Sega, now only known as the video-game maker company, has a huge and very rich history behind it. The former console, now only known for making the games and the legacy it has left, was popular in every single country, with the booming and golden ages somewhere between the 70s and 2000s. The history of Sega has a huge rise and consequent fall. While there are a number of alternatives now and certain changes have been introduced to the public, Sega will always be remembered as the beginning for every single start.
Just like every empire is meant to fall, the empire of Sega also fell, yet not disappeared. There are many rumors that Sega should be coming back to consoles, but nothing has been confirmed, and doubtfully will happen anywhere in the future.
Among fans of the gaming industry, there is the phrase known as the console wars. This is exactly what is happening between Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. This is in order to determine which console shall make the fans spend more money on the game. The entrance of Microsoft in the global gaming market did not happen until 2001, with the first introduction to Xbox. Yet, there is no trio, without the third party, which is Sega, a Japanese video game company that exploded the popularity way before Microsoft, in the early 90s.
The popularity of Sega in Nordics
While Sega was definitely the most popular in the US, it reached its peak popularity in Nordics in the 70s. This was the period when Sega machines were first imported into Norway. The distributor of Sega to Norway was Brio. The massive distribution of Sega happened in 1991. The company managed to sell all Sega consoles.
By the late 90s, the gaming activity reached its peak and the summit. This was the period when most of the Nordic population got acquainted with the famous Sega characters including Sonic the Hedgehog. The extremely flamboyant figure has not once been the inspiration for many online casino games in Norway, and still remains quite popular. In 1996, TCI’s technology group was the one to receive the right to distribute Sega Channel to all the Scandinavian countries, including Norway, which was the first in the row. Telenor was announced as a supplier for Norway, which leads a very successful sale and activity overall. The date of the operation in Norway yet is not known specifically.
Rise of Sega
With the record-breaking sales, Sega sold over 30 million Sega Genesis consoles at the highest point of their popularity in 1993, while at the beginning of the fall of the empire the mount barely reached its 3 million rates. There is a funny comparison, that back in 1998, the two most famous items in the US were “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson and Sony’s Disk-Jocker CD player, with a $400 price. This is the year when Sega released Mega Drive in Japan. This was the period when the global gaming industry was heavily dominated by Nintendo, which was the biggest gaming console in the whole world.
Sega had to come up with the mascot. The mascot had to compete with the most famous mustache in the world, Mario. By the early ’90s in the United States, Nintendo held 94% of the country’s $3 billion gaming market. It would be foolish to challenge that dominance, but that’s where Sega enters the picture. Sega had already made itself a name in the gaming console with the Sega Mega Drive in Japan, though by that time, Michael Katz decided to challenge Nintendo and focus on the west mainly. It was a hard journey considering the strict regulation of the American market.
In order to compete, Mario, Sega came up with the world’s most famous mascot Hedgehog, which despite the decades has never lost the popularity of its own. The easily appealing mascot for the American audience swiftly got its roots deep into the gaming society. The main actor behind the scene was Japanese artists, Naoto Ohshima, who handled the main job of coming up with the little hedgehog guy, named Sonic. This became the fastest ever action-oriented game in the US market, favored even over Mario. The boom in sales came when Sega decided to drop the price of the Genesis and include a copy of Sonic with new purchases. This tactic led to an additional 15 million units sold.
By 1992, Sega had matched Nintendo in sales in the US. From 1989 to 1993, Sega went from $800 million in sales to $3.6 billion. Sega solidified itself as a top contender and a force to be reckoned with.
The plot twist
The ice began to melt when Sega CD turned out to be the additional device for the Sega Genesis. It let the players play the music as well as choose different adventures during the gameplay, yet the main disadvantage was that only the Sega Genesis owners could use the Sega CD. Which made many people resist from buying the CD and consequently affected the sales.
The second major impact was from the terrible publicity after the release of its game Night Trap. The publicity was caused by the plot of the game. The game was about two teenage girls escaping home, once the bad guys entered their home. The case was brought as far as the US hearing, led by Joe Lieberman.
The next to release was Sega Sturn, which was way cheaper than a CD. The credibility of the PlayStation released by that time was even better and $100 cheaper than Sega Saturn, making gamers eligible for the purchase.
Dreamcast left the dream
Sega Console aspiration went out with a financial whimper when the company released Sega Dreamcast by the need in the 90s, in 1998. Bernie Stolar, president of the US for that time, acknowledged the mistake of Dreamcast at that very moment.
He told Polygon that the company should’ve created a larger variety of games instead of focusing on providing internet connectivity to the few games that the Dreamcast had. Internet gaming wouldn’t really take off until Microsoft released Xbox Live in 2002.
The arrival of Dreamcast to Europe did not happen until 1999. This was the year when Dreamcast was delivered to Norway first, with a very little console to the stores. There were only 1700 pieces. In 2003, other Scandinavian countries welcomed Pan Vision who was the distributor of Sega in Europe. In 2014, the company Koch Media became the sale of games as in most Western European countries.
In total there are 372,000 Dreamcast consoles sold in the first four days. Yet, by 20012, only 3 million units were sold in the US. This way Sega lost over $200 million, with the PlayStation 2 overtaking the market. Today, Sega is left with a rich history and a video-game-making company.