Sega Corporation (Kabushiki kaisha Sega?), short for Service Games, a commonly stylized SEGA, is a Japanese video game development and publishing company, as well as manufacturer of terminals and arcade systems. Sega is also a manufacturer of video game consoles, but following the commercial failure of the Saturn home console and the public’s indifference to the Dreamcast, the company withdrew from this market on January 31, 2001 to focus on exclusively to game development and arcade1. On November 1, 2000, Sega Enterprises, Ltd. changed its name to Sega Corporation2. In France, Sega’s motto is “Sega is stronger than you
Sega’s story began in Japan during the Korean War in 1951, when two Americans, Richard D. Stewart and Raymond J. Lemaire, founded the company Lemaire -Stewart3,4, whose main activity was the importation and maintenance of jukeboxes, in U.S. military bases on Japanese territory during the conflict.
In May 1952, American Martin Bromley founded Service Games, which merged in 1954 with Lemaire and Stewart to become Service Games Japan, a company specializing in the importation of entertainment machines, such as jukeboxes, arcades and pinball machines, now aimed at Japanese civilians. The company reached a milestone in 1960, producing its own jukeboxes, with the creation of a factory, the Nihon Goraku Bussan, based in Tokyo. In the same year, its first jukebox, the SEGA-1000, was released from the production line, a contraction used so far in-house by Services Games.
At the same time, Rosen Enterprises was founded in Japan in 1954 by David Rosen, an American. Its activity, at first, was the importation of photomatons on Japanese soil, and then, secondly, Western gaming machines at the end of their life, produced in particular by the seeburg company, which it recycles. The company quickly became a key player in entertainment and established itself as a leader in Japan.
In 1965, David Rosen no longer wanted to simply distribute the machines of other companies, decided to produce his own machines, notably to counter his main competitor, Taito, and for this purpose the acquisition of the Nihon Goraku Bussan, which he converts to produce gaming machines, while retaining the SEGA brand. This “merger” gave rise to a new company, Sega Enterprises, Ltd.
In 1966, the new company released its first arcade game, Periscope, an electromechanical terminal, in which the player is at the controls of a submarine with the aim of sinking enemy boats.
In 1969, on the strength of its success, Sega Enterprises attracted interest and was acquired by the Gulf-Western Industries conglomerate. Rosen remained at the helm of the company as Chief Executive Officer until 1983, when due to the video game crash, he returned to America to take over the U.S. division, and made way for Japan’s Hayao Nakayama, a former executive a distribution company acquired by Sega in 1979, previously serving as Vice-President.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Sega produced arcade games and titles for the very first home video game consoles, such as the Atari 2600 and Colecovision. In 1982, the company achieved sales on international sales of more than $214 million per year
La SG-1000 (dite aussi Mark I), est la première console de Sega, sortie en juillet 198319,20. Il s’agit d’une version allégée, dédiée au jeu comme son nom l’indique, du Sega SC-3000, un micro-ordinateur personnel se connectant sur un téléviseur, sorti au même moment19,20. Les jeux sur ces deux systèmes sont bien sûr compatibles, bien qu’un clavier soit requis sur SG-1000 pour pouvoir profiter pleinement des titres destinés au SC-3000. En juillet 198419,20, Sega commercialise la SG-1000 II (dite Mark II), une version améliorée de la SG-1000, proposant notamment deux ports manette distincts, permettant de jouer à deux joueurs, et d’accueillir plusieurs types de contrôleurs.
Ces consoles, uniquement sorties au Japon, ont un succès restreint, principalement à cause de la présence sur le marché de la console Famicom de Nintendo.
Game Gear (1990)
The Game Gear, released in 1990 in response to Nintendo’s Game Boy, is Sega’s first portable console. It is mainly a portable version of the Master System, so a Master System cartridge adapter, called “Master Gear,” is released to play Master System games on Game Gear. Despite the Game Boy’s superior capabilities (including its color screen), the console is a commercial failure. One reason is its low battery life (4 hours with 6 batteries for the Game Gear versus 18 hours with 4 batteries for the Game Boy) compared to its competitor 30% cheaper, its higher cost and its medium quality screen (although it is larger and backlit).