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Sega output strategy | Discussion thread


We already have a thread devoted to Sega's subsidiary Atlus, but Sega itself has been the center of more than one spirited debate on it's output strategies on various platforms such as PC, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft here and on predecessor forums. Sega, which has a very deep catalog of video games that goes back to the 1970s, has gone through quite a few changes over the years. Sonic remains Sega's mascot and is still one of its best known IPs. The Yakuza series including its various spinoffs is a prestigious IP for Sega too (which basically is the kind of the franchise they wanted with Shenmue). Puyo Puyo is also now an evergreen IP that they own (which was bought from Compile). Their subsidiary Atlus has a few well known IPs as well (Megami Tensei; Persona) but the Atlus thread will still cover those. EDIT: https://www.installbaseforum.com/forums/threads/atlus-output-strategy-discussion-thread.462/ is the Atlus thread link

Sega, which started its corporate life as Service Games, was originally a manufacturer of gambling machines. It expanded into amusements in the 1960s, and for much of its history in video games, it was primarily focused on arcades. Early consoles like the Atari VCS and the ColecoVision would get ports of their arcade games, and on July 15, 1983, Sega would launch its first console, the SG-1000. It was a moderate success in Japan but was eclipsed by the Famicom by 1984. Their next console would be an improved iteration on the SG-1000, the Mark III or Master System as the world would know it as. They would release subsequent consoles in 1988 (Mega Drive/Genesis), 1994 (the Saturn) and 1998 (Dreamcast) and would exit as a video games hardware manufacturer in 2001. For the rest of the 6th generation of video games, Sega would make a few exclusives for GameCube and Xbox before going with a multiplatform strategy that often prioritized PlayStation and Xbox. The Nintendo Wii would see exclusives like the Mario & Sonic games but Sega would also use Playstation 2 for the continuation of their Sega Ages line (which would then go to PS3 and Xbox 360 for a time. Sega Ages also had a brief run on the Nintendo Switch). Sega would also publish games for the PSP like Valkyria Chronicles 2 and 3 and would also publish Sonic games and Puyo Puyo to Nintendo handhelds. The Wii U saw some ports and releases like Sonic Boom and Bayonetta but mostly PlayStation and Xbox for that generation. The Switch has gotten some Sega content like the 1st and 4th Valkyria Chronicles games, Alien Isolation, Puyo Puyo Tetris but Sega has been keeping the Yakuza games on Playstation and Xbox (and PC) and for reasons only known to themselves, made the 2019 Sakura Wars game a PlayStation exclusive. With Drake somewhere on the horizon in the next 2-3 years, will the potential of DLSS on a hybrid entice Sega to put its prestigious Yakuza games on Nintendo? Will Sakura Wars ever get a Switch port?

The decline of PlayStation in Japan has pushed Sega towards multiplatform releases that have Day 1 Xbox/PC ports that maximize it's games exposure in the West. Sega still puts Sonic games on Nintendo platforms, although how well Sonic Frontiers will perform on Switch on a technical level remains to be seen given the challenges of Sonic Team to make good ports to Nintendo platforms (e.g. Sonic Colors). Drake with its DLSS potential could be the catalyst for a reset with Sega, in which more games are brought day and date to Nintendo. Sega is also on board with Nintendo with NSO, and hopefully they are happier with the Expansion Pack arraignment than they are were with Wii's Virtual Console, which underperfomed for them.

So how does Install Base see a post-Nagoshi Sega approach its output strategy? Do they deepen their relations with Nintendo? Do they decide that Sega Ages needs to be multiplatform in the future? Do they continue their usual strategies with PlayStation, Xbox and PC?
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