Initially founded in Japan as a machine manufacturer for US servicemen overseas, Sega is now celebrating 60 years in the industry, with the next 12 months dedicated to events, new content and innovation under the motto ‘Go Sega.’
Sega Group Corporation is celebrating 60 years of operation with a programme of events, customer engagement and commemoration to mark the firm’s considerable impact on the industry.
Originally founded as Nihon Goraku Bussan Co. Ltd in Japan in 1960, the multinational video game developer and publisher is now the world’s most prolific arcade game producer.
“We are indebted to everyone who has supported the Sega Group for many years, and would like to express our deep gratitude to all of you,” said president Haruki Satomi.
Though the firm is yet to announce what special events that will mark the anniversary year, the programme is set to further Sega’s cultural contribution alongside celebrating its existing cultural contribution.
“The Sega Group is planning a variety of special contents for this 60th anniversary,” said Satomi. “Through these special contents, we will deliver the passion of the SEGA Group to the entire world. We hope you’ll continue to engage with us throughout the year.” Nihon Goraku Bussan Co. Ltd was founded on 3 June 1960 by Richard D. Stewart and Raymond J. Lemaire in order to acquire the assets of Service Games Japan, a firm aimed at creating gaming equipment for US soldiers posted overseas.
With heavy restrictions placed on imports, the group’s manufacturing arm Nihon Kikai Seizo developed its first domestically produced jukebox named Sega 1000 – an abbreviation of Service Games – in the same year, before moving into commercial arcade equipment in 1964.
Now renowned for its Sonic the Hedgehog and Total War titles, Sega is celebrating its latest milestone by welcoming messages from customers across the globe.
The company’s specially-launched anniversary website is encouraging the submission of “words of encouragement, or reminiscences about your favourite titles” from gaming fans, with all posts displayed on the site from the end of June.
Secrets of Sega’s 60-year success
From its origins providing coin-operated amusements for US servicemen overseas, Sega has grown into one of the world’s most recognisable international gaming brands.
Though prioritising innovation, new technology and customer engagement, the group’s arcade roots continue to be key to its success.
“Sega’s third generation consumer game console was significantly enhanced by arcade technology,” states the Sega anniversary site, noting the 1985 console’s “enhanced graphical capabilities.”
The “atmosphere of excitement reminiscent of Las Vegas” created by the medal game machines installed in Sega’s directly operated amusement centres, and the “strong impact on players” of the striking Super Hang-on motorcycle game also continue to impact game development.
The innovative R365 proved “an enormous hit” in 1991 despite the coat of play being five times the arcade average, with 1992 seeing the firm lead the industry in developing polygon racing titles such as Virtua Racing.
With innovation in customer experience central to establishing the brand, it’s no surprise modern Sega titles continue to pay homage to its much-loved coin-operated legacy.
Time to Play: The History of Sega
1960 Founded by Richard D. Stewart and Raymond J. Lemaire as Nihon Goraku Bussan Co., Ltd. Sega 1000, Japan’s first domestically produced jukebox is released the same year.
1965 Company mergers with arcade operator Rosen Enterprises to become Sega Enterprises, leading to the launch of Periscope the following year.
1972 First directly managed amusement center Apollo Vegas opens in Tokyo.
1985 Landmark crane UFO catcher launched internationally, alongside world’s first motion controlled game cabinet Hang-on. 1990 SEGA Amusements first foothold in the UK.
1991 Sonic the Hedgehog series released for the first time in North America on the Genesis console.
1992 Full polygon commercial game machine Virtua Racing released. 1996 Sega opens indoor amusement park Tokyo Joypolis in Rinkai Fukutoshin.
2005 UK-based Creative Assembly, creators of PC title Total War join Sega.
2012 Sega Entertainment Co. is established.
2018 Sega Interactive and Konami Digital Entertainment jointly develop a multi-electronic money service for amusement facilities.
2020 Sega celebrates 60 years.