In case you didn’t know, SEGA Nerds was originally bringing you all your SEGA-related news, gossip, reviews and features from way back in 2004 (or 2005?), and after some complications in the real world, we had to finally shut our online doors back in early 2011.
As a result, we have been off the radar for about two years. Of course, there are some other excellent SEGA fan sites around, including SEGAbits, which was started by a couple of former SEGA Nerds members, so you know they know their SEGA shizzle. But, just like the hero from an ’80s action movie, we’ve decided to bring SEGA Nerds out of retirement.
It may not be exactly the same as before (our walking sticks might get in the way a bit), but we still hope to bring you all the exciting SEGA news and features. Oh, and bring back the old podcast, the SEGA Nerdcast.
But as we finish up cleaning out the cobwebs and giving our Dreamcasts a good wipe down with a duster, here’s a quick overview of some of the SEGA news we missed in our two-year hiatus.
- 11 Feb 2011 – Yu Suzuki receives Pioneer Award: Yu Suzuki, the man behind SEGA classics such as Hang-On, Virtua Fighter, and Shenmue, received the special award, presented as part of the 2011 Game Developers Choice Awards. It’s said to be one of the highest honors in video game development.
- 15 Feb 2011 – Bizarre Creations closes: Bizarre Creations, known to SEGA Nerds for some cracking Dreamcast titles such as Fur Fighters and Metropolis Street Racer and the SEGA-published Xbox 360 and PS3 title The Club, but probably best known for its Project Gotham Racing franchise on Xbox 360, announced its closure. Owner Activision disbanded the studio after some ‘economic factors’ and no buyer could be found.
- 18 Feb 2011 – Sonic Colors DS nominated for a BAFTA in the Handheld gaming category: It didn’t win (but still nice to be chosen, eh?).
- 09 March 2011 – SEGA gets into the whole Facebook gaming fad and launches SEGA PLAY! Baseball: The game is no longer available, as far as I can tell.
- 12 March 2011 – SEGA donates revenue towards Japan Earthquake relief fund: SEGA and its UK-based studio, Sports Interactive, pledged to donate all the money generated from the Football Manager Handheld 2011 iPhone app over a seven-day period to aiding relief efforts for the earthquake in Japan.
- 16 March 2011 – SEGA donates more towards Japan Earthquake relief fund: Less than seven days after the first announcement, SEGA decided to help the Japan relief fund further by slashing its prices on apps, which included Sonic Spinball, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, and Sonic the Hedgehog. All donations made via these price cuts went to the Red Cross.
- 22 March 2011 – Yakuza fan wins $9,000 back tattoo courtesy of Sega: About a year before this announcement, SEGA ran a Yakuza 3 competition. The prize? A tattoo identical to that featured on the back of Kazuma Kiryu, the franchise’s main character. The tattoo is said to have cost SEGA $9,000… but it does look pretty damn awesome.
- 27 March 2011 – Super Monkey Ball celebrates 10th anniversary as Super Monkey Ball 3DS is launched: [*Actually finding mixed dates on this, but…] According to SEGA, it was the 10th anniversary of the Super Monkey Ball franchise. Even though it was released in arcades in January 2001 and didn’t hit consoles until late 2001 (not out in Europe until 2002)… So I’m not sure what’s going on there. But SEGA still celebrated with a special website.
- 11 April 2011 – SEGA teases the world with Sonic Generations: SEGA launched a teaser trailer exclusively on Facebook for a new Sonic title, which turned out to be Sonic Generations.
- 21 April 2011 –Mario & Sonic return for more Olympic shenanigans: SEGA officially announced Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
- 24 April 2011 – First Phantasy Star Online 2 gameplay footage: The game still hasn’t been released in the West!
- 18 May 2011 – SEGA Rally Online Arcade launches: Go and buy it – it’s awesome.
- 23 May 2011 – High Voltage Software (HVS) apologises for unprofessional behaviour: Maybe not the most important news, but HVS received a 1-out-of-5 star review from Joystiq reviewer T. Michael Murdock for the SEGA-published Conduit 2. HVS discovered that Murdock had written a book, so rather than focusing its efforts on making a better game, HVS naturally sent out an email to its employees requesting that they review Murdock’s book. Classy. Anyway, they got found out and apologised for their unprofessionalism.
- 23 May 2011 – Napoleon: Total War wins Ivor Novello: Turn-based strategy game Napoleon: Total War won an Ivor Novello award for its soundtrack. The Creative Assembly-developed game won the award for Best Original Videogame Soundtrack, composed by Richard Beddow. Good stuff.
- 23 June 2011 – Sonic the Hedgehog celebrates 20th Anniversary: SEGA celebrated with discounts on digital Sonic titles (running up to and just after the anniversary date) and by releasing a demo for the upcoming Sonic Generations.
- July 2011 – Nothing much happens at all: Just some updates about various upcoming titles at the time. Nothing mind-blowing.
- 12 October 2011 – SEGA announces Daytona USA coming to XBLA and PSN.
- 18 November 2011 – SEGA acquires indie developer Three Rings Design: After working with SEGA on the online title, Spiral Knights, SEGA acquired the company as part of SEGA’s “expansion into the digital space.”
- 14 December 2011 – Sonic CD hits XBLA and PSN: The classic Sonic CD remake made the news, in particular, because it was redeveloped from scratch by indie programmer Christian Whitehead as a proof of concept. The game was later picked up by SEGA and officially released on XBLA, PSN and pretty much every phone platform around.
