SEGA of America 1997 internal documents posted online, showing e-mails and revealing profit margins

Have you ever wanted to know what SEGA of America talked about privately about SEGA as a brand going into 1997? You know, the time period when SEGA was going against the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 in America? When they lost most of the market share they gained with the SEGA Genesis? You can now thanks to a 272-page leaked internal document posted over at SEGA Retro.

In this document you can see SEGA of America discussing stuff like manufacturing costs, how badly the Saturn was selling, retail profit margins, and a lot more. For example, retailers only made a measly 6% per SEGA Saturn sold, that means they made $15 dollars per console. Why would they push it? Another surprising piece of information is that in 1996 it only cost SEGA $232 to manufacture a Saturn console which is a lot lower than we all thought.

SEGA of America moves to new offices in Irvine, California

Back in 2015, SEGA of America went through a great deal of change with the biggest physical change bring their move from San Francisco to Irvine, California. We reported the news back when it happened, and even mourned the San Francisco HQ that the social media team invited us to visit. The 2015 move saw SEGA move out of their own space and into the existing ATLUS USA offices, and seeing as we had to dig around for the details ourselves it was clear that it was not a celebratory move. However, as 2023 approaches SEGA has revealed that they are moving once again and this time it comes with a press release and everything!

The move isn’t as big as San Francisco, as the new office space is just 3 minutes from the old one and still in Irvine, however as the press release details this is SEGA of America’s new headquarters first and ATLUS is coming along for the ride. The 31,700 square foot space is within the Innovation Office Park, in building 140, suite 100 specifically, and will facilitate up to 235 employees. Congrats to SEGA on the new location, and once you’re settled DM us an invite.

SEGA Retrospective: SEGA of America and SEGA Europe in the modern age – a battle for relevancy

SEGA has its roots in the Western world and that influence is still ever so present today. It all started in Hawaii, went to Japan, then was bought by Gulf + Western, but then settled on Japanese ownership in 1984. But all those years of influence from Western staff and ownership never completely went away even after being staunchly Japanese for most of its life. Selling arcade machines, making your own consoles and even dabbling in in-door theme parks requires tons of investment that won’t be recouped in Japan, so it’s good to have international roots. 

SEGA Announces Participation in Extra Life 2020 with Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 & Other SEGA Titles

SEGA of America will be participating in Extra Life 2020 on their official Twitch channel to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals nationwide with the goal of $10,000 and will be showcasing Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 before the official release on December 8th, including a first look at the PlayStation 5 version of the game, it’s features, and competitive tournaments with special guests. Afterwards, the staff will be streaming many other SEGA titles (both old and new) for 24 hours starting on November 14th at 9AM PST on Saturday, November 14, through 9AM PST on Sunday, November 15.

If you are a video game streamer, you can also participate as well by joining Team SEGA on Extra Life to help with the cause. Donations towards the charity will be accepted until the end of the year!

Ian Curran named SEGA of America’s new Chief Operating Officer and President

SEGA has just announced that Ian Curran has been named SEGA of America’s new COO and President. The role is effective today, August 1, 2018. Ian will be responsible for maximizing profitability of the publishing of Sonic within the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africas. Ian will also serve on the board of Atlus U.S.A., Inc. In his role, he will report directly to the CEO of SEGA West, Tatsuyuki Miyazaki.

Shining Resonance Re:frain rated by Australian Classification board – is the game releasing to the west?


Shining Resonance Re:frain, the PS4 remaster of 2014’s Shining Resonance, could be releasing west based on a recent rating on the Australian Classificationboard website. Listed as being published by Sega of America, this is not out of line with previous SEGA titles rated for the region. The game is currently due out in Japan on March 29.

