Sega is a Japanese company that challenged Nintendo’s dominance in the early days of gaming. Today, the brand is known for making some great games but has withdrawn from making hardware and the consoles themselves. It may still be one of the big players in the games industry and has made a comeback as a retro games producer and supplier. Yet, had it continued in its original trajectory, Sega would be bigger than any of the game producers and developers that we now see gracing the internet and making consoles and games.
The Sega Mega Drive
Sega was initially well known for making arcade games and its first home gaming console, the ‘Mega Drive’ actually didn’t do that well. However, rebranded as the ‘Genisis’ it became a big seller in the home gaming console sector. This was the first real games console that challenged Nintendo’s offering of the day and took away a significant portion of its market share. Sega presented Sonic the Hedgehog as the character to rival Mario Bros and had the hardware consoles, games, and accessories to match.
By the mid-nineties, Sega had reached a phenomenal US $3.6 billion in revenue and there was simply no thought of the company going anywhere but up. They were at the forefront of the gaming and entertainment sector specifically for adult gamers, as their games offered more reality and advanced graphics, animation, and immersion than any others.
The End of Sega as a Platform
From these dizzying heights, Sega came crashing down for several reasons:
Their consoles became too advanced. The thinking around game sharing and playing online were concepts that were ahead of their time and many gamers simply couldn’t get their heads around it. They were the first to introduce integrated entertainment with the Sega CD, which allowed gamers to listen to music while playing the choose-your-own action adventure and RPGs of the time. Furthermore, their Dreamcast console, which had focused on providing access to the internet for gamers, simply didn’t take off, as the idea seemed pointless at the time (1998-2001).
Sony came out with the PlayStation, which was a cheaper home gaming console and heralded the end of Sega as the best-priced home gaming console. They just couldn’t keep up.
Poor game choices. Sega made a few poor game choices and had some bad press around the games, such as Night Trap.
Game diversification. There were a lot more options for game producers such as Sega to compete against. The most popular online game is the online casino and people are now looking to play games like the real money slots usa casino card games and spend time on social media. However, just like these games and the updates that the casino games of old (slots, roulette) have undergone to fit into the online casino, Sega games are looking to make a comeback.
Their platforms and consoles are now being sold as retro games and reworked versions of the older games are also being released. Today, Sega is a game-making company only, (Sonic still exists) even for some of the most popular platforms. However, it should be remembered that they were the first in several ways and perhaps the first step into the direction we now face and pioneers of online gaming as we know it.