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WarmSignal
05-04-2018, 07:01 PM
Really by the end of 1997 it was pretty much done. Several projects were canned, just a handful of games trickled out in early 1998. Even if "the Saturn was not our future", it wasn't technically history until Sega's next machine made it out, and that wasn't until September of 1999 in the west. There were a couple mil Saturn owners who had basically nothing to look forward to for almost 2 years. Why is that? The Nintendo 64 was not a wildly popular machine either, support was slow, yet stable up until the GameCube release in November 2001. Sony has abandon the Vita long ago, yet it continues to receive support. Wii U saw support, however limited, up until the Switch.

I can't imagine why developers would think it's a bad idea to put out new software on a machine that millions still owned, where very little competition would exist. I think the N64 demonstrated how having fewer games release, means more copies of those games sold. I dunno. I've always been annoyed at how nearly two years of potential retail life was completely wasted for the Saturn.

ComradeOj
05-04-2018, 07:37 PM
Some speculation on my part:

The Dreamcast was out in late 1998 in Japan. 3rd party developers presumably knew about the dreamcast well ahead of the public so that they could have launch games ready. It that case, it would make sense to drop any titles set for a mid-late 1998 launch. That doesn't account as much for a lack of late 1997-early 1998 titles though.

The playstation probably had the biggest hand in it. By that point the PSX was well ahead of the Saturn, and easier for devs to program for. Why make games for a more difficult platform with a smaller install base? Devs gave the saturn more attention during the early days ofr the 5th gen, but as time went on the playstation gained enough ground that devs couldn't justify the cost of making games for the Saturn anymore.

Moirai
05-04-2018, 07:44 PM
My only explanation is that Sega was just a sucky company by that point.

Barone
05-04-2018, 09:02 PM
Really short answer: Sega had burned its own brand with lots of stupid moves, it sucked for 3D and that gen was all about 3D games.

Gryson
05-04-2018, 09:12 PM
I guess we're talking about North America, right?

1) Sega of America was basically bankrupt by that point. Their overall strategy changed to one of cutting losses (writing off inventory, not taking any risks on game sales by only producing a small quantity per title, etc.). They were not producing new titles.

2) Sega did not have good 3rd party support - Sony offered a more lucrative contract and the Saturn was difficult to develop for.

3) Saturn games were not selling well. Sega needed to sell ~8 games per console to make up for the loss of the low sell price, but they were only selling ~4/5 per console. Not appealing to developers.

Probably many other reasons.

GameUser-16-32-128
05-04-2018, 10:37 PM
NA in the 90's was a really depressing and frustrating time for the Saturn since day one (yes, I lived through it!). On the other hand, releases in JP were abundant. IMO, SOA's management is to blame. So much untapped potential squandered/botched. Sigh.

Team Andromeda
05-05-2018, 08:51 AM
NA in the 90's was a really depressing and frustrating time for the Saturn since day one (yes, I lived through it!). On the other hand, releases in JP were abundant. IMO, SOA's management is to blame. So much untapped potential squandered/botched. Sigh.

Yep, SEGA America were hopeless in the 32bit era and then Bernie put the final boot in the coffin. SEGA Europe were hopeless too but at least we did get some fine software right at the end and they brought over Deep Fear , l Sega America didn't even do that and to make matters worse Bernie upsets, one of the few 3rd parties that were supporting the Saturn at the time .

SEGA American were beyond unless in the 32bit age, they even had to screw up the Saturn pad. Still when it came to the DC it was SOJ and more so SEGA Europe turn to screw up

zyrobs
05-05-2018, 10:02 AM
They were gathering developer support behind the scenes for the upcoming Dreamcast, and ultimately that meant that it was obvious that the Saturn is being dropped.

bultje112
05-05-2018, 10:45 AM
Really by the end of 1997 it was pretty much done. Several projects were canned, just a handful of games trickled out in early 1998. Even if "the Saturn was not our future", it wasn't technically history until Sega's next machine made it out, and that wasn't until September of 1999 in the west. There were a couple mil Saturn owners who had basically nothing to look forward to for almost 2 years. Why is that? The Nintendo 64 was not a wildly popular machine either, support was slow, yet stable up until the GameCube release in November 2001. Sony has abandon the Vita long ago, yet it continues to receive support. Wii U saw support, however limited, up until the Switch.

I can't imagine why developers would think it's a bad idea to put out new software on a machine that millions still owned, where very little competition would exist. I think the N64 demonstrated how having fewer games release, means more copies of those games sold. I dunno. I've always been annoyed at how nearly two years of potential retail life was completely wasted for the Saturn.

because the saturn sold like shit.

the wii u stopped having any support pretty much somewhere in 2015, while the switch didn't come out until 2017. same thing.

Team Andromeda
05-05-2018, 12:09 PM
because the saturn sold like shit.

the wii u stopped having any support pretty much somewhere in 2015, while the switch didn't come out until 2017. same thing.