We did a SEGA News Bits video on the initial announcement of the game back in November of last year, noting that the developers considered this a “worldwide product”. So it looks like they are getting their wish with a western release! More news as we hear it. Now if only SEGA announced the new Virtual-On for the west…

[Source: Gematsu]

SEGA News Bits: Deep Silver to bring SEGA and Atlus titles to Europe

In this SEGA News Bits, George and Barry discuss the recent announcement that publisher Deep Silver has teamed with SEGA of America and Atlus USA to release Atlus and select SEGA titles to Europe. That’s right! While SEGA Europe lets great games slip through the cracks, these two American companies are picking up the slack (“Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers” anyone?) .

Europeans can expect Atlus’ Persona 5 and Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse as well as SEGA’s 7th Dragon III Code: VFD in both physical and packaged releases thanks to a deal made with Deep Silver, and that is just the beginning. More games are to come! Listen to our thoughts on what this means for SEGA Europe and why SEGA of America and Atlus USA had to do what they did in our latest News Bits.

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

Celebrating Sonic the Hedgehog’s 25th anniversary with 25 great underrated moments

sonic 25 headerSEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog franchise turns 25 today, and while we’ve celebrated franchise milestone years in the past, there is something really special about this one. A quarter of a century is a long time, and it is a testament to SEGA’s perseverance and the devotion of the Sonic fanbase that the franchise is still going strong. Sonic Lost World and the Sonic Boom franchise – particularly the games – are often pinpointed as the franchise’s recent weak points and signs that the franchise as a whole needs to be put down or at the very least take a long break. While I am not here to debate the merits of Sonic Lost World and Sonic Boom, I will say that to end a series or take a long break because of either is both incredibly shortsighted and far too extreme a reaction. I would also argue that Sonic is about much more than just the main series games, as fans like to label the major titles, and that there has always been great Sonic things happening even during the franchise’s darkest years.

In celebration of 25 years of Sonic the Hedgehog, join me in looking back year-by-year as I shine the light on great moments in Sonic history that more people need to be talking about.

SEGA and Atlus E3 2016 line-up revealed


SEGA has just issued a press release laying out just what attendees can expect to find at their E3 2016 booth, which as we’ve detailed before will be shared with Atlus. While the press release was issued by the London offices, the booth itself is being run by SEGA of America and Atlus USA, however there will be select titles that will also be making their way to Europe. First up is Relic Entertainment’s Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III, which is set to release in 2017 for Microsoft Windows PC. SEGA’s Yakuza 0, due out in 2017 for PS4 in the Americas and Europe, and Atlus’s Persona 5, due out in February 2017 in the Americas, will also be playable. Sonic will also have a presence with Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice for the Nintendo 3DS which is due out in the Americas and Europe in September 2016. And last but not least, 7th Dragon III Code: VFD for the Nintendo 3DS, which is due out in July 2016 in the Americas, will also be on display.

Jurgen Post, COO For SEGA Europe Ltd., called the lineup “one of the strongest line-ups we have had at E3 for quite a few years”, which is arguably true. Though given SEGA didn’t have a booth in 2015, and 2014 heavily featured the critical bomb that was Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, it’s not hard too hard to declare 2016’s showing as a strong one comparatively. Personally, I think 2016’s E3 lineup is lacking that one big new title that 2014 had with Alien: Isolation. Yakuza 0 and 7th Dragon III Code: VFD are sure to be fun, but they are also titles that have already been released in Japan for some time. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III and Persona 5 both look great, but I wouldn’t say Warhammer is game your average SEGA fan has been chomping at the bit for, and obviously the other is an Atlus title. Also of note, no signs of any Xbox One or Wii U games.

Still, it is great to see SEGA returning to E3 and we wish them a great show. Hopefully this is just a baby step after their massive restructuring and we have more reveals to come leading up to or after the event. Sonic fans and even SEGA themselves have been heavily teasing that the Sonic 25th Anniversary event in July is something to watch out for, so maybe the big new Sonic game will be revealed there amongst one thousand fans who will undoubtably spread the word via fan sites and social media rather than at a trade show.

SEGA Game Tester documentary from 1996 emerges online

This video was uploaded online a few days ago, titled ‘This is SEGA TEST’ a titled “trainumentary” created by the SEGA test department in 1995-1996. The video was shot on location at Sega of America in Redwood City, CA. The SEGA Game Tester documentary talks about what SEGA is looking for in a game tester, but gives you a interesting inside look at the company during that era and the people that worked as testers.

