So I have to peel away from the ever-unfolding story of the fraudulent $30,000 dollar to bring the continuation of the story of the might empire that crumbled, built itself up once again, and the aftermath of their conquest. I have to say, this is actually the part of the story I find really sad and unfortunate… but it’s just how everything went down. Here’s more of the story…
Despite rising back to the top of the food chain, not everything was candy, rainbows, and unicorns over at SEGA. Sega’s driving force in the arcade vision Mr. Nakayama had stepped down from the company and the CEO position changed hands to Isao Okawa, a chairman of CSK (CSK is the parent company of SEGA). This change in power is what started the catastrophic chain reaction within the company. Okawa did NOT want to be a hardware company at all. His vision for SEGA was merely to develop games. Even when Kalinske was with the company, he had the same issue from Okawa who was screaming about getting out of the console market. Of course everyone else didn’t see it that way, and this was the impending doom cloud that would eventually destroy them. They also got rid of Stolar for this reason, and replaced him with the godly Peter Moore.
It didn’t help that both Nintendo and Sony were coming over the horizon with their next-generation of hardware, but also a new challenge was coming from the land of the rising sun… and it was quite a shock to many. Stolar was one of the few who saw this coming from miles away, because Microsoft came forth and offered Windows CE for SEGA to use on the Dreamcast. This is yet another interesting missed opportunity of the many things that could have been… the day they came to do that, they brought in an entire team of people. They learned everything they needed to know about the industry from just that one visit. Stolar had even suggested that SEGA sell to Microsoft during that venture, because it would’ve gotten Okawa what he wanted in the cleanest manner possible. BUT THEY DIDN’T. Makes you wonder how the Dreamcast would’ve fared had Microsoft been backing it full force, no?
Out of their freaking minds, they continued forward in the war. In 2000, they made a smart move by breaking down their talents into smaller inhouse studios that could have more creative freedom. This was beyond smart, it was pure genius because some of the most creative games in the history of the gaming industry came forth from this idea. This is when we saw the plethora of amazing new IPs such as Crazy Taxi, Jet Grind Radio, Shenmue, Phantasy Star Online, Seaman, and so many more… hell, I can’t even name them all. You would think these amazing games would’ve kept the company going.. but the worst thing that could’ve happened to them happened during this time.
The Playstation 2 came out.
Most of you reading this know what the Playstation 2 is, how awesome it is, and how vast its’ game library is. The fact of the matter is the system wasn’t even discontinued until a couple years ago!
This. Really. Didn’t. Help. Poor. SEGA. At. ALL.
The Playstation 2 might as well have stabbed the Dreamcast in the face several times over when it arrived, having high ground off of it’s ability to play DVDs in addition to being a game system. Not only that, but the Gamecube and the XBOX were soon on their way to the markets, which would ultimately finish off the company, despite having the superior product at the time. To fight back, the system saw a price cut. $99 US dollars to be exact! It helped, but did more damage than good. SEGA at this point was hemorrhaging money at an alarming rate because they were simply losing entirely too much money on hardware production. In the gaming industry, the games are supposed to balance the loss of profit on the hardware and then some. In this particular instance, they weren’t even breaking even.
2001 came and they waved the white flag. Eighteen years of fighting, rising to the top, and giving it everything they had… they were done in the console wars. The Dreamcast was out of production by March 2001, and the units dropped to the depressing price of $50 US dollars before vanishing from stores once and for all. This announcement was a case of deja vu for the company (Stolar’s decision to say screw the Saturn) except with more of a depressing ambiance to it. Games for the system were still produced up until 2002 or so with third party companies poker facing through the travesty. By then, the cube and X-Box were here (which if you look at the system closely enough, you can tell they purchased the design of the Dreamcast and remolded it to their standards).. and even the third parties were done.
I don’t care what anyone says, the Dreamcast itself was an amazing piece of hardware, and it’s a true shame that they couldn’t stay in the war longer. There is a plus! Due to arcade popularity, an additional few NAOMI titles managed to trickle out in later years for the system, but were so limited in release have become expensive over the years. Looking back slightly in the land of NEO-GEO, another company who still makes games for the system even put their titles on the system in recent years. So in a way the system still lives on even today, but it will never be the same since SEGA has left it, and it’s fans behind.
I think I can sum up their history in a rather shorter variance of the story. Take Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Rollercoaster of Love” and replace every instance of the word “love” with “SEGA”.. trust me it works. Before closing this out, I do want to say there is one more piece to this story… more of a “what are they doing now?” kind of thing, but I’ll be saving that for September 7th.
Effective March 4, 2013, EvilToastyBagel has resigned his position as a writer of Substance TV. The staff at Substance TV no longer represents his interest as of now or in the future, nor does his interests represent ours. We wish him luck with any future endeavors.