Survey: Tell us your favorite Persona 5 character

We’re running a special survey for Persona 5 to find out what characters are fan favorites! All you need to do is start the survey, seen above, and make one selection or write in a character from the game that is missing from the list. The survey will run until this Friday, but we ask those who want to take it to take it sooner than later.

So what are you waiting for? Take the survey already!

SEGA promotes James Schall to VP of digital business

JamesSchallVPDigitalBusinessSEGA Europe has announced that they have promoted James Schall to vice president of its digital business from previously being director of digital distribution where he increased SEGA’s digital business success across consoles and PCs. As VP of digital business, James Schall will work with a growing number of third party studios to launch SEGA’s upcoming catalog of digital titles.

“James has made a huge contribution to Sega’s growth over recent years and I’m delighted by his promotion. With this appointment we are well positioned to continue our initiatives and further strengthen the fantastic partner and studio relationships we have.” – John Clark Senior VP of Commercial Publishing at SEGA

SEGA’s recent digital game successes include the release of Bayonetta, launching Warhammer: Dawn of War III and Total War: Warhammer 2.  SEGA also recently announced that they will be reviving their older IPs on their ‘road to 2020’, but those are set to be packaged games, while I wouldn’t be shocked if some of those are digital.

“I’m excited by the new role as it will enable me to work more closely with our development studios, continuing to focus on delivering our amazing content to our passionate fans and communities.” – James Schall, VP of Digital Games SEGA Europe

I think SEGA Europe’s digital branch has been kicking ass on their releases, my only complaint is that they don’t come fast enough. Though we are getting Vanquish PC port a month after Bayonetta, that’s an improvement. I hope James Schall really does look into what ‘passionate fans and communities‘ want. Maybe look at some sort of list conducted by votes from SEGA fans… Like some sort of Top 100 SEGA games list

[Source: MCVUK]

This is how SEGA’s games will start moving forward

SEGA is synonymous with many things, but the most notable would have to be the startup logo. In the console days, systems like the Master System, SEGA CD, Saturn and Dreamcast had their own startup logo. But once the game began, you’d be treated to the SEGA logo. How the SEGA logo appeared often differed from game to game, but in the later years – especially once SEGA went third party – things became more uniform. From around 2005 to the past year we had the swoosh and deep voiced “SEGA” logo for most games. Most games featured this, though there has been exceptions (Alien: Isolation, Yakuza 0, Puyo Puyo Tetris to name a few). According to Sam Mullen, Senior Localization Producer for SEGA products at Atlus USA, the swoosh and low voice is no more and the above eye is the new logo ident moving forward.

The eye first appeared in a SEGA of Japan video titled “Branding Movie”, seen after the break, which should have a subtitled version coming soon according to Sam. The video shows SEGA’s Chief Product Officer (and Monkey Ball and Yakuza creator) Toshihiro Nagoshi on a computer looking at the human eye. He then reflects on SEGA’s games and identity as he drives around Japan looking out the window. We see people interacting with SEGA products in their daily lives. We then see Nagoshi analyzing the brand with staff through meetings and tests and then the words “Amazing SEGA” appear on screen before the eye ident closes things off.

Clearly SEGA of Japan have put time and energy into this new startup, the question is what is the reasoning for the change? What do you think of the new startup? Sound off in the comments below.

Persona 5 sold five times more than Persona 4 in the USA

Persona5v4salesAtlus has shown that you can turn a cult classic game into a massive world wide selling IP if you stick with the franchise and continue making quality releases each time. According to the USA game tracking company, NPD, Persona 5 sold five times more copies than Persona 4 in its debut month in the USA. Its not surprising considering that Persona 4 seems to be one of those titles that got popular due to word of mouth and became one of the best selling titles on the PlayStation Vita. While Persona 5 sold more than ever, April also saw an increase in software sales in the United States compared to last year. An increase of 6%. The reason for the sales increase are due to the massive popularity of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Persona 5 and strong second month sales of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. “The industry drove the highest April hardware dollar sales since April 2011,” said NPD group in their report. Oddly enough all top three huge selling titles are Japanese developed games.

