Former Sega Enterprises, Inc. president and CEO Thomas Gill Petit has passed away

Sad news for SEGA fans. We’ve learned that Tom Petit, co-founder of Sega Enterprises, Inc. (USA) and president and CEO of the company for eight years, passed away at his home in Durango, Colorado on November 21, 2017. Tom worked in the video game industry for more than 28 years, with leadership positions at Atari, Nintendo and SEGA.

I’ll admit, in assembling information about Tom’s time with SEGA, I could not find a lot. I still do not have a firm idea of when he was at SEGA, though he did appear in news stories from 1986-1991. I came across an interview he did when the SEGA arcade game Time Traveler released in 1991 (seen above) and found this fun article on Tom and David Rosen at the 1986 JAMMA Arcade Game Show where OutRun was unveiled. I am also under the impression that Tom was the president and CEO of the coin-op side of things for America.

In 2004, Tom retired from the industry and started a career in ranch real estate development. His hobbies included fly fishing and scuba diving. A memorial service is planned for the summer of 2018, and you can leave a tribute here. We’ll provide more information on Tom Petit’s career as we find it.

Chikao Ōtsuka, Japanese voice actor of Doctor Eggman, has passed away

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Sad news today, as we have learned that Chikao Ōtsuka has passed away at age 85. Chikao Ōtsuka was the Japanese language voice actor of Doctor Eggman, and the longest running Eggman voice actor to date, voicing the character since 1998’s Sonic Adventure. Chikao Ōtsuka’s passing was confirmed on the talent agency website for Aoni Productions, the cause of death was given as ischemic heart failure.

Our thoughts are with Chikao Ōtsuka’s family, friends, and fans at this sad time.

Christine Cavanaugh, voice actress of Bunnie Rabbot in ABC’s Sonic the Hedgehog, has passed away

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Sad news as 2014 winds to a close, we have learned that voice actress Christine Cavanaugh had passed away on December 22nd. Her obituary, which was posted by the LA Times today, does not give any cause of death but the focus really should be on celebrating Christine’s life and her incredible work.

If you don’t know Christine Cavanaugh’s name, you’d undoubtably recognize her voice as she not only performed Bunnie Rabbot in ABC’s Sonic the Hedgehog, but she is also well known as the original voice of Dexter from Dexter’s Laboratory, Chuckie from Rugrats, Marty Sherman from The Critic, and Oblina in Ahhhhh Real Monsters. Film and TV audiences will best recognize her as the voice of Babe in 1995’s Babe as well as playing a major supporting role in the classic The X-Files episode “Small Potatoes”. You can see Christine’s many roles at her IMBD listing.

Our thoughts are with Christine’s family, she will be missed.

Tom Keil, Regional Sales Manager for Sega Amusements, dies at 63

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Sad news for SEGA arcade fans today, as we learned via Vending Times that Tom Keil, a regional sales manager for Sega Amusements since 2002, has passed away after a battle with cancer. President and COO at Sega Amusements Paul Williams had this to say about Tom: “It is a sad time for us all with the passing of my friend and work colleague, Tom Keil. He was a man admired by many for his integrity, passion for life and sense of goodness. Everyone [who] knew him or met him was touched by the generosity of his nature and personality.”

US General Manager at Sega Amusements Peter Gustafson also shared his thoughts: “Tom put up a valiant and courageous fight against cancer for more than three years. Throughout his ordeal, he never allowed his condition stop or slow him down. His unwillingness to let his disease define him was an inspirational example of how to live fully regardless of the circumstances life hands you.”

Donations in Tom Keil’s honor can be made to The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke Duke University Medical Center (DUMC 3624, Durham, NC 27710) or The Caring House (2625 Pickett Rd., Durham, NC 27705).

Greg Martin, Sonic the Hedgehog American and European box art illustrator, has passed away

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Yesterday evening we learned, via the Sonic Retro forums, that the Sonic the Hedgehog American and European box art illustrator Greg Martin had passed away in May of last year. While the news is delayed, the sadness many SEGA fans are surely feeling has not diminished. Greg Martin may not be a name fans recognize, but as soon as you see his work you’d instantly know his style. His SEGA career spanned the 90’s, with his art appearing on the covers of the SEGA Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog titles, Shining in the Darkness, Landstalker, Pac-Attack, and many more. Outside of SEGA, Greg did work for franchises including The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, Batman, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Winnie the Pooh, The Jetsons, and Looney Tunes. You can see more of his work at his official website. Learn more about Greg Martin in this NintendoAge forums post written by a friend of his.

Our thoughts are with Greg Martin’s family, he truly was a legend.

Charles Bellfield, former SEGA VP of strategic planning and corporate affairs, has passed away

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Sad news this morning as we have learned that Charles Bellfield, SEGA of America’s former VP of strategic planning and corporate affairs from 1998 to 2003, has passed away. Bellfield was best known as the spokesman for Sega of America during the launch of the Dreamcast. The news of his passing came from his brother Edward through Facebook, saying that Bellfield had passed away in San Francisco on Friday night. Bellfield held other positions in the gaming industry including executive roles at Edelman, Capcom, Codemasters, 3DV Systems, EmotionPlay, and Imagination Technologies’ Pure North America division.

Peter Moore, Bellfield’s SEGA boss during the Dreamcast era, described him as “good time Charlie. The life of every party, a true bon vivant. The quintessential Englishman abroad. You’ve left us way too soon Charlie, but you’ve also left us with a hundred stories to tell and a thousand smiles on all of our faces. The room was a better, more fun-filled place when you were in it.”

We here at SEGAbits send our condolences to Bellfield’s family and friends. He will be missed.

GameArts Founder Passes Away

Last Friday was a sad day for Japanese role-playing game fans. G-mode CEO Takeshi Miyaji, who was also well known for starting up game development company Game Arts, passed away on the July 29. Miyaji was 45 years old.

You may be wondering why this was posted on a SEGA website, but if you go through the developer’s Gameography, you’d find that a majority of their games have found homes on SEGA consoles. Grandia 2 is still one of the best reasons for owning a Dreamcast (it was ported to the PS2, post-Dreamcast days but was inferior to the DC version).

The loss of Miyagi San is a loss for the game industry and fans like us who grew up on true Blue games.  Miyaji San started Game Arts back in 1985 alongside his brother Yoichi Miyaji, who is the current CEO of the company. Game Arts is well known in the gaming community for creating games like Silpheed (Sega CD), and Gun Griffon (Sega Saturn), as well as the Lunar and Grandia series. A few staff members of Game Arts also helped develop Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii.

Rest in Peace Takeshi Miyaji, our hearts go out to his family and friends.