‘Faster Than Speed’ is the newest SEGA Dreamcast Atomiswave port

Here we go, Dreamcast-Talk user MegaVolt85 has blessed us with yet another (I feel like I’ve typed this way too much) Atomiswave arcade port, this time another obscure title: Faster than Speed, an arcade street racing game by Sammy USA from 2004.

Faster than Speed has ‘trick maneuvers’ and ‘Nitro boost’ to beat your opponents. From SEGA’s description back in the day:

“Enter the exciting street-racing world of Faster Than Speed where the winner rules and the loser walks! Hit the street with the most addictive driving experience of your life! Pick from 8 customized rides. Faster Than Speed will take your players into the exotic, dim-lit, back streets of over 6 tracks challenging the quickest, the fastest, the baddest, and the most stocked racer conquers the asphalt! To take down your challenger, you need to burn the street with a variety of high-speed tricks.”

You can download the Faster than Speed GDI Dreamcast Image here.

This is the 6th Atomiswave arcade port we’ve gotten, we also got: Metal Slug 6, King of Fighters XI, Samurai Shodown VI, NeoGeo Battle Coliseum, and Knights of Valour: The Seven Spirits.

SEGA-Sammy’s Latest Financial Report Breaks Down Covid-19 Loses, Rise in Home Software Sales Including Sonic and Persona franchises

As most of you guys have known, SEGA has been largely effected by Covid-19 this year, so much so that they actually sold 85% shares of their Arcade management business earlier this month. This obviously caused a lot of people to panic and predict that SEGA was going under. Now we have SEGA-Sammy’s new financial report to look at and see how much damage the virus has done to a company like SEGA.

I’ll try to point out interesting things that I find in the report below:

SEGA leaves Japanese arcade management business selling off 85.1% shares to GENDA – SEGA name will remain

As you know that the arcade business has been shrinking over the last few decades. This was one of the main reasons Yu Suzuki left SEGA in 2008, stating that they would no longer fund larger scale arcade games. As time went on, it seemed that only a handful of arcade titles continued to profit and the market kept shrinking. This year we got hit with Covid-19, which had a huge impact on the arcade market.

Because of these trends and the events of 2020. SEGA has sold off a majority stake (85.1%) of their SEGA Entertainment arcade business to GENDA, “a company created in 2018 by former President of Aeon Fantasy. Genda specialises in the rental of amusement machines and owns the LIFTるwebsite and mobile application which allows players to remotely play cranes and have their won prizes delivered home” (Source: Arcade Belgium).  SEGA is now a minority shareholder of the business at 14.9%.

SEGA’s President & Chief Publishing Officer Kenji Matsubara resigns

It seems that SEGA’s President and Chief Publishing Officer from SEGA has resigned this week as it was revealed via a short press release from SEGA-Sammy. The reason for his departure was listed as “personal reasons”, whatever that means. Matsubara held a few roles at SEGA like initially working as CTO for SEGA Network division before he was appointed COO of SEGA Games in 2017. He was named President and Chief Publishing Officer only four months ago, on April 2020 and has already resigned. Not a great look.

Before this Kenji Matsubara worked as CEO for Tecmo Koei and Zynga Japan, so he will most likely find work easy enough after leaving SEGA. What is your thoughts on the sudden departure of Kenji Matsubara?

Paramount Pictures announces Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Sequel in the works

According to Variety, Paramount Pictures and SEGA Sammy announced that the sequel to the Sonic the Hedgehog Movie is in the works with Jeff Fowler returning, and Pat Casey and Josh Miller writing the script. Neal H. Moritz, Toby Ascher and Toru Nakahara are also producing the movie, while Hajime Satomi, Haruki Satomi and Tim Miller are executive producing.

So far we know that Tails made a cameo appearance during the post-credits scene and in an interview with Jim Carrey on a sequel, he would be interested in portraying Dr. Robotnik once again as there is “so much room” to explore with the character. What would you like to see unfold in the sequel? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Fake 4chan Rumor: Microsoft buying SEGA


See the image above? One of the first times I saw the image was this weekend when longtime SEGAbits contributor SEGA Uranus posted it on our discord with a this link: https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2020/04/12/xbox-XO_world-live

As you can see, if you go to the link it takes you to a 404 page, me thinking this might have been a leak, I went to Twitter by posting the image looking for more information. My thinking was that SEGA had exclusives promised for the upcoming Microsoft Xbox Series X platform that is coming out this fall, but I quickly noticed people pushing the narrative that ‘SEGA is being bought by Microsoft!’.

After this I decided it was time to do a reverse image search for this image and it only got one hit at the time. 4chan’s /v/ section and even in the thread, no one actually saw the Xbox ‘link’ working. This is obviously a well devised 4chan prank, so please ignore it when you browse online and don’t be shy by linking people spreading this false rumor to this article. I mean, do you really want to see a American company to buy SEGA-Sammy?

SEGA Sammy third quarter review for fiscal year ending 2020

It’s that time again! Okay, so financial reports may seem boring to some, but if you are a SEGA fan, reading these things is vitally important. Knowing how well (or how poorly) certain divisions did dictates how SEGA Sammy moves forward as a company. After the break to find out how the company’s latest set of financials turned out as they released the third quarter results for the fiscal year 2020.