NPD groups’ top ten selling games for April 2017:

  • Mario Kart 8
  • Persona 5
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • MLB 17: The Show
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda
  • NBA 2K17
  • Overwatch
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Its no surprise that Persona 5 is a massive success for Atlus and SEGA, considering all the rave reviews, fan hype and those dank memes hitting social media. Persona 5 is available now on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. Persona 5 sold five times more than Persona 4, did you guys see that one coming? Did you guys pick up a copy? Time for the Persona 5 spin-offs?

Endless Space 2 releases today for Windows and Mac

The Amplitude Studios developed Endless Space 2 sees its full release today on Windows and Mac. The turn-based strategy sci-fi game is a sequel to 2012’s two-time Unity-award winning Endless Space. As of July 2016, Amplitude Studios is a fully owned subsidiary of SEGA, meaning Endless Space 2 is a franchise fully owned by SEGA!

While the game has been available via early access since October 2016, today marks the full official release. The game is available on Steam and Amazon, and is available in two digital editions: the standard edition of Endless Space 2 for $39.99 and the Deluxe Edition of Endless Space 2 for $49.99 which includes a digital soundtrack, the “PATHFINDER” hero ship skin and “PATHFINDER” academy heroes Brunem Berto-Lancellum and Kinete Muldaur.

Rumor: Shenmue HD Remasters are real says Just Add Water CEO

shenmueOver on the infamous video game messaging board, NeoGAF the CEO of Just Add Water confirmed  that the Shenmue HD Remasters of the first two titles are real. First you’d ask yourself who the development team ‘Just Add Water’ really is. Well, I did some journalistic google searching and found their wikipedia page:

Just Add Water (Development) Ltd., doing business as Just Add Water, is an independent video game developer based in Otley, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. Founded by Stewart Gilray in 2006, Just Add Water has worked on different titles for the PlayStation 3 and PC, notably the Oddworld series. They have teamed up with Oddworld Inhabitants, to recreate the series in high definition as well as working on new installments in the series.

The Just Add Water CEO didn’t confirm anything outside of a short ‘Oh, it’s real… :-)’ message, so we made this a rumor considering that he could just be kidding with fellow board members. Though you’d think someone that is a CEO of a company that specifically ports old games wouldn’t be joking about Shenmue HD Remasters being the works. Considering Shenmue news is serious business to fans that have been waiting for SEGA to port the games since forever. Maybe Shenmue HD Remasters will be shown off in some form come E3 next month? What are your thoughts about SEGA possibly doing Shenmue HD Remasters of the first two games? Would you purchase them again? Let us know in the comments below.

SEGA News Bits: SEGA Plans Revival of Major IPs

On this SEGA News Bits, George and Barry discuss the recent news of SEGA of Japan announcing the revival of major IPs during their “Road to 2020” business presentation. What franchises could they be referring to? Find out as we dig through the news archives to uncover an old survey that just might hold the answer!

If you enjoy our SEGA News Bits segments and want to support us: Give us a sub and give this video a like so it shows up on more like minded fans YouTube recommendations. You know, how that new YouTube algorithm is.

Sonic Forces reveals third gameplay style – a character creation system!

Who called it? For the past month or two, we’ve been speculating that the third gameplay style in Sonic Forces is a character creation system not unlike Phantasy Star Online. Today, SEGA and the Sonic the Hedgehog YouTube channel revealed just that! Per the video description:

In a world where Eggman has taken over, even two Sonics will need some help. For the first time in the series’ history, create and play as your own custom character in the war to take back the planet.