Tom Kalinske, President of SEGA of America at the time is in the video talking about the processes of selecting a SEGA game tester. We had a chance to interview him in our podcast, if you haven’t listened. Its a great little documentary, especially for retro SEGA game fans. Watch it and let us know what you guys think in the comments below and tell us how many of you wanted to be a SEGA game tester during the mid-90s.

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X releasing Fall 2016 to the Americas for Playstation 4 and Vita

SEGA of America has just announced that Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X will be releasing to the Americas in Fall 2016. Both Playstation 4 and Vita versions are receiving localizations, however there is no word on a European version just yet. The games will be released in digital and physical formats.

Project DIVA X sees players helping Miku and her friends as they sing and dance their way though 5 clouds that comprise of their world. Each cloud is unique, with themes that include Classic, Cool, Cute, Elegant, and Quirky. The game promises 30 new and classic songs as well as nearly 300 costumes. The game also features a full concert editor.

After the break, check out some screens from the Vita version as well as SEGA’s full press release.

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

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 2.26.35 PM

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-16 founder working on a SEGA of America history book

sega16I have always been a huge fan of the SEGA fansite SEGA-16, the site really went beyond the call in their efforts to secure some of the best interviews I have ever read. Now website founder Ken Horowitz has announced via his SEGA-16 facebook page that he is working on a history book about SEGA of America:

“Last month, I submitted to my publisher the manuscript for a book chronicling the game development history of Sega of America. Tentatively titled: “Achieving the Next Level: The History of American Sega Games,” the book is an exhaustive retrospective of SOA as a game-maker, from its founding in 1986 and the first steps taken on the Master System to its final efforts on the Dreamcast. Nearly 100 former SOA alumni (including each of its presidents from 1986-2001) and independent game developers were interviewed, and the creation processes of almost 40 Sega-published titles are documented. Every one of SOA’s internal studios is included, many of which have never before been examined.”

The book will look at games created by SEGA of America’s development division and I hope gathers new information about games we loved as kids. He estimates that the book will be around 500 pages long and as of right now there isn’t a release date. Of course, we will keep you posted as more news hits.

SEGA reveals Yakuza 0 American release details and screenshots


More good news regarding the recently revealed American release of Yakuza 0 direct from SEGA. First off, despite being released to both the PS3 and PS4 in Japan, Yakuza 0 will only be seeing a PS4 release in America. Secondly, the game will receive both physical and digital copies. So those bemoaning SEGA’s decision to release Yakuza 5 digital only should be happy to hear the next title will receive a disc release.

It also is worth mentioning that I have read comments online suggesting that the game’s American release is connected to Atlus in some way, but SEGA has stressed that this is 100% a SEGA release and any mentions of Atlus (for example, the screens were hosted by Atlus) were only a subterfuge to hide the surprise of the release. Sneaky.

After the break, check out newly released screenshots from the upcoming game.

Some of SEGA of America’s staff confirmed to be working in Atlus USA’s offices


Back in late September we speculated that SEGA of America had moved in with Atlus USA at their offices in Irvine, California. While all signs pointed to “yes”, we didn’t want to be 100% certain until we had official word from SEGA. Thanks to SEGAbits forum member NoirSuede we have confirmation from SEGA that they indeed have moved in to the Atlus offices.

In a recent official SEGA Twitch stream, NoirSuede asked “is the non-Sonic Sega of America staff in the Atlus USA office?”, to which SEGA replied “some of them”. So the official word is some, but not all. So where are the others? The SEGA West corporate page lists the Atlus address, as well as an address in Burbank, California at 250 East Olive Avenue. These offices house Marza Animation Planet, but we have heard from some fans that this office now doubles as the Sonic brand office. Burbank would be a fitting location for Sonic, given the upcoming Hollywood film from Sony Pictures.