Another SEGA attraction is now closed down after about 7 years of service. The Sonic Railway in the Lalaport Fujimi City shopping center in Saitama, Japan is no more after January 10. The train station had a miniature sized train cart (fully operational with buttons and lights for kids), affixed with blue and yellow and had Sonic pictured on all sides (with the front and back doing the pose from Sonic 1). It also showcases a small track with crossings, make-shift bridges, and a garage which houses additional carts. Some additional carts were used as collaborations as well, such as Gautama and Hello Kitty. The attraction (also loosely named “Sonic Station”) was for all ages and gives you a small introduction on how train carts and stations operate on a basic level in Japan.
We got the news the other day that SEGA had planned on announcing a new RPG during Tokyo Game Show 2021 livestream. Of course, the internet went ablaze with them listing older RPGs they’d like to see revived, some even said they’d be open to a new franchise while many long term SEGA veterans wisely gave up early suggesting it was a mobile game. Guess what? The vets are right, SEGA has opened and teased the game via their Twitter account. The game also got a brand new teaser website as well.
A rough google translation makes it seem that the game’s tag line will be something along the lines of: “Not a straight road, let’s make a one-time trip”. The teaser on the other hand confirms, within its Japanese text that its a mobile game plus shows off some really incredible artwork.
The one complaint I see from mobile fans is that SEGA shut down the Sakura Wars mobile a game within 6 months of launching, now the company is asking gamers to trust that this new RPG will last longer? I guess we shall see, full information will be coming out on the first of October.
It really looks like the years of hard work to create good PR has all gone to waste, maybe! SEGA Japan announced it was going to partner up with ‘double jump .tokyo’ to create NFT digital content and utilize blockchain technology this upcoming summer. This obviously caused a huge uproar, so much so that it sent SEGA to trending on the front page of Twitter. Oh boy.
For those not in the know and never heard of “NFT”, it stands for ‘Non Fungible Token’. So that doesn’t explain much, but what does it do and what does this have to do with ‘blockchains’ and Crypto? Basically NFT’s right now are a digital way of buying a painting or piece of artwork that only you own and will forever live on the blockchain. For example if SEGA puts an official Sonic piece of artwork, they can allow users to bid with Crypto to see who ‘owns it’. Right now the biggest NFT market is ‘Open Sea’, which lets you browse and explore how the whole thing works.
SEGA Japan has released new streaming guidelines for Japanese audiences, which will now allow individual users to monetize videos and streams of SEGA owned games through YouTube and Twitch.
Its actually kinda crazy that SEGA didn’t allow this before considering how games like Yakuza got huge brand awareness in the West due to streamers and YouTubers making videos on the games. But it seems that SEGA in the past allowed users to create videos, but not profit from them. It seems that SEGA is also encouraging players to add reaction faces and comments, but also asking for spoiler tags on videos that ruin story moments. They have also asked not to do unrelated edits that would obscure actual gameplay, which seems a bit vague?
This whole guideline sadly isn’t applying to Atlus or western developed titles such as Total War, but if its a success for SEGA; we can all assume this will all change.
Famitsu has just revealed in a live stream the final games to be included in the SEGA arcade plug and play Astro City Mini. Those games include:
- Sonic Boom
- Scramble Spirits
- Puyo Puyo 2
- Quartet 2
- Thunder Force AC
- Alex Kidd The Lost Stars
- Rad Mobile
- Seishun Scandal/My Hero
- Space Harrier
- Arabian Fight
- Stack Columns
- Ninja Princess
When we first shared the news about SEGA’s Astro City Mini, it was revealed that the plug and play would include 36 arcade classics. At the time, 10 were revealed, and today we learned of an additional 13 games! The newly announced titles include:
- Shadow Dancer
- Crack Down
- Gain Ground
- Puyo Puyo
- Bonanza Bros.
- Puzzle & Action: Ichidant-R
- Wonder Boy
- Wonder Boy in Monster Land
- Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair
Aaron Webber, longtime friend to the site and a legend among Sonic and SEGA fans, has had a long career with SEGA of America. Joining SEGA in 2008, Aaron worked as a Game Master for Phantasy Star Universe, an Assistant Community Manager and then as Associate Brand Manager before a brief departure from the company in 2014. Then, in 2015, Aaron returned to act as PR & Social Media Manager and then Senior Social Media Manager for the Sonic the Hedgehog brand. It was during this period that Sonic saw a social media EXPLOSION with national attention on how he and his team handled the brand’s social media accounts.
Now, Aaron has accepted a role with SEGA of Japan as Director of Strategy, Studio & Community Relations. While not much has been said of Aaron’s day to day responsibilities, he has said “besides Sonic, this means I get to support a lot of great SEGA teams – first up is PSO2 which just launched on Steam!”
We here at SEGAbits congratulate Aaron and wish him luck on his new role at SEGA’s Japan offices.
