Sega Saturn

SaturnSSarcade
Weeks of development time proved fruitless after Stolar rescinded STI's access to Sonic Team's Nights into Dreams engine following an ultimatum by Nights programmer Yuji Naka. After programmer Ofer Alon quit and designers Chris Senn and Chris Coffin became ill, the project was cancelled in early 1997. Sonic Team started work on an original 3D Sonic game for the Saturn, but development was shifted to the Dreamcast and the game became Sonic Adventure. STI was disbanded in 1996 as a result of changes in management at Sega of America. Journalists and fans have speculated about the impact a completed X-treme might have had on the market.

Sonic Adventure

Sonic Adventure DX: Director's CutSonic Adventure DXOpen Your Heart
Following the cancellation of the Sega Saturn game Sonic X-treme, Sonic Team began work on Sonic Adventure in 1997. A 60-member development team created the game in ten months, drawing inspiration from locations in Peru and Guatemala. Yuji Uekawa redesigned the characters for their transition to 3D, and features were added to take advantage of the Dreamcast hardware. Sega announced the game in August 1998; it was released in Japan that December and worldwide in September 1999. The game received critical acclaim and, with 2.5 million copies sold by August 2006, became the Dreamcast's bestseller.

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991 video game)

Sonic the HedgehogSonicSonic the Hedgehog Genesis
Sega of America packaged it with American Genesis consoles, replacing Altered Beast. This tactic enabled Sega of America to sell 15 million Genesis units. Genesis owners who bought their consoles before the switch could request free copies of Sonic the Hedgehog by mail. Sega of America created a large-scale marketing campaign, promoting Sonic as its mascot. A version of Sonic the Hedgehog was developed by Ancient and released in late 1991 for Sega's 8-bit consoles, the Master System and Game Gear.

Yuji Naka

Following Sonic The Hedgehog's release, Naka moved to Sega's U.S. branch, Sega Technical Institute, where he worked with famed American designer Mark Cerny on the follow-up in conjunction with the original team back in Japan, now known as "Sonic Team". This partnership between the Eastern and Western teams continued through the development of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, though the bulk of the development duties shifted back to Sonic Team in Japan for those titles, which Naka had also returned to by that time. After the release of Sonic & Knuckles, Naka was moved up to the role of producer at Sega Enterprises in Japan.

Sonic the Hedgehog

Chaos EmeraldsringsSonic
The Saturn's limited capabilities made development difficult, so Sonic Team transitioned development to the Dreamcast, which Naka believed would allow for the ultimate Sonic game. Sonic Adventure, released in 1998, was one of the largest video games ever created at the time, and introduced elements that became series staples. Artist Yuji Uekawa redesigned the characters to better suit 3D, with a style influenced by comics and animation. Sonic Team's American division, Sonic Team USA, developed a sequel, Sonic Adventure 2 (2001), designed to be more action-oriented.

Sega AM3

HitmakerSega-AM3Sega Rosso
Sega AM3, reestablished under the name Hitmaker in 2000, is a defunct division of Sega, a Japanese video game company. In 2000, all of Sega's in-house Consumer (CS) and Amusement Machine (AM) R&D departments were separated from the main company and established on 9 semi-autonomous subsidiaries, with each subsidiary getting an elected president as a studio head. However, for more financial stability, Sega began consolidating its studios into five main ones in 2003 (Sega Wow, Sega AM2, Hitmaker, Amusement Vision, Smilebit, Sonic Team), and merged them back into a uniform R&D structure in 2004.

United Game Artists

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According to Fahs, United Game Artists has a legacy connected with that of the Dreamcast, even though all of their games were ported to the PlayStation 2. He stated that elements of what was UGA can be found in Sonic Team games Feel the Magic: XY/XX and The Rub Rabbits!, and that when it comes to their legacy, "UGA turned trite criticisms of 'style over substance' into a badge of honor. Their short run proved just how far dazzling presentation could go." *Smilebit

Nintendo

Nintendo of AmericaNintendo.comNintendo of Europe
The sixth-generation console is the successor to the Nintendo 64 and competed with Sony's PlayStation 2, Microsoft's Xbox, and Sega's Dreamcast. The GameCube is the first Nintendo console to use optical discs as its primary storage medium. The discs are similar to the miniDVD format, but the system was not designed to play standard DVDs or audio CDs. Nintendo introduced a variety of connectivity options for the GameCube. The GameCube's game library has sparse support for Internet gaming, a feature that requires the use of the aftermarket GameCube Broadband Adapter and Modem Adapter.

