themed slot game? How about a VR roulette game where the dealer is one of the Phantasy Star characters? Almost all of SEGA’s intellectual properties can be adapted to gambling games. Gamblers are much more loyal players and do not ask for constant changes: SEGA can guarantee a long-term income by entering this sector.
But the most important reason is that SEGA is an expert in gambling games. SEGA, one of the first companies to develop the first known casino games, really has an unrivaled experience – they know how to develop amazing games. The gambling games developed by SEGA will be above a certain quality level and will inspire other companies too. We are excited even just by thinking about the possibilities: SEGA can make changes that will refresh the whole industry from beginning to end.