Yep, but SEGA West could have done better, they was still some fine software coming out, that could have been brought over. While the main AM and CS teams were getting ready to make the jump to DC.

Blades
05-05-2018, 02:10 PM
There was a detailed article about this, Iíll see if I can find it.

WarmSignal
05-05-2018, 08:43 PM
because the saturn sold like shit.

the wii u stopped having any support pretty much somewhere in 2015, while the switch didn't come out until 2017. same thing.

That's not exactly the case. Software actually dropped off mostly after the 2013 holiday season for the Wii U, the next three years saw roughly 25 new releases per year and 5 whole titles managed to drop in 2017, including of course, Breath of The Wild. So technically it was supported until the Switch arrived.

bultje112
05-06-2018, 04:13 AM
That's not exactly the case. Software actually dropped off mostly after the 2013 holiday season for the Wii U, the next three years saw roughly 25 new releases per year and 5 whole titles managed to drop in 2017, including of course, Breath of The Wild. So technically it was supported until the Switch arrived.

yes I meant to say almost no support. wii u in 2015 was comparable to saturn in 1998 in the west (not japan) and by then the dreamcast was 1 year away from release while the switch still needed 2 more years in 2015.

gamevet
05-06-2018, 12:35 PM
Nothing good can come from this thread. Let finger pointing begin.

TrekkiesUnite118
05-06-2018, 08:26 PM
If there was any one group to blame for that situation with the Saturn it would probably be Bernie Stolar and Sega of America. They pushed hard for the Dreamcast and when it was obvious it was happening, they ditched the Saturn and threw all their eggs in the Dreamcast basket. The problem was the basket wasn't ready yet. In Japan this gap didn't really happen. So it's not like there was nothing to release. What probably should have happened instead was to shift focus to localizing Japanese software that worked for the US market and making nice with as many developers who could help in that process such as Working Designs, Capcom, SNK, and Konami.

If the cards were played right we could have had 1997-1999 on the Saturn be full of niche but good releases such as Arcade ports, JRPGs, shmups, etc. We could have had Working Designs localizing the Lunar Titles as well as games such as Grandia, Thunder Force V, Radiant Silvergun, etc. You could have had Konami bringing over their numerous arcade ports as well as Castlevania. You could have had Capcom and SNK localizing all their amazing Arcade ports. Sega could have then focused on bringing over the rest of Shining Force III, Deep Fear, the rest of the Sega Ages line, etc. Who knows if things went well some of the cancelled stuff such as the localization of Policenauts, or the cancelled port of Resident Evil 2 might have actually materialized into something.

The Saturn was never going to go toe to toe with late gen PS1 and N64 software in the 3D department. But it didn't really have to in order to simply keep consumers happy until the Dreamcast came along. It just had to supply good quality software that did something better than the competition. It had that in Japan. It didn't have that showing here in the US and Europe.

Lync
05-06-2018, 09:05 PM
"What the f#ck is a localization!?"


- Sega of America (1995-1998)

redsox2013
05-06-2018, 09:55 PM
Of course this whole story started with Sega of Japan (who never spent a single day as market leaders), forcing Sega of America (who spent many years as market leaders), to launch Saturn too early. Not to mention, SOJ's decision about Saturn's chipset with seemingly no input from SOA. Saturn may not have beaten PS1, but a better launch could have had exponentially increased Saturn's fortunes as years passed.

SOA could have done a lot better in 1997 & 1998, but Saturn's failures can almost universally be blamed on Sega of Japan. Perhaps it was bruised pride because an American subsidiary had succeeded where a Japanese one had failed (with the Mega Drive/Genesis). I may be wrong, but I don't think SOJ ever even finished out of last place with any console. SOA should have called the shots regarding Saturn development and launch.

Gryson
05-06-2018, 10:41 PM
Of course this whole story started with Sega of Japan (who never spent a single day as market leaders), forcing Sega of America (who spent many years as market leaders), to launch Saturn too early. Not to mention, SOJ's decision about Saturn's chipset with seemingly no input from SOA. Saturn may not have beaten PS1, but a better launch could have had exponentially increased Saturn's fortunes as years passed.

SOA could have done a lot better in 1997 & 1998, but Saturn's failures can almost universally be blamed on Sega of Japan. Perhaps it was bruised pride because an American subsidiary had succeeded where a Japanese one had failed (with the Mega Drive/Genesis). I may be wrong, but I don't think SOJ ever even finished out of last place with any console. SOA should have called the shots regarding Saturn development and launch.

You're just regurgitating stuff from the Console Wars book. There is a laundry list of things that both sides did poorly. Sega of America pretty much completely dropped the ball when it came to software development and 3rd party support, which was one of their strong points in the 16 bit era (see the case of Sonic X-Treme). The early launch did not change the fact that a year later, Sega of America had not produced a killer title.

gamevet
05-07-2018, 12:54 AM
You're just regurgitating stuff from the Console Wars book. There is a laundry list of things that both sides did poorly. Sega of America pretty much completely dropped the ball when it came to software development and 3rd party support, which was one of their strong points in the 16 bit era (see the case of Sonic X-Treme). The early launch did not change the fact that a year later, Sega of America had not produced a killer title.

