Sega Corporation is a Japanese multinational video game and entertainment company headquartered in Shinagawa, Tokyo. Its international branches, Sega of America and Sega Europe, are headquartered in Irvine, California, and London.
Sega’s arcade business unit, Sega Interactive Co., Ltd., manages the company’s arcade centres worldwide. The bulk of Sega’s revenues come from the arcade sector. In addition to arcades, Sega also develops and publishes video games for home consoles, PC, mobile phones, and tablets.
Sega’s most notable hardware products include the Master System, Genesis/Mega Drive, Dreamcast, and Game Gear. The company has also produced numerous home computer systems, such as the SC-3000 and SG-1000, which were popular in Japan and overseas.
Sega’s history can be traced back to 1940, when company founder David Rosen established a distribution company for American exports in Honolulu, Hawaii. Sega developed its first coin-operated game machine in 1951, and began exporting products to the US market in 1965.
In the late 1970s, Sega began to produce its own line of arcade games in Japan. The company’s first hit was Zaxxon (1981), a space shooter that utilized isometric graphics. Other notable early titles include Astro Blaster (1981) and Pengo (1982).
Sega’s North American division, Sega of America, was established in 1982. The company’s first US release was the arcade game Astron Belt (1983).
Sega achieved great success with its next generation of hardware, the 16-bit Genesis/Mega Drive. The console was released in Japan in 1988 and in North America in 1989. It went on to become one of the best-selling consoles of all time, with over 30 million units sold worldwide.
Notable Genesis/Mega Drive games include Sonic the Hedgehog (1991), which helped to establish Sega as a major player in the console market; and Virtua Fighter 2 (1994), one of the first 3D fighting games.
In 1998, Sega released the Dreamcast, its first console to utilize 128-bit processing. The system was ahead of its time and featured a built-in modem for online gaming. Unfortunately, the Dreamcast was unable to compete with the leading consoles of its generation, and Sega ceased production of the system in 2001.
Sega has since refocused its efforts on software development and publishing. The company has released numerous hit titles for current-generation consoles, including the well-received Yakuza series. In addition, Sega continues to produce arcade games, such as the popular Virtua Fighter 5 series.
As one of the leading video game companies in the world, Sega remains an important player in the gaming industry. With a long and storied history, the company has helped to shape the gaming landscape for over six decades. And with a strong lineup of upcoming titles, Sega shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.