Idola Phantasy Star Saga Producer and Director talks changed setting, link to past games

As you guys already know, I wrote a long whiny post on why I wasn’t too into Idola Phantasy Star Saga mobile game and now we get some more clarification from the Director and Producer on the changes in setting. Gathered by Siliconera, according to the change in setting:

“The reason why Idola has a different setting and worldview from Phantasy Star Online 2 and Phantasy Star Online 2 es, is because it could become a hurdle for people who don’t play PSO2 if it were directly related. Although the game has been made to be easy to get into even for those new to the series, the common elements in the series still remain. Idola is also meant to bring back those who stopped playing PSO2 and PSO2 es, as something “Phantasy Star-like”. That said, there may be some smaller connections to the world of Oracle from PSO2.”

As for having some connection to the past games, considering this game is a 30th Anniversary title, they said:

Virtua Tennis Challenge joins SEGA Forever mobile collection

Virtua Tennis Challenge, originally released to mobile devices in 2012, has been given the SEGA Forever upgrade and is now free to play or $1.99 to remove ads. Users who originally downloaded the game before the update can restore their purchase and remove the ads. Virtua Tennis Challenge was teased in our SEGA Forever interview, in which mobile games community manager Danny Russell confirmed that SEGA Forever would see existing titles brought into the service. This is great news, as Virtua Tennis Challenge was one of those games badly needing a 64-bit support update.

The game is available to download now on the App Store and Google Play.

SEGA News Bits: SEGA Answers Our SEGA Forever Questions

On this SEGA News Bits, George and Barry discuss the answers SEGA gave to our questions about the SEGA Forever retro gaming collection. SEGA Forever is an initiative from SEGA Networks to bring games from the SG-1000 through to the Dreamcast to mobile devices and beyond! What future games can we expect? How will the Genesis/Mega Drive emulation improve? How will light gun games play?

If you enjoy our SEGA News Bits segments and want to support us: Give us a sub and give this video a like so it shows up on more like minded fans YouTube recommendations. You know, how that YouTube algorithm is.

SEGA answers our burning SEGA Forever questions, tells us what to expect next


After weeks of teasing, SEGA Forever was officially revealed to be a classic games collection initiative to bring everything from the SG-1000 to the SEGA Dreamcast to mobile platforms, with the big surprise being that all the games are free to play (with the option to buy). The collection kicked off with five SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis titles, including four emulated games including Altered Beast, Kid Chameleon, Phantasy Star II and Comic Zone, and the remastered Sonic the Hedgehog from Christian Whitehead. After playing the games and experiencing how the service works, we had a ton of questions for SEGA. Thanks to mobile games community manager Danny Russell, we received a speedy reply and every single one of our questions got answered!

Read on for our interview with Danny.

SEGA sends us a love note and a retro SEGA Forever mixtape


I think SEGA wants to date us. I mean, they sent us a SEGA mixtape and included a love note. We’re not going to say no, we are a fan site of course! Actually, the mixtape and included note and pen are a clever way to launch the upcoming SEGA Forever, which we guessed to be a retro SEGA games collection for mobile which will include arcade and SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive titles. As the SEGA Forever social media accounts hint, Comix Zone will be the first title with Crazy Taxi likely being grandfathered in. There is no evidence, yet, that this is a subscription service and we’re sure to learn more late this week or early next. In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at the tape and note (and pen)!

Analysis: SEGA Forever reveal incoming, hints at a mobile retro SEGA games lineup

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Last week George and I discussed what SEGA Forever possibly could be based on an iOS release of Comix Zone in the Philippines. Now, the social accounts for SEGA Forever (created back in November 2016) have become active and are teasing what we guessed SEGA Forever could be. The Twitter account teases the title screen to Comix Zone, while the Facebook account shows art from the same game.

SEGA News Bits: What Is SEGA Forever?

You asked and we’re attempting to answer: What is SEGA Forever? On this SEGA News Bits, Barry and George dig through what we know about the mysterious SEGA Networks project titled “SEGA Forever” and attempt to guess that could, or could not, end up being. Have your own theories? Let us know in the comments below!

SEGA News Bits Q&A: We’re collecting questions for an upcoming Q&A video! Post your questions in the comments below and we’ll answer them.

If you enjoy our SEGA News Bits segments and want to support us: Give us a sub and give this video a like so it shows up on more like minded fans YouTube recommendations. You know, how that new YouTube algorithm is.

SEGA Network’s new teaser site shows world map and countdown

SEGARepairSEGA Network’s new teaser site is titled ‘Repair’, with a world map and a clock that counts backwards. At first, when Siliconera posted it the map only pin pointed on Florida but now it moved its point to somewhere in Europe. I want to say Italy or one of the small surrounding countries. Another clue is what happens when you click the red location dots, if you click on Florida it says 1492 AD which was the year of the European Discovery and Settlement of the State. But if you highlight the European red dot you get the year 0027 BC which would mark the end of the Roman Republic.