Outside of Virtua Fighter and Virtua Fighter 2, SOJ didn't create a system seller either. And really, those 2 titles were big hits in Japan, but not titles that would create interest in the console in the West.

TrekkiesUnite118
05-07-2018, 01:26 AM
Outside of Virtua Fighter and Virtua Fighter 2, SOJ didn't create a system seller either. And really, those 2 titles were big hits in Japan, but not titles that would create interest in the console in the West.

Sega Rally could be added to that list. There was also Sakura Wars which was a first party title. Yes its unlikely that game would have done well in the US, but that was their killer title in Japan.

gamevet
05-07-2018, 01:33 AM
Sega Rally could be added to that list. There was also Sakura Wars which was a first party title. Yes its unlikely that game would have done well in the US, but that was their killer title in Japan.

Sega Rally is awesome, but it was not a title that created a lot of hype for the system. Daytona was the better franchise, and SOJ dropped the ball with that title. SEGA of America needed time to develop sports games for the Saturn, which are are a proven commodity in the West. SOA did it right with the Dreamcast, when they had all of their SEGA sports titles lined up for the system.

Blades
05-07-2018, 01:39 AM
I would also argue that there was a vacuum of longer titles on the Saturn. There were plenty from WD, but titles that simultaneously engaged the player and showed off the system's abilities the way most of the Phantasy Stars did on the Genesis/MS were absent. WD could also be needlessly juvenile in their translations.

The biggest problem is that everything was so unfocused. There were a few standouts like Panzer Dragoon, but not much else until later in the game. Also, Sega doubled down on selling the Saturn as an 'arcade machine at home' while the competitors were (much like the Genesis) focusing on story-driven and longer titles. There was an article in some magazine about how the successor to the Genesis could completely replace personal computers for video games because of how impressed the authors were with Phantasy Star III.

FWIW their efforts paid off in Japan where Saturn became Sega's best-selling console but useless everywhere else, confounded by a bizarre hardware architecture. I have to say, Sony's launch lineup was terrible and definitely worse than the Saturn's.

gamevet
05-07-2018, 01:43 AM
I would also argue that there was a vacuum of longer titles on the Saturn. There were plenty from WD, but titles that simultaneously engaged the player and showed off the system's abilities the way most of the Phantasy Stars did on the Genesis/MS were absent. WD could also be needlessly juvenile in their translations.

The biggest problem is that everything was so unfocused. There were a few standouts like Panzer Dragoon, but not much else until later in the game. Also, Sega doubled down on selling the Saturn as an 'arcade machine at home' while the competitors were (much like the Genesis) focusing on story-driven and longer titles.

FWIW their efforts paid off in Japan where Saturn became Sega's best-selling console but useless everywhere else, confounded by a bizarre hardware architecture. I have to say, Sony's launch lineup was terrible and definitely worse than the Saturn's.

The arcade experience worked for the Saturn in Japan, because their arcade industry was still going strong, while in the West, the arcades were dying out.

WarmSignal
05-07-2018, 02:54 AM
You're just regurgitating stuff from the Console Wars book. There is a laundry list of things that both sides did poorly. Sega of America pretty much completely dropped the ball when it came to software development and 3rd party support, which was one of their strong points in the 16 bit era (see the case of Sonic X-Treme). The early launch did not change the fact that a year later, Sega of America had not produced a killer title.

I've heard something mentioned before about X-Treme, where on the deadline they were forced to demo a choppy older version of the game to SOJ with bad frame-rate issues, immediately prompting them to say just axe the project. Even as the other part of the team working on the project was rushing to demo a much better version of the game at the meeting on the same day, and missed it by a matter of minutes. I hope it's not true, because that's X-Tremely shitty. That game no doubt would have drummed up interest in Saturn for NA.

Blades
05-07-2018, 03:43 AM
I've heard something mentioned before about X-Treme, where on the deadline they were forced to demo a choppy older version of the game to SOJ with bad frame-rate issues, immediately prompting them to say just axe the project. Even as the other part of the team working on the project was rushing to demo a much better version of the game at the meeting on the same day, and missed it by a matter of minutes. I hope it's not true, because that's X-Tremely shitty. That game no doubt would have drummed up interest in Saturn for NA.

That was Chris Senn's bullshit lol. It's 99% a fallacy.

Team Andromeda
05-07-2018, 05:53 AM
yes I meant to say almost no support. wii u in 2015 was comparable to saturn in 1998 in the west (not japan) and by then the dreamcast was 1 year away from release while the switch still needed 2 more years in 2015.

Yep, Classic Nintendo.

