SEGA News Bits: SEGA Reveals New Startup Logo Reaction

Remember the iconic “SE-GA” startup chorus or the SEGA scream? How about the more recent manly voiced “SEGA”? Well the manly voice is going away and in its place, an eye! That’s right, SEGA are unveiling a new intro for their games and on this SEGA News Bits George and Barry react to the change and run through the history of SEGA startups.

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Sonic Mania releases August 15 according to new Steam Store trailer

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According to several Steam users in select parts of the world, a revised Sonic Mania trailer has appeared listing August 15 as the game’s release date. While the US store has not shown anything new, the European and some South American Steam Stores show the date. The date would mean we have two and a half months to wait before the game releases, and it also means the game would not make the end of Sonic’s 25th anniversary on June 23. We’ll share more as he hear it!

Pre-order the Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition today, available on Nintendo SwitchPS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Yoot Saito hints at a Seaman return

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“Don’t Panic!” That’s what the t-shirts read in a tweet from Seaman creator Yoot Saito (it’s also on the cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but I doubt there is a connection). The tweet reads “Seemingly, a new project is being started. Guess what from the web-address on their back.” with the web address linking to www.seaman.ai which is currently shown as being under construction. We’ve covered a lot of Seaman news over the past five years, with the most notable headlines being “Nikkei reports that Seaman’s being revived on the 3DS” in 2012, “Nintendo trademarks point towards a new Seaman game” in 2013 and “Devolver Digital wants to make a new Seaman game” in 2015.

Could the mystery project be a remaster, a sequel, a Nintendo exclusive or a team up with a developer like Devolver Digital? Perhaps a Kickstarter will soon be launched? We’ll have to wait and see.

SEGA Europe COO and President Jurgen Post departs

JurgenPostLeavesSEGASEGA Europe has announced that Jurgen Post has left his position in the company as COO and President. Before Jurgen Post got his title as COO and President at SEGA Europe, he worked as managing director and senior vice president.

Jurgen Post was responsible for taking over as COO and President in 2012 where he streamlined SEGA Europe’s pillar structure which included Creative Assembly, Sports Interactive and moving SEGA more into the PC market place. He was also responsible for the latest wave of older SEGA PC ports which included Bayonetta and Vanquish.

“Jurgen leaving us is a huge loss, but he leaves Sega Europe with the business in a fantastic position and in the capable hands of a superb team who will strive to keep moving it forward. We wish Jurgen all the very best for the future and in his new role and hope that his employees there will find him as inspirational and as motivating as we did here.” – Tatsuyuki Miyazaki, SEGA West CEO

Its a bit weird that this just came out, seeing that not even 24 hours ago Jurgen Post gave a interview with GamesIndustry.biz where he said, “The Sega brand will come back and start to flourish again”. Hopefully he is right, but it will be sad to take this ride without him.

Until they find a replacement, SEGA Europe’s CFO John Ward will act as interim COO as the publisher looks for a replacement. What are your thoughts on this news? Do you think its all of a sudden? Let us know in the comments below.

[Source: MCVUK]

SEGA News Bits: Everything We Know About Shenmue HD

The Shenmue HD remaster rumors are back, and on this SEGA News Bits George and Barry discuss the latest news and detail the long history of Shenmue HD leaks and rumors. Could there be a pattern emerging from all the remaster rumors? Is a Shenmue HD release imminent? Watch the video to hear our thoughts!

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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.

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!

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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]

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.