They saw that the onset of World War II , and the consequent increase in the number of military personnel, would mean there would be demand for something for those stationed at military bases to do in their leisure time.
After the war, the founders sold that company and established a new distributor called Service Games, named for the military focus. The company provided coin-operated slot machines to U. On May 31, , Service Games Japan was closed. A few days later, on June 3, two new companies were established to take over its business activities, Nihon Goraku Bussan and Nihon Kikai Seizo.
Rosen then orchestrated a merger between Rosen Enterprises and Nihon Goraku Bussan, becoming chief executive of the new company, Sega Enterprises, which derived its name from Service Games.
The game sported light and sound effects considered innovative for that time, eventually becoming quite successful in Japan. It was soon exported to both Europe and the United States, becoming the first arcade game in the US to cost 25 cents per play.
Under Rosen's leadership, Sega continued to grow and prosper, and in , Gulf and Western made Sega Enterprises, ltd. That year they introduced the first game with isometric graphics , Zaxxon ,  the industry's first stereoscopic 3D game, SubRoc 3D , and the first laserdisc video game, Astron Belt. Astron Belt wasn't released in the U.
Some of these and other games were licensed to different companies for 8-bit computer versions. The Atari 8-bit computer port of Zaxxon is from Datasoft , for example, while the Commodore 64 port is from Synapse. Seeking an alternate source of revenue from the slumping arcade market,  Sega designed and released its first home video game console, the SG for the third generation of home consoles.
In , the multibillion-dollar Japanese conglomerate CSK bought Sega, renamed it to Sega Enterprises, headquartered it in Japan, and two years later, shares of its stock were being traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. In the mids, Sega released Hang-On and After Burner , arcade games that make use of hydraulic cabinet functionality and force feedback control.
Sega also released the degree rotating machine R For arcade system boards, Sega released the System series and the Super Scaler series. UFO Catcher was introduced in and is Japan's most commonly installed claw crane game. Simultaneously, after much delay, Sega released the Sega CD in Japan in and in North America in as a hardware add-on to the Genesis, greatly reducing space limitations on their games.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was also released in for the Genesis, and became the most successful game Sega ever produced, selling over six million copies in total. However, due to issues with its short battery life, lack of original games, and weak support from Sega, the Game Gear was unable to surpass the Game Boy, selling approximately 11 million units. In , Sega introduced the Model series of arcade hardware, which saw the release of Virtua Fighter and Virtua Racing , which laid the foundation for 3D racing and fighting games.
It sold well initially, but had problems with lack of software and hype about the upcoming Sega Saturn and Sony 's PlayStation. It utilized two bit processors. However, poor sales in the West led to the console being abandoned by Sega made forays in the PC market with the establishment of SegaSoft , which was tasked with creating original Saturn and PC games.
At its peak, the Sega Channel had approximately , subscribers. Various technical issues began disrupting the service in late , eventually leading to the Sega Channel being discontinued worldwide in While Compile continued to develop and publish Puyo Puyo games, even on platforms that Sega was competing against.
These games include Sega in their copyright information. It featured games such as the action-puzzle game ChuChu Rocket! The Dreamcast's launch in Japan was a failure; launching with a small library of software and in the shadow of the upcoming PlayStation 2 , the system would gain little ground, despite several successful games in the region.
The Dreamcast's western launch in was accompanied by a large amount of both first-party and third-party software and an aggressive marketing campaign. In contrast to the Japanese launch, the Western launch earned the distinction of the "most successful hardware launch in history," selling a then-unprecedented , consoles in its first week in North America.
Sega also produced the NAOMI series, which were the last arcade boards built uniquely rather than being based on existing consoles and PC architecture. In late , Sega Enterprises chairman Isao Okawa spoke at an Okawa Foundation meeting, saying that Sega's focus in the future would shift from hardware to software, but adding that they were still fully behind the Dreamcast.