Team Andromeda
05-07-2018, 05:56 AM
Outside of Virtua Fighter and Virtua Fighter 2, SOJ didn't create a system seller either. And really, those 2 titles were big hits in Japan, but not titles that would create interest in the console in the West.

Sukura Wars was Huge in Japan, Virtual ON sold in great numbers too. SEGA Japan did a far better job, than SEGA America. who in their right mind thought Mr Bones was going to sell Hardware?. You take out SONIC, SEGA never made many huge sellers on the Mega Drive either

Team Andromeda
05-07-2018, 06:04 AM
The biggest problem is that everything was so unfocused. There were a few standouts like Panzer Dragoon, but not much else until later in the game. Also, Sega doubled down on selling the Saturn as an 'arcade machine at home' while the competitors were (much like the Genesis) focusing on story-driven and longer titles. There was an article in some magazine about how the successor to the Genesis could completely replace personal computers for video games because of how impressed the authors were with Phantasy Star III.
.

The Mega Drive was sold on the back of its was able to handle great Arcade ports and SEGA Japan put a lot of money in the single player story driven games, the trouble was , thanks to the babbons at SEGA America we never got to see them, But SEGA Japan produced the likes of Shinning Force III series, Shining The Holy Ark, Saukura Wars 1 and II, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Magic KnighRay Earth, Deep Fear, Virus, Blue Seed, Dragon Force I and II, Dark Savour, Wachenroder, Riglordsaga 1 and II, Buring Rangers Ect. How anyone could say there was a lack of story driven games on the Saturn is quite beyond me, when it was awash with RPG's many of which produced by SOJ.

Gryson
05-07-2018, 09:17 AM
Practically from day one, Sega's strategy for the Genesis was to build up Sega of America so that it could start producing (and even developing internally) its own American-centric titles. This is probably the greatest argument for the success of the Genesis, beginning with games like Sonic (developed in Japan, but for the American market) and Joe Montana. By 1994, Sega of America was making the vast majority of its profit from US-developed games.

So what happened with the Saturn? Disaster. I can't even name one US-developed title that Sega published exclusively for the Saturn (surely there's one, but I can't think of it). Even World Series Baseball is a re-branded Japanese game. Sega's pride, Sega Technical Institute, didn't develop a single Saturn game since it was caught in development hell with Sonic X-Treme.

In fact, Sega of America published more recognizable titles on the Genesis after the Saturn was released than it did Saturn titles (Comix Zone, Vectorman, Sonic 3D Blast, probably more).

There's probably a lot of reasons here: The 32X, loss of 2nd party devs to Sony, inexperienced devs, and so on. When the Dreamcast was released, Sega president Irimajiri said that they were trying to correct their mistakes with the Saturn, one of which was to give American developers more time since they were slower than Japanese developers (thus the later American release of the DC).

So Sega of America had to fall back on Japanese games, which was a risky move. Sega of Japan did have some big hits, mostly arcade ports: Sega Rally was the 3rd best selling title in Japan, behind Virtua Fighter 2 and Fighters Megamix. But a lot of Japan's big hits were difficult to localize (Sakura Wars series) or had limited appeal (NiGHTS was awesome but not a system seller for the US market).


I've heard something mentioned before about X-Treme, where on the deadline they were forced to demo a choppy older version of the game to SOJ with bad frame-rate issues, immediately prompting them to say just axe the project. Even as the other part of the team working on the project was rushing to demo a much better version of the game at the meeting on the same day, and missed it by a matter of minutes. I hope it's not true, because that's X-Tremely shitty. That game no doubt would have drummed up interest in Saturn for NA.

Not quite. By that point, the game had been in development hell for 2+ years, and Senn's story is likely just a footnote in the failure of the game. The true reason it failed is due to inexperienced staff and shifting target platforms. The story you're partially remembering didn't result in axing the game, but shifting to a less-preferred engine.

Team Andromeda
05-07-2018, 09:47 AM
Practically from day one, Sega's strategy for the Genesis was to build up Sega of America so that it could start producing (and even developing internally) its own American-centric titles. This is probably the greatest argument for the success of the Genesis, beginning with games like Sonic (developed in Japan, but for the American market) and Joe Montana

Total mismanagement by SEGA America. I don't think Sonic was made for the USA, it was made more to counter Mario and it just so happens that the game really took off in the West. But it was a sorry tale of not thinking the Saturn was needed or need a huge push at the start, because SEGA America were so convinced than the 32X would sell well. SOA messed up STI, the Muli Media studio was total waste of money and badly handly and then to make matters worse, SOA thought that games like Mr Bones and three dirty dwarves, SCUD assassin would sell the system, never mind the money SEGA Amercia poored down the drain with Sacred Pools which was said to be at the time, the most expseive FMV game ever made,, this along with Mr Bones were hopless calls, when the FMV fad had clearly had its day.