Arcade game

Arcadearcadesarcade games
Sega's sixth generation console, the Dreamcast, could produce 3D graphics comparable to the Sega NAOMI arcade system in 1998, after which Sega produced more powerful arcade systems such as the Sega NAOMI Multiboard and Sega Hikaru in 1999 and the Sega NAOMI 2 in 2000, before Sega eventually stopped manufacturing expensive proprietary arcade system boards, with their subsequent arcade boards being based on more affordable commercial console or PC components. Arcade video games had declined in popularity so much by the late 1990s, that revenues in the United States dropped to US$1.33 billion in 1999, and reached a low of $866 million in 2004.

Fourth generation of video game consoles

16-bit16-bit eraFourth generation
Phantasy Star II (Genesis) by Sega Consumer Development Division 2 and Sega has been cited as one of the best and most influential console RPGs. Secret of Mana (SNES) by Square reintroduced the Seiken Densetsu series, originally conceived as a Final Fantasy spin-off, to Europe and North America. Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis) by Sonic Team and Sega was Sega's bid to compete head-to head with Nintendo's Mario franchise, played a critical role in the success of the Genesis, and received widespread critical acclaim as one of the greatest games ever made.

Platform game

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Sega finally produced a 3D Sonic game, Sonic Adventure, on its new Dreamcast console. It used a hub structure like Mario 64 but featured more linear, action-oriented levels with an emphasis on speed. Although the game was a hit, it was not enough to save the Dreamcast from an early discontinuation in 2001. Nintendo launched its GameCube console without a platform game. However, it released Super Mario Sunshine in 2002, the second 3D Mario game.

ChuChu Rocket!

Chu Chu RocketChu Chu Rocket!
The knowledge gained from the network portion of the project helped Sonic Team in their development of Phantasy Star Online (2000). ChuChu Rocket! topped the Japanese sales charts its first week on sale in November 1999. When it arrived in the United States, Sega held an online tournament where players could battle against Sega and Sonic Team employees. In PAL regions, it was given free to subscribers of Sega's online gaming service Dreamarena. ChuChu Rocket! was a commercial and critical success. Critics praised the chaotic and addictive multiplayer and the simple and cute Japanese aesthetic. Sega's network gaming service received some criticism for lag. ChuChu Rocket!

Phantasy Star Online

Phantasy Star Online Episode I & IIPhantasy Star Online Ver. 2Phantasy Star Online (Japan)
Sega chairman Isao Okawa believed the Internet was the future of gaming and wanted a flagship online game for Sega's Dreamcast console. None of Sega's development studios wanted the project, as they were occupied with their own ventures, such as Jet Set Radio (2000) and the Sakura Wars series. Okawa gave the responsibility to Sonic Team, led by Yuji Naka. Sonic Team was not particularly receptive to the decision, but continued with development. After Okawa became ill, Naka sent reports to the hospital to update him on progress. Sonic Team began experimenting with the Dreamcast's network capabilities after completing Sonic Adventure in 1998.

Samba de Amigo

Samba de Amigo Ver. 2000Shakatto TambourinWii version of ''Samba de Amigo
Samba de Amigo (サンバDEアミーゴ) is a rhythm game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega. The game was released in arcades in December 1999, and for the Dreamcast video game console in 2000. A port for the Wii was also developed by Gearbox Software and Escalation Studios and released in 2008. In Samba de Amigo, the player uses controllers shaped like maracas with the goal of matching a series of patterns displayed on-screen. The music in Samba de Amigo is made of primarily popular Latin music songs rather than common or traditional samba. The game also features non-Latin pop songs. Samba de Amigo is played with a pair of maracas.

Burning Rangers

In addition to the Sonic Team staff, Sega allotted a full consumer software team to the project. The team chose to centre the game on firefighters as they felt that fire was the most appropriate way to create fear and tension. In a retrospective interview, Ohshima said that many of the things done by firefighters—along with rescuing people—were "the very essence of a Sonic Team game", and that they recognised that a firefighter was a hero with whom people could identify. The team wanted to make a game with a rescue theme as Naka thought there were few games based on that concept.

List of commercial failures in video gaming

commercial failuredigiBlastcommercial failures
The Dreamcast, released globally in 1999, was Sega's final console before the company focused entirely on software. Although the console was initially successful and management in the company improved significantly after harsh lessons were learned from the Sega Saturn fiasco, the console also faced stiff competition from the technically superior PlayStation 2 despite being in the market months ahead. The Dreamcast sold less than the Saturn, coming in at 9.13 million units compared to the Saturn's 9.5 million.

Space Channel 5

Space Channel 5: Ulala's Cosmic AttackUlalaPudding (character)
It received a simultaneous release on Dreamcast and PS2 in January 2002 in Japan. The PS2 version released in mainland Europe the following year. In North America, the game was released as part of Space Channel 5: Special Edition by Agetec. It was the last game produced by United Game Artists prior to Sega's internal restructuring in 2003. Part 2 was later given a high-definition port to Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It released first as part of the Dreamcast Collection in February 2011, then as a standalone digital release in October the same year. Sega's Sonic Team studio also created a mobile game called Ulala's Channel J for Japanese Vodafone devices in July 2002.

