How Sega Games Have Influenced the Entire Games Industry
Sega is one of the world’s best-known video game developers and publishers. Right up there with EA, Activision, and Capcom, the company’s name is ubiquitous with the concept of gaming itself. Even those outside of the core sphere of gaming will know Sega, having played its arcade machines or they picked up a Sega Genesis/Mega Drive controller at one point and had a huge amount of fun.
But Sega’s influence goes far beyond that. Although the latest company financials said that it made just $1.5 billion in net sales in the last year, its work has given rise to some of the biggest franchise within games and it may have even led to some pretty major deals outside of video games as well.
Sonic the Hedgehog is Small But Mighty
Out of all of Sega’s franchises, Sonic the Hedgehog is by far the most popular. Having sold more than 360 million copies in the franchise’s lifetime, the lightning fast mammal is a beloved gaming mascot. It comes as little surprise then, that the massive success of Sonic has inspired lots of other games, too, showing that while the character himself may be small, his influence is mighty. All manner of games have taken a leaf out of Sonic’s book, including jackpot games like Mega Moolah. Mega Moolah may be a slot game rather than a platformer, like Sonic, but it features all kinds of animals such as elephants and giraffes and the aim of the game is to collect gold.
Sonic the Hedgehog even spawned a direct rival with Crash Bandicoot. Crash Bandicoot stars a quick-moving marsupial rather than a mammal, but the Naughty Dog-developed platformer is incredibly similar. Crash collects items (wumpa fruit, rather than gold rings) and must jump and spin in order to avoid enemies and environmental hazards. What Sonic did for Sega, Crash did for Naughty Dog and Sony and the series has had huge success, even coming back as the Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy of remakes.
Virtua Fighter Changes the Future of Game Development
Sega’s answer to Street Fighter is Virtua Fighter. But more than being a competitor in the fighting game space, it was the first arcade fighting game to feature fully 3D graphics. That in itself is an amazing title to hold, but what’s even more amazing is that it directly influenced the future of 3D gaming.
In an interview, Toby Gard, the creator of Tomb Raider revealed that Virtua Fighter was a direct influence of the game. Gard said that he wanted to mix the theme of Ultima Underworld, a first-person RPG “with the sort of polygon characters that were just being showcased in Virtua Fighter.” John Romero, the creator of Quake, also cited Virtua Fighter as a major influence.
In truth, Sega’s influence goes even beyond video games. Its football tactic simulation game, Football Manager, is now used by real-life football scouts to choose players meaning that Sega could have even been responsible for multi-million dollar trades! As the company continues to shift and grow in the coming years, it will be interesting to see how much further that influence will go.