In the last few years we have been getting more officially licensed SEGA books than ever before, with each of these books offering readers a unique slice of SEGA history. While most of the books have a unique take or format, it seems that most of these books try to center around SEGA’s most popular console, the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive. It seems a lot of publishers aren’t very interested in covering SEGA before this time period, that is until Bitmap Book’s Master System: A Visual Compendium.
Our friends at Read-Only Memory, who published the excellent Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works and is hard at work on the upcoming Sega Dreamcast: Collected Works, have announced a new SEGA focused book with a very different spin. SEGA Arcade: Pop-Up History will be a large format, high production book of pop-up sculptures of SEGA’s greatest arcade cabinets. The deluxe arcade cabinets include: Hang-On, Space Harrier, Thunder Blade, After Burner, and Out Run. The Holy Quincunx as I call them (I had to Google “trinity but for 5”).
Each pop-up model in this officially licensed book will be accompanied by schematics, game artwork and historical context from by Guardian games writer Keith Stuart – plus everyone who backs the project during the Kickstarter campaign will receive an exclusive limited version, sporting a silver foil, deep embossed cover design.
Read-Only Memory have proven time and time again that they produce the best quality video game history and art and design books, and we urge readers to show their latest project their support. You can learn more about the upcoming book on their Kickstarter campaign page. We will continue to share news about SEGA Arcade: Pop-Up History as we hear it.
Sega Dreamcast: Collected Works, an upcoming book from Read-Only Memory, is the followup to SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works. Successfully backed on Kickstarter late last year, Read-Only Memory sent a new years update to backers and boy is it an exciting one! Read-Only Memory received a large amount of production materials from SEGA of Japan, including several never-before-seen pieces from popular Dreamcast games. Included in the haul are:
- Game mechanic sketches, environment concepts and high end renderings for Sonic Adventure
- The complete design document for Jet Set Radio/Jet Grind Radio, including some amazing graffiti artwork concepts
- A very early proof of concept video for Space Channel 5
- Character studies and production artwork for Phantasy Star Online
- Storyboards, character designs and environment artworks for Shenmue
Read-Only Memory will spend the coming weeks sorting through all the materials and identifying pieces to include in the book, with the final cut of the book to be laid out in a few months. Also revealed is that photoshoots for the Hardware Showcase chapter of the book will be taking place in the next few weeks, featuring everything from consoles to the fishing controller to the Samba de Amigo maracas. If you’re the proud owner of a Dreamcast hardware rarity you think should make the final cut, please do drop Read-Only Memory a line!
We here at SEGAbits can’t wait to get our hands on the book, and in the meantime we’re working to get Darren Wall of Read-Only Memory back for another Swingin’ Report Show podcast.
The Sega Dreamcast: Collected Works Kickstarter ends today, with the current pledged amount sitting at £122,127 of a £68,000 goal. As the campaign nears its end, an update has been released announcing a new signed edition tier. SEGA legend Yu Suzuki will be signing 15 copies of the book with the new tier priced at £75, and he has been added to the growing list of interview subjects to appear in the book!
The signed tier will release at 6 p.m. GMT, just a few hours before the campaign ends. So if you want Yu Suzuki’s autograph and a great looking book, you can sit at your computer refreshing like crazy. For comparison, the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter had Yu’s autograph at the $300 tier, whereas here it’s around $99. We’ll have more information about the Sega Dreamcast: Collected Works book, including a Swingin’ Report Show interview with Read-Only Memory’s Darren Wall, in the coming months. So stay tuned!
Released back in 2014, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works fast became one of our favorite SEGA art books of all time. Created by Darren Wall of Read-Only Memory, the book covers SEGA’s famous 16-bit console, featuring development and concept illustrations for the console’s most popular franchises, original developer interviews and previously unseen hardware production plans. Much of the materials – drawn from the Sega of Japan archives – has never been released before. The book also features dozens of interviews with the people who made our favorite Mega Drive/Genesis games.
Now, Read-Only Memory plans to put the book back into production with a reprint. To do this, they’ve returned to Kickstarter with a new campaign which offers copies of the book as backer rewards, as well as some cool new items including a Mega Drive branded bookmark and a stylish tote bag. Worth noting for those who backed the first time, the tote bag is available in a tier of its own, and it is also bundled with a copy of the book and the bookmark.
If you missed out the first time, or if you want to support Read-Only Memory again, we highly suggest checking out their campaign. A lot of hard work and fan-driven passion went into the project, as evidenced by our interview with Darren Wall. After the break, check out our unboxing video featuring Darren and the writer of “Console Wars” Blake J. Harris.