The third character seems to play like both modern and classic Sonic, but with the added ability to use gadgets like flamethrowers and grappling hooks. Also revealed was a gameplay sample of the unnamed avatar in action, which you can see after the break. What are your thoughts on this reveal? Let us know in the comments below!

[UPDATE] We’ve added the press release as well, found after the break, which details the customization system and what animal species you can expect. Also, we’ve added some new screens and concept art!

SEGA plans “revival of major IPs” on its “Road to 2020”

Sonic___SEGA_All-Stars_Racing-PCArtwork4539Sonic_Racing_GroupSEGA plans “revival of major IPs”, which is a phrase that a lot of SEGA die hard fans have been waiting to hear from the company in a very long time. SEGA revealed this strategy when the company did their “Road to 2020” business presentation. If you look at the ‘Segment / Business Strategies’ on their latest fiscal report, it highlights the following big points:

Packaged Games Field (example titles: Total War: Warhammer, Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, Football Manager 2017, and Persona 5)

  • Expand existing IPs and obtain new IPs for North American and European PC games
  • Build revenue base by being entrusted with outsourced development
  • Challenge for new IPs
  • Revival of major IPs
  • Effective utilization of development engines

Digital Games Field (example titles: Puyo Puyo!! Quest, Hortensia Saga, Chain Chronicle 3, and Phantasy Star Online 2)

  • Create titles that will become global hits
  • Establish digital marketing business
  • Expand overseas publishing business
  • Maintain profits through long-term operation of existing titles
  • Develop next-generation titles

If you notice, they have a nice section where they highlight that they are planning not only original IPs but also SEGA plans “revival of major IPs”. But what would SEGA consider a “major IP”? One of the challenges SEGA has with reviving IPs is that they want them to be ‘global hits’, so what titles do you think are considered ‘global hits’? SEGA plans “revival of major IPs”, do you believe it or is it a ‘wait and see’ sort of thing?

[via: Gematsu]

Fan creates Sonic Mania Studiopolis Zone Winamp skin

Sonic Mania is a game that embraces old school aesthetics, so it is fitting that fellow SEGA and Sonic fan Ineedmorcowbell created a Sonic Mania skin for the old school program Winamp. Initially released in 1997, Winamp is a freemium media player for Windows, Android, and macOS. If you had a computer between 1997 and now, chances are you downloaded this program and still have it on your machine. What Ineedmorcowbell’s skin does is turn the entire player into Studiopolis Zone.

Ineedmorcowbell has this to say about the project:

After watching game play of Sonic Mania’s Studiopolis Zone, and seeing the Hornet Van. I felt like it needed to dance! This whole project was built around getting that Van to dance! From there, I designed how all the windows and standard features would be reskinned. There is all kinds of animations like the clouds moving, or lights glowing, to the projector playing different animations that react to the music.

All the sprites for this skin have been redrawn by myself! I used the debut, and various game play videos to collect the sprites to use, then redrew them in a much lower resolution. Similar to the original Genesis games. To produce a much crisper look then just using them straight from the videos. The only things that I didn’t redraw were some of the animations for the projector that use the developer logos and intro for the game. Christian Whitehead was redrawn because the original design was very seizure inducing. The Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles Head was done in illustrator.

I spent a lot of time and work really hard on this, so let me know what you think!

You can learn more about the skin and download it here. If you have any questions or comments for the creator, you can chat with him in our forums!

Swingin’ Report Show #87: Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book – Cook & Becker CEO Maarten Brands

The SEGAbits Swingin’ Report Show is back, bringing you an interview with Maarten Brands, CEO of Cook & Becker who is behind the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book! In this, his first public interview talking about the book, Maarten goes into the history of the international art dealership Cook & Becker, how the SEGA partnership began and what fans can expect from the Sonic art book.

