Round Table: SEGA IPs that could make great social games

Social games seem to be the hot thing right, every company is doing them and most are having a big success. SEGA even has their own social gaming site, with some pretty neat flash based games.

But they don’t really use their old IPs, outside of Sonic, for their games and they are really just ‘flash games’ and not very social like Yakuza Mobile or Shenmue City. What SEGA games do we want to see become social games? Hit the jump and yell at us in the comment section.

Sharky’s Pick

Some of you may remember a little known Sega game called Pocket Kingdom: Own the World for the N-Gage, heck only some of you will remember the N-Gage.

While the N-Gage was a flop in every sense of the word, Pocket Kingdom was the one game made for the handheld that I really wanted to play. The game borrows more then a little bit from Sega’s classic Saturn JRPG, Dragon Force. Only this time it was an MMORPG!
Here is a short description of the game:

The theme is somewhat atypical for a video game, since it makes fun of the usual conventions of MMORPGs, every character knows he/she/it is in a video game, talks in leet-speak, and even the plot itself is about replacing three griefers were banned from a high score table.

The game features both online and offline modes; both are similar, but in the online mode you can find other players and talk to or attack them – or be attacked by them. The crafting system is extensive – according to the authors, there are more than 50,000 possible object combinations.

Most of the game consists of buying units, equipping them, setting battle tactics, and sending them into battles. With experience, and using crafted “emblems”, characters can be upgraded into more powerful and varied classes.” –

Because I was never going to buy an N-Gage and none of my friends were either I never got to play this game. But from Youtube videos and online descriptions of the game it seems perfect for an update and port to the current ‘play when your bored at work’ platforms, like Facebook and iPad. Do it Sega of America! It’s not like you’re doing much else!

Aki-at’s Pick

I do not think I’ve spent more time on raising artificial creatures than I did on the Chao in both Sonic Adventure games. And yes, that includes both Pokemon and Monster Rancher!

The Chao raising is a rather simple idea, play as Sonic in the games and you get the items to raise them. Collect the rings in stages and you earn the currency to purchase items. However for social networking, I think the chao would be a big fire hit, after all, stroking your online ego with your uber chao is something every person dreams of! You probably could earn money through the amount of clicks you do on SEGA’s facebook page or how much you link their games to your friends. Really the possibility for endless marketing is never ending when you think of ideas like that.

It would be cool if some of the items you could purchase for your chao to wear and play with were related to up and coming SEGA products? Majima’s eye patch? Check! Vanquish helmet? Check! A tiny Valkyria Chronicles outfit perhaps?

That’s not all; remember the online chao trading you could do with friends? And the Sega auction house for buying new, interesting and rare chao types?

Then of course, visiting your friends chao gardens, challenging their chaos at different mini games like racing, swimming and so on.

Obviously I could go on and on, but as this is a short piece, I’ll leave it at that. But in my honest opinion, the addiction that chao raising can cause, if it was anything other than a hit, so long as proper hardwork was put into it, a chao Facebook/Myspace/whatever game could be one of the bigger hits of this social networking craze.

Barry The Nomad’s Pick

I could see Skies of Arcadia making for a fun social network game. SEGA has so many untouched IPs that deserve attention, even if it means a spin-off side story.

Sure, fans might complain that it isn’t a proper sequel (see Shenmue City), however I’d take a spin-off to nothing at all. Players could manage their pirate ship and crew and then take on other players in pirate battles. The game could offer up quests that feature computer controlled opponents and players could be rewarded with items and new crew members.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a Skies 2, so they’d have to give it a distinct spin-off title, however the game should take place after the events of the original game.

Knuckle87’s Pick

A bit of an obscure choice, but Dragon Force is easily one of the most addictive games I’ve ever played, not to mention one of the best games on SEGA’s incredibly underappreciated Saturn. The formula itself is rather simple: build up your armies, level up your generals, and try to capture other faction’s castles and generals. The different kinds of armed forces, such as samurais, beasts, monks, and soldiers, work in a rock/paper scissors type fashion: they are weak against some kinds of soldiers, and stronger against others. There are a variety of different kinds of tactics you can take at the start of a battle, which can have a significant effect over its outcome.

What’s truly brilliant about Dragon Force, though, is that it’s very pick up and play friendly. The game is very simple on the surface, but has a lot of depth in its simplicity. This combined with it’s addictive nature make Dragon Force the perfect game for these social networking sites. They could even add some more social features to the game. The game already has a way to fortify castles. They should expand on that, allow players to customize individual castles and walk around in them. They could also add a co-op component, allowing others to visit the player’s kingdom with a select number of general and help them out on campaigns.