Earlier this month it was announced that SEGA Building 2, a Japanese SEGA arcade in Akihabara, will be closing its doors for good on August 30. While no official reason has been given, some speculate that SEGA are competing with themselves as the 1st, 3rd, 4th and recently opened 5th SEGA arcades in the area draw much more foot traffic thanks to being near stations and busy roads. It has also been said that Building 2 is cramped and is difficult to navigate.
SEGA has confirmed that the Nintendo Switch game Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix will launch May 15th in the west. The company has also confirmed that this title will launch as digital only, at least for now.
SEGA has already opened digital pre-orders for the game which includes two versions: The base game for $39.99 (101 Songs) and a Mega Pack for $59.99 which includes six downloadable content packs. Five of the six downloadable packs have already been released in Japan. But that isn’t all, SEGA has confirmed that if you pre-order the game you will also get early access to the “Theme Song DLC Pack” which includes playable versions of previous Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA theme songs like (will be free to all users after June 12th):
SEGA Games has just trademarked the name Tabegoro! Super Monkey Ball in Japan, if you didn’t know Tabegoro means ‘ripe, ‘in season and/or ‘good to eat’. Makes perfect sense for a brand new Super Monkey Ball game, considering how delicious those bananas look.
Its crazy that the last ‘non-mobile’ title was Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz on the Playstation Vita way back in 2012. I remember one of the first titles we reviewed for this site was Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll on the Wii, so its been a long, long time since we had a new Super Monkey Ball. Are you excited to go ape around in the Super Monkey Ball world?
If you missed the news, last year SEGA announced at SEGA Fes 2018 that there will be a brand new Sakura Wars title and so far we haven’t heard much about it. But SEGA has now filed for a new trademark in Japan for the name ‘Sakura Wars’. That’s right, the English version of the name has been trademarked and not ‘Sakura Taisen’. The application was filed by SEGA Games on February 26, 2019 to be used in video games, music, movies, streaming services, and more. Expect SEGA to have more Sakura Wars news at SEGA Fes 2019 this upcoming March 30th.
Outside of this Sakura Wars will have a couple of art exhibits this year, but what I really want is for a new modern take on the series and a re-release of the originals (that finally come to America!).
Picked up by Arcade Heroes, SEGA has unveiled a new concept in ‘kid-taintment’, called ‘Jungle Treasure’. If you check out the SEGA website, you can see that the game uses miniature vehicles that the kids control with a tablet, which means this sort of set up is way too expensive to work in America. I’m pretty sure there is way more to the game than that, but that’s all I’ve gathered from their official site.
SEGA is calling this type of game a ‘Remote Reality RPG’ because we all know that SEGA loves to create brand new genres. Like Arcade Heroes has stated, this isn’t the first time SEGA has created something like this, back in the late-80s they did the Sega Super Circuit attraction that was quite insane. But if you are in Tokyo, you can give ‘Jungle Treasure’ a try at the Musashi Murayama Aeon Mall.
Earlier today legendary SEGA game developer Yuji Naka took to Twitter to post a tweet paying his goodbyes to the historical SEGA Enterprise HQ building that will be torn down.
“It’s sad that the former Sega HQ building is going away. I remember making all kinds of games in my 22 years there. It may be on the edge of Tokyo, but it was truly an honor to be able to reach the world from there. It’s too bad. I loved Sega Enterprises.” – Yuji Naka (translated by Cheesmeister3k)
Honestly I’m one of those people that don’t think buildings like this should be destroyed and that SEGA’s history in gaming is worth preserving. What’s your opinion? Press F to pay respect.
SEGA FES returns this year with another fan centric event in Japan where there will surely be some big announcements. This year’s event takes place March 30th and the 31st in the BelleSalle Akihabara event hall in Tokyo, Japan. Last year we saw the reveal of the Mega Drive Mini, SEGA AGES, a new Sakura Taisen game and the Japanese release of Shenmue I & II.
This year? Who knows! My money is on a more concrete date and details of the Mega Drive Mini, a trailer for Sakura Taisen and more SEGA AGES announcements. I know it’s a stretch, but I’m hoping we see more titles from SEGA’s survey of fan favorite franchises. Remember, the only games in the top 5 not to see new titles are Jet Set Radio and Virtua Fighter. A new game for either franchise would be awesome for fans!
Until then, we can only speculate but once the event arrives we will be sure to share the news of what is revealed!
SEGA Japan’s Sonic Channel is holding a pretty awesome contest giving away original artwork by Ken Sugimori (known for Pokemon, art director at Game Freak). According to SEGA Japan’s tweet it will be given to someone on twitter and they did link to this write-up with Ken Sugimori giving his impressions on Sonic Mania and its features. I do love the ending where he asks SEGA to do a ‘Space Harrier Mania‘, ‘Phantasy Star Mania’ and ‘Altered Beast Mania’. Hey, I wouldn’t complain if SEGA had a Retro line of older games coming back like Sonic Mania.