By March 31, , Sega had five consecutive fiscal years of net losses. In the same year, Hajime Satomi stated that Sega's activity will focus on their profitable arcade business as opposed to their loss-incurring home software development sector.
Derby Owners Club was the first large-scale satellite arcade machine with IC cards for data storage. Trading card game machines were introduced, with games such as World Club Champion Football for general audiences and Mushiking: King of the Beetles for young children. Sega also introduced internet functionality in arcades with Virtua Fighter 4 in , and further enhanced it with ALL.
Net , introduced in Since then, Sega and Sammy became subsidiaries of the aforementioned holding company, with both companies operating independently, while the executive departments merged.
In early , Sega announced that they would re-establish an Australian presence, as a subsidiary of Sega of Europe, with a development studio branded as Sega Studio Australia.
In the same year, Sega launched a subscription based flash website called "PlaySEGA" which played emulated versions of Sega Genesis as well original web-based flash games. In , Sega announced the closure of Sega Racing Studio, although the studio was later acquired by Codemasters.
The Sonic the Hedgehog series continued to be internationally recognized, having sold million in total,  although the critical reception of games in the series has been mixed. In Japan, Sega distributes games from smaller Japanese game developers and localizations of western games. For amusement arcades, Sega's most successful games continued to be based on network and card systems.
Games of this type include Sangokushi Taisen and Border Break. Arcade machine sales incurred higher profits than their console, portable, and PC games on a year-to-year basis until s. In , Sega Republic , an indoor theme park in Dubai , opened to the public.
In , Sega began providing the 3D imaging for Hatsune Miku 's holographic concerts. Because of the shrinking arcade business in Japan,  development personnel would also be relocated to the digital game area. Since then, the strategies for Asian and Western markets have become independent. The Western line-up consisted of emulations of games and pay-to-play apps, which were eventually overshadowed by more social and free-to-play games, eventually leading to 19 of the older mobile games being pulled due to quality concerns in May In the s, Sega established operational firms for each of their businesses, in order to streamline operations.
In , Sega established Sega Networks for its mobile games; and although separate at first, it merged with Sega Corporation in Sega Games is structured as a "Consumer Online Company" , while Sega Networks focuses on developing games for mobile devices.
In April , Sega Sammy Holdings announced a relocation of head office functions of the Sega Sammy Group and its major domestic subsidiaries located in the Tokyo metropolitan area to Shinagawa-ku by January Their stated reasoning was to promote cooperation among companies and creation of more active interaction of personnel, while pursuing efficient group management by consolidating scattered head office functions of the group. Stories LLC has exclusive licensing rights to adapt Sega properties into film and television.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. December Learn how and when to remove this template message The Sega Seal of Quality was an icon placed on the packaging of all video games that had Sega's official approval to be played on a Sega console system.
Similarly to the Nintendo Seal of Quality , the intention was to avoid the mistakes that led to the North American video game crash of by ensuring games were compatible with the intended console system and to censor content felt inappropriate.
The seal appeared on a video game's box and marketing as a means of informing the consumer that Sega had previewed the game before its release and had met a certain level of quality standard including graphics, sound, challenge, and content appropriateness.
Sega never required a third-party software developer to earn the official seal as a precondition for publication, although most developers chose to do so.
Furthermore, a game could earn the seal even if it contained certain themes that its bigger competitor, Nintendo, would have prohibited: Video games released on a Sega home console system could still censored by the software developer for other taboo or controversial depiction, including profanity, nudity, prostitution, and homosexuality.
In , Sega of America permitted Acclaim to keep the graphic violence and gore in its port of Midway's popular arcade game Mortal Kombat. As this game and other games sparked a national controversy over violent content in video games, Sega created the Videogame Rating Council to give a descriptive rating to every game sold on a Sega home console system in the United States. This rating, along with the seal, would appear on the game's box and marketing. Sega gradually shifted the scope of their Seal of Quality to focus less on content and more on compatibility.
The seal was phased out after the discontinuation of the Dreamcast in