It’d be great to see this Saturn classic find new life, especially on a mainstream venue like Facebook. It would certainly be a uniquely awesome game on the service.

-nSega54-‘s Pick

I’ll start out by saying that I’ve, for the most part, avoided social networking games like the plague. I’ve heard about the Farmvilles and all that stuff but have just really never had an interest. That said, what I think would be really cool, and I’d even probably download it, would be a game like this set in the Sonic world.

The world of Sonic is, if you really think about it, pretty big. I’m just talking about the world of Angel Island, the Mystic Ruins, Station Square, etc. Basically the world from Sonic the Hedgehog 1 up through Sonic Adventure 1. (Angel Island crash-landing in the Mystic Ruins in SA1 proves that the worlds can be connected.) This world has amazing things like amusement parks with outer space races and roller coasters, chao and the various chao gardens, Angel Island itself, casinos, cloudy hilltops, those little animal guys that Sonic used to rescue…you name it. I think it would be an awesome world to get to do fun little quests in.

The Sonic characters would be around and be available to talk to and help out, but I think it’d be cool to get to play as some random character and just sort of get to live in this world and do fun stuff in it instead of just running through it. I know Sega realizes this potential, since they’ve experimented with some slower Sonic experiences (Sonic Chronicles: the Dark Brotherhood,) but this wouldn’t be like that rather mixed bag of an RPG. This would be a simpler game like these things usually are. It would be about getting to experience what’s a very cool world that’s been developing for decades…in a totally different light. I think it’d be pretty cool if you could take your chao on rides in Twinkle Park, or if you could hang out with and catch fish with Big the Cat to then sell in the marketplace of Station Square. Or take the train to the Mystic Ruins and join the explorers in mapping out new territory. Maybe helping Knuckles guard the Master Emerald from Eggman.

I think it’d be a cool new way to experience Sonic and it’s something that would probably even sell pretty well.

George’s Pick

Not going to admit that I like the whole social gaming thing and how companies are wasting time on making games for it. But I do think it can be positive to promote a bigger title through a social game application. That being said, if I had to pick a ‘franchise’ to be a social game, I would like it to be used a promotion for the console game. See Yakuza Mobile game.

That being said, I think that a new Jet Set Radio game could really use a social game to promote a new console game. The social game can let you do tons of stuff, like acquire points by taking over ‘land’, make your own gang and even share/sell custom tags for in game currency. This currency and tags could be carried over to the actual game you buy.

The game could have unlockables for the console version and who knows, maybe some idiots on Facebook will get addicted to the game and its awesome music and go out and purchase the brand new game. No?


5 responses to “Round Table: SEGA IPs that could make great social games

  1. Sharky says:

    Some great ideas here boys… If only Sega saw it the same way.

    I really like the chao garden idea. Chaos were addictive as hell. My friends and I spent hours just replaying Sonic levels to find the animals or chao drives we needed… over and over and over. Teaching them at the chao school and racing them… Searching the online auction for other peoples chaos that were really awesome.

    We spent a silly amount of time with those things, if it came back as a facebook page or something I see the same craze all over again.

    I also remember feeling actual sadness when one died or we had to get rid of it in that evil chao killing machine… It TOLD us they went to live far far away… But we knew. WE KNEW.

  2. CrazyTails says:

    The only pick I agree with is chao. That would indeed be a huge succes

  3. Chao garden is a no-brainer, yet it's not available. They could whip up something 3d and nice looking in Unity that's playable through a browser.

    Anything JSR would make me lose my mind… please SEGA, may I have another?

  4. Wilhelm says:

    Honestly I can't see JSR being a Social Networking Game..

    The Chao one I can see, like jeez Square-Enix released a Chocobo one recently and it's alright.

    If Sega did what Square did, only Chao it'd be a instant hit, specially for the ladies.

    And most of the gaming scene on Facebook are women. Add a cute lil thing like Chao and it will be an instant hit!

  5. silverskull says:

    I have to agree with the Chao idea, but I think it would work better as a Wii/DS thing. Like… have a WiiWare game and a DSiWare game that can communicate with each other (similar to the GameCube/GBA connectivity in the Adventure remakes). Maybe link the two with Sonic games on their respective platforms for ring collecting? (Oh, and how about letting us import our old Chao. The Wii could do that easily.)

    I can't really see Chao working well in a browser-based game, honestly. At least… not nearly as well as the console/handheld games.

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