- 24 January 2012 – SEGA opens new UK studio: Hardlight Studio was opened by SEGA in the UK, to focus on “creating high quality, innovative games experiences for both current and future platforms” (in the words of SEGA)… Surely that’s what every development studio should be looking to do?
- 17 February 2012 – SEGA to distribute Atlus games in Japan: SEGA signed a deal with Index Holdings subsidiary Atlus, allowing SEGA to distribute the company’s games in Japan.
- 22 February 2012 – SEGA, Namco-Bandai and Capcom team up?: During a Nintendo Direct video presentation it was revealed that SEGA, Namco-Bandai and Capcom would be collaborating on a new 3DS project.
- 23 February 2012 – SEGA teases Jet Set Radio for XBLA and PSN. I vaguely recall wetting myself at this news. New underpants were ordered.
- Sometime in March 2012 – Gamer’s wife makes a Master System sofa: Can’t find the exact date on this anymore and while it’s not really ‘news’ – it is awesome.
- 30 April 2012 – SEGA announces Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed: Game drops the ‘& SEGA’ from the title, but adds awesome transforming cars.
- 24 May 2012 – SEGA announces The Cave for XBLA, PSN and PC: Developed by Double Fine Productions and directed by Ron Gilbert. Not much more to add to that.
- 13 June 2012 – VF5: Final Showdown hits sales target… in a week: SEGA Japan revealed that Virtua Fighter 5: Showdown hit the company’s sales target within the first week of the digital title’s launch. No specific figures were given at the time, but it showed promise for future Virtua Fighter titles.
- 27 June 2012 – SEGA begins staff layoffs: SEGA began laying off its home video game staff, mainly in the U.S. and France. SEGA announced an $86.4 million loss for the 2011-2012 financial year. Soon after: Sega Sammy chairman and chief executive, Hajime Satomi, said that SEGA Corp.’s consumer game division would be downsized and restructured in the U.S. and Europe, triggering an unknown number of layoffs.
- 28 June 2012 – SEGA closes five offices: Five SEGA offices shut their doors: SEGA Benelux, SEGA France, SEGA Germany, SEGA Spain and SEGA Australia.
- 28 June 2012 – SEGA announces focus on digital titles: SEGA announced plans to focus more on digital content than boxed games. The company stated its most “important” IPs won’t be affected: Sonic, Total War, Football Manager and… Aliens. (We all know what happened with that last franchise…)
- 28 June 2012 – Mysterious SEGA, Namco-Bandai and Capcom title revealed: The title developed by the three publishing studios was announced – Project X Zone. The 3DS game is to be a tactical RPG featuring 200+ characters from the three companies.
- 18 July 2012 – Angry Birds ported to… the MegaDrive: Ported across by a Chinese indie developer, the game looks… kinda crap. But still, kudos to the man!
- 16 August 2012 – SEGA Alliance formed: SEGA’s new initiative, which focuses on publishing mobile games from indie developers. The first title to be released was Jack Lumber.
- 20 September 2012 – Another shooter for the Dreamcast announced: NG:Dev.Team, the indie developer of Dreamcast shooters such as GunLord, Fast Striker and Last Hope announced another new shooter, NEO XYX, could be making its way to the Dreamcast. It’s 2012 and it’s still not dead!
- 24 September 2012 – Ecco the Dolphin creator in talks with SEGA for new game: Ed Annunziata revealed the news via his Twitter account. Though nothing came of this directly, Ed has set up a Kickstarter for the spiritual successor to Ecco, The Big Blue – which sounds like it could be a pretty promising title.
- 25 September 2012 – Platinum Games reveals unhappiness with SEGA’s handling of Bayonetta port to the PS3: The Xbox 360 version of Bayonetta was handled in-house by Platinum Games, but due to lack of experience with the PS3, the company let SEGA handle the port to the PS3 and Platinum’s Atsushi Inaba revealed his disappointment with the outcome.
- 2 & 5 October 2012 – NiGHTS into Dreams HD and Sonic Adventure 2 hit PSN and XBLA: FINALLY, SEGA Nerds get to experience NiGHTS on a modern console, and without crappy motion controls or annoying voice acting (*cough*NiGHTS: JourneyofDreams *cough*). Sonic Adventure 2 was also released, but I wasn’t as excited about that…
- 18 October 2012 – SEGA announces 5 Model 2 titles coming to XBLA and PSN: The teaser video revealed Virtua Fighter 2, Fighting Vipers, Virtua Striker, Sonic Fighters and Virtual On for XBLA and PSN. Note: It was later revealed that Virtual On and Virtua Striker would only be available in Japan. Boo!
- November 2012 – Nothing much happened: Some reviews came out for various games, NiGHTS HD received an update to improve the controls and more rumours popped up about Skies of Arcadia HD.
- December 2012 – The Mayans predict the end of the world: It was a bad prediction. Fortunately.
- 23 January 2013 – SEGA acquires Relic Entertainment from THQ: Following its bankruptcy, THQ started auctioning off all its assets to the highest bidders. SEGA successfully acquired Relic and several of THQ’s IPs, including Company of Heroes and Warhammer, for $26.6 million.
- 12 February 2013 – Aliens: Colonial Marines launched after six years of development: It turned out to be shit. Fingers have been pointed, but it seems as though Gearbox could be the main culprit, as the development studio outsourced the title to smaller teams and (according to SEGA) used SEGA’s money to make Borderlands instead.
- March 2013 – Nothing much happened.
- 1 April 2013 – SEGA Nerds relaunches… Hopefully it will remain for the foreseeable future. Watch this space… No wait! Just check out the awesome updates on the site!