SEGA Sammy to merge SEGA Games and SEGA Interactive in April 2020


SEGA Sammy has announced that two of it’s subsidiaries, SEGA Games and SEGA Interactive, are going to be merged into a single entity called SEGA Corporation. While SEGA Holdings Ltd. will be renamed to SEGA Group Cooperation. For context, SEGA technically isn’t a single entity, but rather multiple divisions under the SEGA Sammy umbrella, in this case SEGA Games handling the video games and SEGA Interactive handling amusement machines like UFO catchers. According to the official PDF file describing the merger, the decision was due to wanting to strengthen their research and development on new products for a global market, while also citing their previously discussed “Road to 2020” plan as another influence. It’s also possibly related to their declining arcade division, though that was not officially cited.

This merger is being planned for a April 1st 2020 schedule, though meetings between shareholders are also planned during February and March 2020. It’s promised that these changes will not dramatically impact production on future products, again with the claim that having these divisions under a single union will improve productivity for a global market.

[Source: PDF, Stream]

SEGA reports video game division doing well, everything else not so much

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It seems that SEGA is really working hard to turn their console publishing arm around, with recent changes on how they localize games which included announcing three Yakuza games coming to the West. This of course has fans like me very excited and yesterday SEGA-Sammy posted their financial report that ended on December 31st, 2017. It was filled with good and bad news.

Let’s take a look at what SEGA-Sammy had to say about their performance in the last nine months.

Sammy teases upcoming Valkyria Chronicles pachislot machine

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Sammy, the division within SEGA-Sammy that does pachinko and pachislot machines, which is why no one is really surprised that they announced a Valkyria Chronicles pachinko machine. SEGA’s console division is reviving the Valkyria Chronicles brand with Valkyria Chronicles 4 in 2018, seems that Sammy finds the IP enticing enough for a pachislot machine. Sammy previously did a Bayonetta pachislot machine in 2015.

As far as when its coming, we don’t know anything outside of ‘coming soon’. I guess no one here will get to or want to play a Valkyria Chronicles pachislot game.  According to this tweet by Sammy, they will have a preview tomorrow.

SEGA SAMMY offices consolidating and relocating in Fall 2018

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According to a recent press release, big changes are coming to SEGA in Japan. In the fall of 2018, SEGA SAMMY and its group companies located in the Tokyo metropolitan area will be consolidated and relocated to a business building in the “Nishishinagawa 1-chome District Type 1 Urban Redevelopment Project” now being developed in an area south of Osaki Station. Osaki Station being in Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan. The SEGA SAMMY group companies include SEGA SAMMY HOLDINGS INC., Sammy Corporation, SEGA Holdings Co., Ltd., SEGA Games Co., Ltd., ATLUS. CO., LTD., Sammy Networks Co., Ltd., DARTSLIVE Co., Ltd. and others.

The move is said to promote cooperation among the companies, creating synergy and more active interaction of personnel while pursuing efficient group management. To do this, SEGA SAMMY plans to consolidate currently scattered head office functions. The new office space will occupy 8 floors and 43,891 square meters (472,439 square feet).

SEGA posts sales profits despite having fewer sales

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SEGA-Sammy has posted their detailed financial report for the last six months, spanning from April to September 2015. If you guys didn’t know, April 1st is when SEGA’s massive restructure happen and around June is when SEGA of America did their big move. Not only that but the company hasn’t been releasing as much software as they used to, but they still manage to make profit even with a decrease in sales.

SEGA-Sammy reports 1.2 billion in net sales, which happens to be a decrease of 2.5% over the same six month period in 2014, where they reported over 1.3 billion. Yet SEGA-Sammy posted a profit of $7.9 million, compared to losing $23 million in 2014.

SEGA-Sammy said that digital games just happen to be one of the big money makers for the company which happen to them get out of the red. What games did good? Lets look.

SEGA’s Marza studio demos Unreal Engine 4 animations

SEGA-Sammy owned CGI animation studio Marza Animation Planet has been plenty busy since they debuted in early 2006 by doing opening animations on various SEGA games (including Night of the Werehog animated short), working on the CGI movie ‘Space Pirate Captain Harlock‘ and even being confirmed as doing the CGI for Sony Pictures ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ theatrical film. Seems that the company is always looking ahead and are now getting their feet wet by trying animations in Unreal Engine 4, showing off detailed animations running on the primarily used game engine.

These are ‘real-time demos’ shown off to Japanese gaming website 4Gamer. Marza talks about how making animations in a game engine is new to them and how impress they are with what is possible. This could help SEGA’s development team create faster assets and cut development time in games. The demos they showed off included Happy Forest (above), Ultimate Bowl and Kuro 1.2 in-engine effects . To see the other tech demos hit the jump.

Sammy announces Bayonetta themed pachislot machine

Pachislot Bayonetta

Sammy aka parent company of SEGA, has launched a teaser site for their upcoming gambling pachislot machines based on the ever popular Bayonetta IP. It seems that pachislot machines get a negative reaction but most people don’t understand that most of these products have nothing to do with SEGA Games division. This is nothing new, considering that Sammy has been using SEGA (and other) IPs to sell Pachislots for over a decade. It has been a very profitable business for ‘SEGA-Sammy Holdings‘.

Before everyone complains in the comment section about how “SEGA should have just funded Bayonetta 2 instead of this”, please understand that this is like saying “Sony should fund a new Tomba! video game on Playstation 4 instead of making The Interview”, both projects are competently different and the cost of doing a Bayonetta themed pachislot machine is way lower than creating a HD game from scratch.

I hope this means that SEGA and Sammy both find value in owning the Bayonetta IP and haven’t abandoned it. Would be nice to see SEGA do a extended version of Bayonetta 2 on other platforms outside of the dying Wii U.