So what do I think it is? I think its going to a be SEGA Network’s new mobile game that will have to do with world history. Maybe something like Civilization series but on mobile.  At least if the years on the teaser page are anything to go by. SEGA Network’s new teaser site is set to stop its countdown clock on August 8, 2016.

What do you think it is?

SEGA News Bits: Crossover SRPG “SEGA Blast Heroes” Leaked

Earlier in July, a mobile game called SEGA Blast Heroes was seemingly leaked via Facebook ads. In this SEGA News Bits, George and Barry discuss this rumored new game that sets out to assemble an all-star cast of SEGA characters in a SRPG setting. Could SEGA Blast Heroes be the real deal, or is SEGA simply testing the waters and the game is nothing more than some mocked up screenshots?

If you enjoyed this episode of the SEGA News Bits, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and never miss an episode!

SEGA News Bits: SEGA to Shut Down Sonic Runners

Sonic Runners has traversed a rocky road, after personally disappointing us in 2015 and ending up a financial failure in SEGA’s eyes. Now, SEGA Networks has confirmed that the game will be shutting down in late July. In this SEGA News Bits, Barry and George break down what they think caused Sonic Runners to be killed, if we can expect to ever play the game after its servers shut down and what lessons SEGA could learn from the game’s failures. It’s not all negative, as we also talk about what we liked about the game and give it a fitting eulogy.

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Convention Report: SEGAbits at GDC 2016


Hello everyone, Kori here! Reporting back from the Game Developers Conference (GDC 2016) bringing you coverage from the show floor with my hands on the highly anticipated Rez Infinite for PlayStation VR developed by Tetsuya Mitzuguchi, my thoughts on virtual reality games, and my tour inside SEGA Networks Inc. Without further a do, hit the jump to read the coverage from the show floor.

SEGA Networks confirms layoffs in the West, including Three Rings Design Inc.

Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 9.53.37 PMWe’re sad to report that there have been some layoffs at SEGA Networks’ mobile division in the West. As confirmed by VentureBeat, SEGA Networks has laid off an undisclosed number of employees which includes all of Three Rings Design Inc. (developers of PSO inspired MMO Spiral Knights for PC, and mobile games Spellwood and Corpse Craft) as well as a small number of team members on the publishing side of mobile.

The reason has been attributed to SEGA’s new focus in internally developed IP-based games, the localization of Japanese mobile games, and (I’m putting this in quotes as it is direct from SEGA Networks’ mouth, and I don’t quite understand it) “mass market view-per-play games designed to further Sega’s network strategy in the West.” SEGA also cites “challenging and hyper-competitive mobile market conditions” as a reason for the layoffs.

Regardless of the market conditions, being laid-off sucks and we here at SEGAbits wish nothing but the best for those employees affected.

SEGA releases “Help Us Make Our Games Better” survey – check it out!

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SEGA has just released a link to a survey which has the goal of improving the quality of their games. The survey, which can be found here, goes quite in depth. Users are asked to list consoles they own and currently play, including just about every major home console you can think of released from the 70s through to today including some that never made their way west, like the SG-1000). Users are also asked to name their favorite SEGA franchises from an incredibly long and varied list (everything from Panzer Dragoon to Fatal Labyrinth to Yakuza) as well as list off franchises they love that may be listed. Mobile gaming seems to be of upmost importance, leading me to believe that this survey will be utilized by SEGA Networks as well as SEGA of America and SEGA Europe.

One page that caught our attention was “Please select any of the following websites or channels that you have visited in the last 90 days:” which included SEGA Retro, Sonic Retro, The Dreamcast Junkyard, the SEGAbits YouTube channel, as well as others. Very interesting that our YouTube channel is on SEGA’s radar given our recent refocus which put news, commentary and interviews at the forefront.

If you haven’t taken the survey yet, check it out and we’ll see how our answers shape the future of SEGA!

SEGA’s Monster Gear gets an English soft launch in the Philippines

01-monster-gear-2.jpgSEGA’s Monster Gear  was one of the biggest mobile games to hit Japan last year, now SEGA is getting the game ready for an English audience. Like most mobile games, this title will have a soft launch; so if you live in the Philippines you can download the game now via the PlayStore.

[edit: We where asked to take down the APK file and complied, call us sell outs in the comments. Thanks] So far the game has some 1 star reviews stating that it isn’t very user friendly, maybe something that SEGA can tweak before its official Western launch.

Find out more about the game, hit the jump!

SEGA News Bits: SEGA Considers Sonic Runners a failure – reaction and analysis

SEGA’s mobile gaming division, SEGA Networks, recently released a report looking back on their success and failures and surprisingly Sonic Runners has been deemed a failure! The main reason is, of course, money. SEGA says over 30 million yen a month is simply not enough to be a success. In this SEGA News Bits, Barry and George discuss why the game likely did not catch on with consumers and suggest what SEGA could do to fix the game. Or, it may just be too little too late.

So click play and hear our thoughts, and if you want more Sonic Runners analysis make sure to watch our Most Disappointing SEGA Games of 2015 video. If you like what you saw don’t forget to like, share and subscribe. Thanks for the support. In the comments, share your thoughts on the game’s failure and what could be done to improve things.