The 32X cost SEGA so dear, they lost their focus and split their development teams and budgets between the Saturn and 32X. BTW SEGA America did develope NBA 98 In-House and SOA did produced and publish All Stars Hockey on the Saturn, but the lack of a Joe Montana football game was hard to work out, not that the SOA NFL Saturn game was looking that good, before it got dropped.
Still SEGA America gave us BUG and Congo lol

Gryson
05-07-2018, 10:31 AM
Sonic was made for the US - it's well documented. For example, Oshima (as I recall) has talked about how they went to Central Park in New York to get feedback on various character designs in order to assess which design had most appeal with Americans. This is also why Katz and his team were given early access to design info on Sonic and many opportunities to provide feedback.

gamevet
05-07-2018, 11:23 AM
Sega of America sent a female representative to Japan to discuss Sonic. Japanís design had Sonic with fangs and a girlfriend showing cleavage. My guess is Amy was the girlfriend.

gamevet
05-07-2018, 11:26 AM
Sukura Wars was Huge in Japan, Virtual ON sold in great numbers too. SEGA Japan did a far better job, than SEGA America. who in their right mind thought Mr Bones was going to sell Hardware?. You take out SONIC, SEGA never made many huge sellers on the Mega Drive either

Sakura Wars was popular, but nowhere near a million selling title. It was also a title that could never be marketed in the West. Virtual-On was a good title, but again, it didnít come close to being a million unit seller world wide.



So what happened with the Saturn? Disaster. I can't even name one US-developed title that Sega published exclusively for the Saturn (surely there's one, but I can't think of it). Even World Series Baseball is a re-branded Japanese game.

It was the 1st Saturn WSB that was Japanís Greatest 9 baseball game. WSB 97 and 98 were developed in the West. SOA had NFL 97, but nobody even remembers that game, because of Madden and NFL Gameday.

Gryson
05-07-2018, 11:33 AM
Sega of America sent a female representative to Japan to discuss Sonic. Japanís design had Sonic with fangs and a girlfriend showing cleavage. My guess is Amy was the girlfriend.

The girlfriend was a human named Madonna. Yuji Naka says they never intended for Madonna to be in the game. She was just used for the prototype to show the rotation effects.

Team Andromeda
05-07-2018, 12:27 PM
Sega was made for the US - it's well documented. For example, Oshima (as I recall) has talked about how they went to Central Park in New York to get feedback on various character designs in order to assess which design had most appeal with Americans. This is also why Katz and his team were given early access to design info on Sonic and many opportunities to provide feedback.

Sonic was made to counter Mario and given it was a Hedgehog, one could say it was made more for the European market. Lots of Japanese games use America, or Europe for inspiration, not much new there.

Team Andromeda
05-07-2018, 12:37 PM
Sakura Wars was popular, but nowhere near a million selling title. It was also a title that could never be marketed in the West. Virtual-On was a good title, but again, it didnít come close to being a million unit seller world wide.


I don't know why you go on about Million sellers when other than Sonic, SEGA America or Japan never had many million sellers on the Mega Drive. It's more about games that sell well also are really good. Virtual On was massive in Japan, it sold loads on the Saturn and did the business in the Arcades.
SEGA Japan was producing quality software, when SEGA America was producing the likes of Mr Bones, Dirty Dwarfs, Congo, Ghen war which just about sums it up and to make matters worse, SOA was screwing around with STI and also the shambles that was the Multi-Media studios. Sure Bernie handlng of the Saturn wasn't great, but saw potentiol in VC bought them and had them produce the fabulous NBA 98 and also produce some fine software for the DC. Before Bernie SEGA America software for the Saturn was nothing short of a joke, bar BUG.

Melf
05-07-2018, 02:07 PM
I don't know why you go on about Million sellers when other than Sonic, SEGA America or Japan never had many million sellers on the Mega Drive. It's more about games that sell well also are really good. Virtual On was massive in Japan, it sold loads on the Saturn and did the business in the Arcades.
SEGA Japan was producing quality software, when SEGA America was producing the likes of Mr Bones, Dirty Dwarfs, Congo, Ghen war which just about sums it up and to make matters worse, SOA was screwing around with STI and also the shambles that was the Multi-Media studios. Sure Bernie handlng of the Saturn wasn't great, but saw potentiol in VC bought them and had them produce the fabulous NBA 98 and also produce some fine software for the DC. Before Bernie SEGA America software for the Saturn was nothing short of a joke, bar BUG.

I don't think this argument holds weight. We've seen the same one made during the Mega Drive days. "All SOA had to do was localize all the great MD games in Japan and things would have been different!" Only, Japan had ALL those games and never got out of 3rd place. Do you have any sales data that proves Japanese games outsold Mr. Bones, Three Dirty Dwarves, etc? How well did Virtiual On do in the U.S. vs. Japan? Virtua Fighter sold practically 1:1 with the Saturn in Japan. In the U.S. it was a different story. What works for Japan doesn't automatically work everywhere else.