The book releases soon and comes in two editions, which you can pre-order now:
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 25TH ANNIVERSARY ART BOOK – COLLECTOR’S EDITION
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 25TH ANNIVERSARY ART BOOK – STANDARD HARDCOVER

[Download] [RSS] [iTunes] [Archive]

Vanquish releasing to PC on May 25th – watch the announcement trailer and pre-order now

We’ve long sung the praises of Platinum Games’ Vanquish, so you can guess that we here at SEGAbits are very excited to see the announcement of the game coming to PC. When the game released in 2010, it earned an A grade in our written review.

Set to release May 25th, and available to pre-order now on Steam, the PC version of the game promises a fully unlocked framerate, HD resolutions up to 4K and all DLC. What more, if you own Bayonetta on PC you get 25% off Vanquish and pre-ordering gets you a Deluxe Digital Edition which features a digital art book, OST sampler, avatars, and wallpapers.

So what are you waiting for, pre-order Vanquish today!

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap getting physical PS4 release by Limited Run Games

WonderBoyLimitedRunGamesWonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, the remake to the 1989 SEGA Master System cult classic will be getting a physical release this summer by Limited Run Games. This physical version of Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap will be exclusive to the PlayStation 4, will come in a standard and regular editions. Limited Run Games tweeted that the physical release will be coming sometime this summer and haven’t given us an update on when we can pre-order.

If you would like to get a physical version of Wonder boy: The Dragon’s Trap, make sure you are ready to pre-order the day it goes live because these releases sell out fast. I mean, look at a list of games they have published that are no longer available.  I’m glad that Dot Emu and LizardCube listened to fans who wanted a physical release and made it happen. For those who asked for a physical release, I hope you guys pick up a copy of Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap this summer. But I have a feeling this is going to sell out rather quickly. What are your thoughts on Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap getting a physical release on the PlayStation 4? Are you picking up a copy?

We will keep you updated on this and Night Trap’s Limited Run Games releases.

SEGAbits presents The Top 100 SEGA Games

top100sega

At long last, The Top 100 SEGA Games list is here! Those who follow the site know that this ginormous list has been a long time coming. Back in October 2015 we began gathering top 25 lists from the SEGAbits community and the SEGA fan community as a whole for what was at the time intended to be compiled into a list of top 50 SEGA games. The reason for a list was a reaction to a certain big name gaming site that released a top 100 video games list without a single SEGA title. How IGNorant.

Seeing as a ranked top 25 list is a lot to ask, we gave fans all of 2016 to submit lists that followed strict guidelines. Games had to satisfy two of the following: be published by SEGA, be developed by SEGA, IP owned by SEGA. Also games had to be released between 1960 and October 19th, 2015. Once the lists were collected, we had over fifty lists of top 25 games. That’s over 1,250 entries covering nearly 300 games! Now, after six months of compiling, counting, sorting and writing up descriptions we are finally very happy to present to you The Top 100 SEGA Games!

Special thanks to the SEGAbits writing team for pitching in to tally votes and write descriptions when I felt that the task was impossible. And of course, special thanks to SEGA for making the games we love.

Unseen64 looks into the cancelled Sonic Extreme

No this isn’t the infamous Sonic Xtreme originally developed for the SEGA Saturn but cancelled due to development hell. Sonic Extreme was a cancelled skateboarding game originally pitched by a development studio called Vision Scope Interactive, which as the name suggested involved Sonic characters preforming skateboarding tricks and races similar to the famous Tony Hawk Pro Skater series involving hover boards. A prototype of the game was originally found in a Xbox devkit and leaked on the internet in 2011.

Liam Robertson, a known contributor to the website Unseen64 that specializes in beta and cancelled video games, decided to investigate further into how the game was originally pitched by contacting Vision Scope Interactive employees. The results includes how the opportunity came to be due to helping with developing the CG cutscenes in Sonic Heroes, how the prototype was quickly assembled and pitched, and it’s connection to the similar Sonic Riders released years later.

What Sonic Extreme might have been if it became a full title is unknown, but it’s nice to know more information about another curious case in Sonic’s history.