If you haven’t checked out the excellent book SEGA Arcade Classics Vol. 1 by Hardcore Gaming 101, you really should fix that. The book is an excellent guide to SEGA’s arcade history, spotlighting not just games but their many sequels, revisions and home console counterparts. While volume 1 covered the early days, there was so much more to be covered. Thankfully HG101’s Kurt Kalata is giving us another volume with SEGA Arcade Classics Vol. 2, which is now available to purchase just in time for the holiday season! Per the description, covered games include golden era arcade classics like Pengo, Zaxxon, Congo Bongo, and Flicky; racing titles, ranging from classics like Monaco GP and Turbo, up through Hang-On and Rad Mobile; beat-em-ups like My Hero and Arabian Fight; SEGA’s super scalers Subroc 3-D and Buck Rogers and the Planet of Zoom; overlooked classics like Spatter, Ninja Princess, Bonanza Bros., and Aurail; and the long forgotten Sonic the Hedgehog arcade game.
Also available is The Hardcore Gaming 101 and Sonic & Sega Fan Jam 2016 Fanbook, which was produced in conjunction with SEGAbits (hey, that’s us!) for the Sonic & Sega Fan Jam 2016 event in Savannah, Georgia of which we are a sponsor. The book features a sampling of HG101 articles highlighting a range of SEGA games, including Streets of Rage, Sakura Wars, ToeJam & Earl, NiGHTS, Puyo Puyo, and Virtua Fighter. Also included are reviews of two games: Segata Sanshiro Shinken Yuugi, the Saturn minigame collection starring SEGA’s ultra manly spokesman, and Segagaga, the Dreamcast simulation game where you attempt to run SEGA as a company to save the realm of video gaming! Also included are reviews of three lesser known Master System games: Ghost House, Maze Hunter 3D, and Kenseiden. The Fan Jam book is available in two flavors: the standard edition with a Master System-inspired cover and a variant cover featuring Sonic and several SEGA all-stars.
Playing at the Next Level: A History of American Sega Games was written by Ken Horowitz, who runs the long running SEGA-16 fansite. As a longtime Sega fan and lurker on various sites, especially before I started this blog, I was a huge fan of what Ken was doing at Sega-16. One of the biggest resources the site offers is a review for almost every single Sega Genesis game published. That’s quite the feat. While his work on getting a review for almost every single Sega Genesis game is amazing, I truly love his website because he interviews some of the most interesting people from Sega’s glory days. I first heard about the site when doing research on Sega Technical Institute, after finding his interview with Roger Hector about his time being director of the studio I started checking daily for more Sega historical content. Ever since then I have been a huge fan of the site, when I heard Ken was writing a historical Sega book we invited him on our podcast (listen to that below).
Cook & Becker’s Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary art book is now up for pre-order, and on this SEGA News Bits George and Barry share their thoughts on the upcoming book. Take a look at several images of the Special Collector’s Edition of the book and learn some details of what we might expect to find in the book.
Are you a Sonic collector with original official art? Contact Cook & Becker as they are looking for potential rarities to include in the book!
If you like our SEGA News Bits segments, make sure you subscribe to us on YouTube. Thanks for watching!
Thanks to the next-gen art dealers at Cook & Becker, we have a first look at the upcoming Sonic The Hedgehog 25th Anniversary art book via an in-depth gallery of images as well as a full press release. So let’s get down to it! The art book, the first ever official art book and design history for the long running series, encapsulates 25 years of history. The book will be made available in a limited Special Collector’s Edition as well as a Standard Hardcover Edition. The Special Collector’s Edition features an outer box, a special inner sleeve that folds into a display stand for the book and an exclusive newly drawn matted art giclee print by Sonic Team’s Yuji Uekawa. The Collector’s Edition is limited to 2,500 copies and sells for $120/€120 respectively. As a pre-order bonus, Cook & Becker offers a 10% discount on the Collector’s Edition if it is ordered before February 2017. The Standard Edition, meanwhile, retails for $45/€45 and consists of the book itself.
Let’s talk about the book! Officially licensed, the book (310mm H x 275mm W) will feature 200+ pages of images and text, including interviews with key Sonic designers including Yuji Naka, Takashi Iizuka and Yuji Uekawa. As seen in the image gallery below, you can expect to find concept art, promotional art, 3D renders, box art and – as revealed in our recent article – original official art and rare collectibles submitted by fans (pending approval from Cook & Becker and SEGA, of course).
After the break, check out a full press release detailing the book as well as a gallery of several images showing off the ins and outs of the book as well as the Special Collector’s Edition. Don’t forget to pre-order the book today at the official Cook & Becker site!
If you haven’t already heard, next-gen art dealers Cook & Becker plan to release a “Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Art Book”. The book will cover the history of Sonic and will include design sketches, official character illustrations, in-game art, pixel art, rare promotional art and game box art. While SEGA has provided Cook & Becker with many great art assets from the company archives, as is the case with original art spanning 25 years there is always more out there in private collections.