Total mismanagement by SEGA America. I don't think Sonic was made for the USA, it was made more to counter Mario and it just so happens that the game really took off in the West. But it was a sorry tale of not thinking the Saturn was needed or need a huge push at the start, because SEGA America were so convinced than the 32X would sell well.

Why do people love to forget SOJ's role in the 32X and how if Nakayama hadn't demanded it in the first place, it never would have happened? Why do people love to revise history and pretend that SOJ was just absolutely perfect, even though it failed with 3/4 consoles? You remember SOJ's role in the 32X, don't you? You do know that the machine never had a chance because Japan never intended to commit to it in the first place, right?


SOA messed up STI, the Muli Media studio was total waste of money and badly handly and then to make matters worse, SOA thought that games like Mr Bones and three dirty dwarves, SCUD assassin would sell the system, never mind the money SEGA Amercia poored down the drain with Sacred Pools which was said to be at the time, the most expseive FMV game ever made,, this along with Mr Bones were hopless calls, when the FMV fad had clearly had its day.

Do we know these games didn't sell enough to make a profit? How come no one mentions the Japanese games, like Clockwork Knight or Hang-On GP, that no one gave a shit about? Or the great western titles like Powerslave? Yes, there was some shitty western-made titles on the Saturn, but not everything out of Japan was pure gold, either.

It's interesting because if you look at the list of Sega-published games in Japan, the majority of them came to the U.S. either by Sega itself or companies like Working Design and Vic Tokai. You also have to account for WHY there weren't as many development teams willing to make Saturn games. A lot of them felt burn by the early launch and lack of distribution. Also, the Saturn had to be coded in Assembly, while PlayStation was in C, which was much easier for getting started. There were a lot of factors involved, and the whole "SOA fucked up" argument is as tired as it is hollow.

And SOA wasn't "screwing around" or "mess up" with STI. It was a joint SOJ-SOA venture that had Japan's full support. Hell, it's final game, Die Hard Arcade, was the best-selling U.S. made Sega arcade game in history, more than all those wonderful Japanese games that everyone loves worldwide.

sull56ivan2010
05-07-2018, 03:25 PM
Because Japan is something you can't criticize, Melf. At least that's how it sounds on the Internet. Dare criticize Nintendo, Konami, Capcom, or "insert Japanese company name", expect your ass to get ripped by people. Very sad.

gamevet
05-07-2018, 03:33 PM
Team Andromeda is a Japanophile. He has even imported Xbox games from Japan, even though he lives in Europe.

Gryson
05-07-2018, 04:45 PM
I don't think this argument holds weight. We've seen the same one made during the Mega Drive days. "All SOA had to do was localize all the great MD games in Japan and things would have been different!" Only, Japan had ALL those games and never got out of 3rd place. Do you have any sales data that proves Japanese games outsold Mr. Bones, Three Dirty Dwarves, etc? How well did Virtiual On do in the U.S. vs. Japan? Virtua Fighter sold practically 1:1 with the Saturn in Japan. In the U.S. it was a different story. What works for Japan doesn't automatically work everywhere else.

Why do people love to forget SOJ's role in the 32X and how if Nakayama hadn't demanded it in the first place, it never would have happened? Why do people love to revise history and pretend that SOJ was just absolutely perfect, even though it failed with 3/4 consoles? You remember SOJ's role in the 32X, don't you? You do know that the machine never had a chance because Japan never intended to commit to it in the first place, right?

Do we know these games didn't sell enough to make a profit? How come no one mentions the Japanese games, like Clockwork Knight or Hang-On GP, that no one gave a shit about? Or the great western titles like Powerslave? Yes, there was some shitty western-made titles on the Saturn, but not everything out of Japan was pure gold, either.

It's interesting because if you look at the list of Sega-published games in Japan, the majority of them came to the U.S. either by Sega itself or companies like Working Design and Vic Tokai. You also have to account for WHY there weren't as many development teams willing to make Saturn games. A lot of them felt burn by the early launch and lack of distribution. Also, the Saturn had to be coded in Assembly, while PlayStation was in C, which was much easier for getting started. There were a lot of factors involved, and the whole "SOA fucked up" argument is as tired as it is hollow.[/SIZE][/FONT]

And SOA wasn't "screwing around" or "mess up" with STI. It was a joint SOJ-SOA venture that had Japan's full support. Hell, it's final game, Die Hard Arcade, was the best-selling U.S. made Sega arcade game in history, more than all those wonderful Japanese games that everyone loves worldwide.

Melf, no offense, but you are as anti-SOJ as other people here are anti-SOA.

32X: Nakayama ordered it done, SOA liked the idea and went with it. Tom Kalinske was full on-board with it. Why is it necessary to assign blame? It might not have been the best business move, but that only became apparent once it was too late to stop it.

And I'm not sure what you're saying about Die Hard Arcade: What other US made Sega games are there? (I'm not even sure this one counts, since it was co-developed with AM1.) Are you saying it outsold Japanese arcade games such as Daytona?

