Here in America, we just finished celebrating Thanksgiving and went through hell with Black Friday. Now I’m sitting here putting together a list of why I’m glad to be a SEGA fan this year. It seems that SEGA hardly gets the credit they deserve for some of the things they do, but when they do something wrong everyone notices. So why am I a SEGA fan?
[Oh, great. 60 dollars well spent]
Most people will be confused as to why this made the list. Let me tell you, I hate online passes. I think they are retarded and don’t help anyone at the end of the day. The point that most people bring online is that it helps to combat used game sales and piracy. But is this true? Do online passes make a user go to a store and buy a game new?
You’ve got to sit and think first – who knows that games have online passes? It’s not advertised on the box. The only game I actually own with an online pass is Uncharted 3 and I didn’t even know it had one before I purchased it. So how is this going to sway Gamer Joe’s opinion on buying new or used when he doesn’t even know that the game has an online code?
Everyone points fingers at GameStop, saying that this online code is to combat used game sales. I doubt that, especially since buying a used game and online pass separately at GameStop can still cost less total than buying the game brand new.
What about those who pirate games? How can we kick those people out of online services that cost money to maintain and run? Here is the issue: getting a 360 or PS3 working online with a modded console is not so simple. There is no real reason that developers need online passes to combat this, because Sony and Microsoft already combat this by not letting compromised consoles on their online network, and are already diligent in policing their communities.
Does this mean that gamers will buy their games new, due to online passes? This is hard to tell, but I don’t think it affects retail. Some games have done well with online passes, like Battlefield 3. Other games haven’t gotten the best responses, with one example being Sony’s first online pass title, Resistance 3. The sales for that game have been the lowest in the franchise. Again, there a lot of factors to consider when it comes to sales, but I don’t think online passes are worth it if you are looking for an increase in sales.
Publishers might be selling a bunch of online passes, but is this good for the consumer? The answer is no. The consumer, at the end of the day, is already paying that $60 dollar price tag for your game. Maybe you should be giving them exclusive content instead of punishing them with online codes. I’m glad that SEGA isn’t doing this and I hope they don’t change their mind on the issue.
It’s good to see the SEGA community team doing so well. When I first started doing this fan blogging back at SEGA Nerds, SEGA didn’t really have a big community presence like they do now. It seems they have turned it around completely since then, and in my opinion it makes being a SEGA fan that much more exciting.
The community team is the buffer between the fans and the company, so it’s really good to have people who understand the fan base in that role. So far, I think that SEGA’s community team understands its fan base well. Trust me, we get mail here from people thinking we are SEGA and I can confirm that SEGA probably goes through a lot of Dreamcast 2 requests. I’m just glad that the team does take feedback seriously and passes it on through the appropriate channels… Someone has to go through stuff like this.
They also put together some pretty nifty events for fans, like the Sonic Boom event this year. Since following and writing about SEGA, I have noticed the improvement in quality from when they started their community team. They are doing a damn good job and everyone should be thankful for what they do. They let our voices be heard.
Even though I don’t think SEGA is perfect at this, I do think they do it better than most Japanese publishers. SEGA has even brought over four Yakuza titles, even though the franchise doesn’t perform all that well in the West. Why? According to them, it’s because of the online community asking for it. You know, we always whine and talk about how much we enjoy this franchise, so I’m happy that they bring them over. Do I think it’s us (the fans) that makes SEGA bring the franchise over? Probably not, since we would already have Shenmue 3 if it was up to fans.
SEGA also brought games like Valkyria Chronicles, Resonance of Fate, Sand of Destruction, and a few other smaller niche releases over the years. It does suck that Valkyria Chronicles II didn’t do so well on the PSP, which is basically dead in America and Europe. I think SEGA had a bad position with that franchise, and I think SEGA Japan killed the franchise in the West by switching from consoles to handhelds.
It seems that SEGA is also finally giving their ‘Japanese’ teams some work and worldwide release love. They have released Rise of Nightmares, Virtua Tennis 4 and a few other digital ports done by Japanese teams. For a few years it was mostly western studios releasing stuff with SEGA publishing. It’s good that SEGA is giving their Japanese studios some time to shine.
Compare this to Nintendo, who refuses to release Xenoblade in America even though it’s already translated, voiced and released in Europe. And how about Namco, which can’t afford, according to them, to bring some of the Tales games over the pond?
It seems that SEGA is continuing this with the confirmation of the western release of Yakuza: Dead Souls and Binary Domain getting some worldwide love.
This is something that we have talked about before: digital releases for old and new SEGA games. It seems that the folks at SEGA put their ear to the ground and listened to all their fans. In my humble (and sexy) opinion, SEGA actually has the best downloadable lineup out of the entire industry this year, and they didn’t even need to buy Popcap Games.
This year, we had the first debut of a SEGA Saturn game on modern consoles, which is something we all thought might never happen. Not only that, it was a niche title ported by the original developers. That is right, Guardian Heroes. The game came out with a ton of fixes and little upgrades. Everything in the title was handled perfectly, even if I freaked out when it was first shown.
SEGA also brought back some of their classic racing games, some of which fans have really wanted. SEGA brought an HD version of SEGA Rally with redone textures. And then they shocked everyone when they brought Daytona USA over to modern consoles. That game was ported by the same guys that brought over Virtual On, and stays very true to the original.
SEGA also teamed up with Just Cause 2 developers Avalanche Studios to release Renegade Ops, a title that we personally really enjoyed. They also teamed up with Three Rings, who they recently bought out, to create the free online RPG Spiral Knights. That game had crazy polish and is updated regularly and not only that, it’s completely free (outside of purchasing some optional items).
The biggest shock? The Sonic CD port is actually being done by a Sonic fan? Really? You have probably seem some of those Sonic fan games. Usually when they get press coverage they always ask why SEGA doesn’t use them to make Sonic games. Even though they aren’t using this particular fan to make a new game, porting a classic title is good too. At least it won’t be Sonic the Hedgehog GBA all over again. Not only that, they’re adding little things to make fans smile, like a playable Tails.
After years of painfully waiting, SEGA and Sonic Team finally got their acts together with Sonic the Hedgehog. Five years ago we had to suffer the terrible ‘reboot’ with Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). Lots of press said it was the tombstone for Sonic and that the franchise wouldn’t recover.
We are now celebrating the 20th anniversary and I have to say this is the best year the blue blur has had in a long time. Fans got a ton of cool swag to collect, Sonic Generations was awesome and it seems to be well received.
I hope that in a few years after a few more releases, we will stop seeing people online who dismiss SEGA due to a few bad Sonic titles that they released over half a decade ago. As you can plainly see, there are still plenty of reasons to be a fan.Ad: