Sega Corporation (usually styled as SEGA) is a multinational video game software developer and an arcade software and hardware development company headquartered in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan. Sega previously developed and manufactured its own brand of home video game consoles from 1983 to 2001, but a restructure was announced on January 31, 2001 that ceased continued production of its existing home console, effectively exiting the company from the home console business. While arcade development would continue unchanged, the restructure shifted the focus of the company's home video game software development to consoles developed by various third-party manufacturers.
Sega has developed and produced many popular video games in a variety of genres, including renowned series such as House of the Dead
, Jet Set Radio
, Phantasy Star
, Sakura Wars
, Sonic the Hedgehog
, Virtua Fighter
, Wonder Boy
, and many others.
Sega's roots can be traced back to a small company based in Honolulu, Hawaii named Standard Games, that began operations in 1940. In 1951, Raymond Lemaire and Richard Stewart moved the company to Tokyo, to develop and distribute coin-operated amusement-type games such as jukeboxes and slot machines, and renamed it Service Games. Within a few years Service Games began importing these machines to American military bases throughout Japan.
In 1954, David Rosen, an American officer in the Air Force, launched a two-minute photo booth business in Tokyo. This company eventually became Rosen Enterprises, and in 1957 began importing coin-operated games to Japan. By 1965, Rosen Enterprises grew to a chain of over 200 arcades, with Service Games its only competitor. Rosen then orchestrated a merger between Rosen Enterprises and Service Games, who by then had their own factory facilities, becoming chief executive of the new company, Sega Enterprises, which derived its name from the first two letters of SErvice GAmes.
Within a year, Sega began the transition from importer to manufacturer, with the release of the Rosen designed submarine simulator game Periscope
. It was soon exported to both Europe and the United States, becoming the world's first 25 cent arcade game.
In 1982, Sega introduced one of the industry's first three-dimensional games, SubRoc 3-D
. The following year, an overabundance of arcade games led to the video game crash; Sega then pioneered the use of laser disks in the video game Astronbelt
, designing and releasing its first home video game console, the SG-1000.
In 1986, Sega of America was poised to take advantage of the resurgent video game market in the United States. Sega released the Sega Master System console and the first Alex Kidd
game, who became the company's unofficial mascot until 1991, when Sonic the Hedgehog
Also Known As
- SEGA Enterprises Ltd. (from 1965 to 2000)
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