Melf
05-07-2018, 05:26 PM
Melf, no offense, but you are as anti-SOJ as other people here are anti-SOA.

I'm not anti-SOJ. I just don't think that they're as free from blame as many people make them out to be. People also tend to forget that a lot of the things that SOA supposedly did wrong, wasted money on, etc. were not only green-lit by SOJ but were part of their larger plan of taking on Disney.


32X: Nakayama ordered it done, SOA liked the idea and went with it. Tom Kalinske was full on-board with it. Why is it necessary to assign blame? It might not have been the best business move, but that only became apparent once it was too late to stop it.

That's the thing. They made the best of a bad situation. I think if SOJ had been a bit more forward with its plans for the Saturn, things might have been different, but who knows? I don't know how much power SOA would have had to change anything.


And I'm not sure what you're saying about Die Hard Arcade: What other US made Sega games are there? (I'm not even sure this one counts, since it was co-developed with AM1.) Are you saying it outsold Japanese arcade games such as Daytona?

American-made U.S. games only. Sega had an American division (Sega/Gremlin and then Sega Electronics) from 1979-1984.

Team Andromeda
05-07-2018, 05:31 PM
I don't think this argument holds weight. We've seen the same one made during the Mega Drive days. "All SOA had to do was localize all the great MD games in Japan and things would have been different!" Only, Japan had ALL those games and never got out of 3rd place. Do you have any sales data that proves Japanese games outsold Mr. Bones, Three Dirty Dwarves, etc? How well did Virtiual On do in the U.S. vs. Japan? Virtua Fighter sold practically 1:1 with the Saturn in Japan. In the U.S. it was a different story.

I'm not on about the USA, Virtual ON sold brilliantly in Japan. Sega Japan was giving the Saturn users in Japan what they wanted, SOA didn't seem to know what the US Saturn games wanted and their software was pretty poor. I don't know why you bring up C, the Mega Drive didn't use C it never held that system back and to get the best out of systems like the MD, Saturn, PS2 even the DC one had to use machine level Assembly and it's not like the 32X used C or the slow start of quality PS2 and MD software hurt them

As for Die hard Arcade that was developed by AM#1 only the design and programming were Japanese staff, STi just help out with Art and as for the rest of your rant, no-one is saying western games are terrible, just that SOA Saturn titles were pretty poor and nothing to what Sega Japan were making or producing and yes while 32X was SOJ call at the start, it was quickly dropped when SOJ knew it was going to make its date and the 3DO was a flop. Sega America should have done the same.

For the DC SEGA America were brilliant and they also did a far better job with the Mega CD and where SOJ were a joke

Gryson
05-07-2018, 07:38 PM
I'm not anti-SOJ. I just don't think that they're as free from blame as many people make them out to be. People also tend to forget that a lot of the things that SOA supposedly did wrong, wasted money on, etc. were not only green-lit by SOJ but were part of their larger plan of taking on Disney.

It seems to me that the opposite is happening: Just about the entire internet blames SOJ for every tiny thing that happened (seriously, google this). Either way, it's a bit ridiculous. The company's troubles were many on both sides of the ocean.

Whoever you want to blame, Sega of America being unable to follow through on their primary strategy of producing American-centric games was a huge stumbling block for the Saturn. It's something I don't see discussed much.


That's the thing. They made the best of a bad situation. I think if SOJ had been a bit more forward with its plans for the Saturn, things might have been different, but who knows? I don't know how much power SOA would have had to change anything.

As I recall, it only became clear that it was a bad situation once things were too far gone to stop. Kalinske seems pretty forward in admitting he was wrong about the 32X, and that he realized an add-on can't take the place of a new console. The console market was so drastically changed when Sony entered that I think we sometimes forget that there wasn't a clear playbook in what to do or not to do before then.

I don't know. I just find the whole "SOJ was wrong!" - "No, SOA was wrong!" thing a bit stale. There's a lot of history here that's lost/ignored due to the lack of broader perspective.

As I've said before: If Sega wanted to play it safe, they would have never entered the console business (and gone the route of Konami, Namco, Capcom, etc.). In the 16-bit era, they succeeded with a great product, great marketing, and an unprepared competitor. But their entire consumer business strategy (driven by Nakayama and his desire to push into the console market) was a bit too slap-shot to last for long. Even Kalinske hinted that Sega should have gotten out of the hardware market (with the whole Sony tie-up). To me, faulting Sega for the 32X kind of misses the point: the 32X was exactly in line with everything they had done up to then. You really have to fault Sega for being who they were if you go down that road.

TrekkiesUnite118
05-07-2018, 09:48 PM
The issue with sales numbers is that they're just hard to find for the Saturn. What is out there is usually incomplete. For what it's worth though, supposedly Sakura Wars sold 500,000 copies in Japan. Whether that's total or release day I don't know. I thought there used to be a site by Sega of Japan that had this information but I can't seem to find it. Sega Rally though I do believe was one title to also break the 1 million sold mark for the platform.