Tetsuya Mizuguchi

Enhance, Inc
Mizuguchi's final position at Sega was Chief Creative Officer of Sega's United Game Artists game division. On September 2003, Sega performed an internal restructuring of its staff. Among these changes was the dissolution of United Game Artists and the transfer of its members into Sonic Team. The following month, Mizuguchi announced that he would leave Sega on October 10, 2003. He cited the changes in the corporate culture after the Sega-Sammy merger, and viewed that as an obstacle to what he wanted to do. He announced that he would work independently in the video game industry through an – at the time – unnamed company.

Fifth generation of video game consoles

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(Saturn) by Sonic Team and Sega was bundled with the Saturn's analog controller, which was almost essential to the gameplay. With its innovative gameplay and graphics, Nights, an exclusive title, aided in the selling of a number of Saturns. Panzer Dragoon Saga (Saturn) by Team Andromeda and Sega is the highest-rated Saturn title on Game Rankings with a score of 92.87%, and has been cited as one of the greatest games ever made. Perfect Dark (Nintendo 64) by Rare and Nintendo was critically acclaimed, building on what made GoldenEye 007 successful: making use of the Nintendo 64 expansion pack. It received a 97/100 from Metacritic.

Sega Genesis

Mega DriveSega Mega DriveMega Drive/Genesis
Tasked by Nakayama to sell one million units within the first year, Katz and Sega of America managed to sell only 500,000 units. In mid-1990, Nakayama hired Tom Kalinske to replace Katz as CEO of Sega of America. Although Kalinske initially knew little about the video game market, he surrounded himself with industry-savvy advisors. A believer in the razor and blades business model, he developed a four-point plan: cut the price of the console, create a U.S.-based team to develop games targeted at the American market, continue and expand the aggressive advertising campaigns, and replace the bundled game Altered Beast with a new game, Sonic the Hedgehog.

Sega CD

Mega-CDSega Mega-CDMega CD
Sega partnered with JVC, which had been working with Warner New Media to develop a CD player under the CD+G standard. Until mid-1991, Sega of America had been kept largely uninformed of the details of the project, without a functioning unit to test (although Sega of America was provided with preliminary technical documents earlier in the year). According to former Sega of America executive producer Michael Latham, "When you work at a multinational company, there are things that go well and there are things that don't. They didn't want to send us working Sega CD units.

Hirokazu Yasuhara

He is best known for designing the gameplay and stages of the initial Sonic the Hedgehog video games for Sega Genesis in the 1990s, based on technical demos and engines programmed by Yuji Naka. Yasuhara stayed with Sega until the late 1990s. He then joined Naughty Dog, working on the Jak and Daxter series and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, collaborating again with former Sega employee Mark Cerny. He was the senior design director at Namco Bandai Games America. In April 2012, Yasuhara joined Nintendo where he accepted a position at the Nintendo Software Technology division. In 2016 he joined Unity Technologies. Altered Beast (1988) – Game planner. Fatal Labyrinth (1990) – Game planner.

Video game developer

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On the other hand, Sonic Team's 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog game was rushed in development to meet deadlines for holiday sales that year, suffering in quality, and has become known as one of poorest-received video games. More recent, crunch time at Starbreeze Studios and Overkill Software in developing Overkill's The Walking Dead, principally from multiple switches in game engine requiring nearly full restarts each time, led to a product that was critically panned for its quality and gameplay, and left both studios in financial distress. Similar to other tech industries, video game developers are typically not unionized.

Nights into Dreams

Nights into Dreams...NightsChristmas Nights
Sonic Team made a prototype Saturn sequel with the title Air Nights for the Saturn, and began development for the Dreamcast. In August 1999, Naka confirmed that a sequel was in development; by December 2000, however, it had been cancelled. Naka expressed reluctance to develop a sequel, but later said he was interested in using Nights into Dreams "to reinforce Sega's identity". Aside from a handheld electronic game released by Tiger Electronics and small minigames featured in several Sega games, no sequel was released for a Sega console. On 1 April 2007, a sequel, Nights: Journey of Dreams, was announced for the Wii.

Sega Sammy Holdings

SammySega SammySammy Studios
In 1998, Sega launched the Sega Dreamcast. In 2000, Sega Enterprises changed their name to Sega Corporation. During this year, Sega released Phantasy Star Online, the first networked role-playing game (RPG) for home video game platforms. In 2001, Sega discontinued the Dreamcast and withdrew from the console hardware industry to become a third-party video game developer and publisher. Sammy Corporation was founded in 1975 as Sammy Industry Co., Ltd. by Japanese Business magnate, Hajime Satomi. It was formed from Satomi Corporation's manufacturing and marketing divisions for amusement arcade machines.