Cook & Becker reached out to us asking if we would ask you, the fans, to lend a hand if you can. As the book enters the final stages of design, there is little under a month left before the window closes on what can appear in the book and we are asking any fans with cool rare retro merchandise, rare original promotional art and rare manual scans to reach out to Cook & Becker via their contact page or email maarten [at] candb.com. Cook & Becker is looking for high res photos and scans of what they may not already have. They will credit anyone in the book that sends in material that gets included. I know, for example, that there is some really great original art from the late SEGA Genesis-era artist Greg Martin in several collections.
It should be noted that Cook & Becker are NOT looking for fan art, only rare and original official pieces of artwork and collectibles. More news on Cook & Becker’s book to come, so stay tuned!
On this episode of the SEGAbits podcast, Barry and George are joined by Ken Horowitz, founder of SEGA-16.com and writer of the upcoming book Playing at the Next Level: A History of American Sega Games. Even if you don’t know his name, any SEGA fan with internet access has stumbled upon SEGA-16 to find a helpful review, interview or retrospective. Now, Ken is using his knowledge of SEGA as well as close to one hundred newly conducted interviews to create a book which looks back on the games developed by SEGA of America during the 80s and 90s.
I have always been a huge fan of the SEGA fansite SEGA-16, the site really went beyond the call in their efforts to secure some of the best interviews I have ever read. Now website founder Ken Horowitz has announced via his SEGA-16 facebook page that he is working on a history book about SEGA of America:
“Last month, I submitted to my publisher the manuscript for a book chronicling the game development history of Sega of America. Tentatively titled: “Achieving the Next Level: The History of American Sega Games,” the book is an exhaustive retrospective of SOA as a game-maker, from its founding in 1986 and the first steps taken on the Master System to its final efforts on the Dreamcast. Nearly 100 former SOA alumni (including each of its presidents from 1986-2001) and independent game developers were interviewed, and the creation processes of almost 40 Sega-published titles are documented. Every one of SOA’s internal studios is included, many of which have never before been examined.”
The book will look at games created by SEGA of America’s development division and I hope gathers new information about games we loved as kids. He estimates that the book will be around 500 pages long and as of right now there isn’t a release date. Of course, we will keep you posted as more news hits.
Darren Wall of Read-Only Memory has officially announced that SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works has been approved by SEGA and will go to print this upcoming Monday! In a detailed Kickstarter update, Darren shows off the book’s sexy cover, and details the exhaustive (but necessary) process in receiving approval from SEGA. The book will be 352 pages long, with 8 fold-out pages featuring hardware design drawings and jumbo versions of box art from Space Harrier 2, Alien Storm, Super Thunderblade and The Super Shinobi II/Shinobi III. The book will contain 80 pages of developer interviews, a guide to SEGA logotypes, and a chapter devoted to game art totaling 60 pages. The one downside, which is really not that bad, is that the approval process has delayed the expected shipping date. Darren promises “a firm delivery date from the printer very shortly”. To see hear and see more from Darren, check out the latest update.
A big congratulations from all of us at SEGAbits to Darren Wall! We can’t wait to hold the book in our hands.
Thanks to It Books, HarperCollins Publishers, and author Blake J. Harris, we have an exclusive excerpt from “Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation” which features the first time SEGA of America President Tom Kalinske and his staff laid their eyes on Sonic the Hedgehog in action! The full excerpt can be found after the break, and if you like what you read, make sure to pre-order a copy of the book today and enter our Twitter and Facebook contests to win a copy of the book. Contest winners will be announced on our release day podcast with the book’s author Blake J. Harris, which will debut alongside the book tomorrow!
To gamers, the battle of SEGA and Nintendo is something of legend. The video game giant Nintendo being taken on by the underdog SEGA. It’s almost like something out of a movie. So it only makes sense that the publishing industry and Hollywood would jump at the chance to make a book and film about the console wars. It was announced this week that Atlantic Books has acquired the UK rights to the book CONSOLE WARS, written by Blake Harris. The book is described as “a riveting behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how SEGA, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video game industry”. So basically The Social Network meets Rocky, and SEGA is the good guy. Atlantic plans to publish CONSOLE WARS: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation in August 2014, meanwhile American’s can expect the book to release this May from It Books.
Sony Pictures and Scott Rudin, of Moneyball and The Social Network, are developing a film version of the book, which is to be written and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg of Knocked Up and Superbad fame. The book’s writer Blake Harris is serving as Executive Producer and has his own version of the story, a documentary, in the works. The news of the film is nothing new, however this is the first time in a while that we’ve heard anything about it. Back in 2012, IGN came across Sony Pictures registering the domain for Console wars the Movie. So in a few years time we may very well see SEGA vs. Nintendo the Movie! Hey, if Facebook gets a movie, SEGA easily deserves one.
Update: Interestingly, this isn’t the first mention of Rogan and Goldberg being attached to a film version of the book. Back in late 2012 their involvement was mentioned in a Facebook post made by Trident Media Group. Despite this, it appears that the news was never picked up and reported elsewhere. That same day, Rogan and Goldberg tweeted about it.