Gryson
05-07-2018, 10:30 PM
Here is the archived Japan sales chart for the Saturn:

https://web.archive.org/web/20081230005343/http://www.japan-gamecharts.com/sat.php

But there's a big caveat: the exact numbers are probably not accurate. They were extrapolated from Famitsu sales charts, which don't list actual sales but rather "points." Sega apparently reported 1.5 million pre-order sales of VF2, for example, which exceeds the total sales on the chart, so something is off. Who knows how off it is, though. I think the chart is good for a rough estimate and for a ranking, though.

Melf
05-07-2018, 11:20 PM
I don't know why you bring up C, the Mega Drive didn't use C it never held that system back and to get the best out of systems like the MD, Saturn, PS2 even the DC one had to use machine level Assembly and it's not like the 32X used C or the slow start of quality PS2 and MD software hurt them

Most development was done in Assembly during the 16-bit era, I believe. This wasn't the case by 1995. The PlayStation was easy to jump into for development, while Saturn developers had to use Assembly to work both processors. Many found it too hard and just turned the second one off. Also, the development tools from Japan weren't great and were really expensive (around $25,000). SOA had to modify them using software made by Cross Products (a company started by the guy who did M1 Abrams Battle Tank). The new tools were only around $1500. There were a lot of hoops and hurdles that had to be overcome for developers, which is why many just gave up on the Saturn.


As for Die hard Arcade that was developed by AM#1 only the design and programming were Japanese staff, STi just help out with Art

They did a lot more than just "help out" with the art. AM1 had no 3D artists at all for the game.


and as for the rest of your rant, no-one is saying western games are terrible, just that SOA Saturn titles were pretty poor and nothing to what Sega Japan were making or producing and yes while 32X was SOJ call at the start, it was quickly dropped when SOJ knew it was going to make its date and the 3DO was a flop. Sega America should have done the same.

Why was that, though? I don't think that SOA just decided to stumble ahead and churn out bad games for no reason. Considering the effort it went through to prepare western developers to use the Saturn, (purchase Cross Products, form the Away Team, develop and modify tools, etc.), that makes zero sense. As for the 32X, would they simply g ahead with a still-born platform for no good reason? I don't know how accurate reports are of SOJ not being forthcoming with info about the Saturn's target launch date, but there's no logic to releasing a platform you know is DOA unless you have no choice. And remember, SOJ called the hardware shots, not SOA. What do you do with a platform that's being developed for and promoted once its successor has suddenly been announced? Say "never mind" and forget it happened? Wouldn't that have pissed off retailers and publishers more? SOA messed up big time with the 32X, but there's a lot of blame for that situation happening in the first place far higher on the food chain.


It seems to me that the opposite is happening: Just about the entire internet blames SOJ for every tiny thing that happened (seriously, google this). Either way, it's a bit ridiculous. The company's troubles were many on both sides of the ocean.

I think that ultimately, the buck does stop with SOJ because it was the parent company. As I said, many of the decisions people place squarely on SOA, like FMV games and the Multimedia Studio, weren't just approved by Japan, they were wholeheartedly encouraged. People also forget the shit ton of cash SOJ burned through chasing after its dream to take on Disney, which was disastrous.

The same management that crashed and burned with the 32X and Saturn also did more for the company than any before or since. There were lots of hits and lots of misses, the same as in Japan. Nakayama is often viewed as a villain, but he was a primary force behind all of Sega's successes from 1984 until the late '90s. Hindsight is 20/20, and while I do agree that SOA does have blame, I'm just saying that SOJ holds a bit more responsibility, given that it approved and supported every decision SOA made. Kalinske was bold, but he was no insubordinate maverick who did as he pleased.


Whoever you want to blame, Sega of America being unable to follow through on their primary strategy of producing American-centric games was a huge stumbling block for the Saturn. It's something I don't see discussed much.

I discussed it in my book. Go buy 10 copies! :p


As I've said before: If Sega wanted to play it safe, they would have never entered the console business (and gone the route of Konami, Namco, Capcom, etc.). In the 16-bit era, they succeeded with a great product, great marketing, and an unprepared competitor. But their entire consumer business strategy (driven by Nakayama and his desire to push into the console market) was a bit too slap-shot to last for long. Even Kalinske hinted that Sega should have gotten out of the hardware market (with the whole Sony tie-up). To me, faulting Sega for the 32X kind of misses the point: the 32X was exactly in line with everything they had done up to then. You really have to fault Sega for being who they were if you go down that road.

Even David Rosen thought Sega would leave hardware after the Genesis. The DC's death brought a collective sigh of relief to a lot of people at Sega.

Gryson
05-08-2018, 12:08 AM
I think that ultimately, the buck does stop with SOJ because it was the parent company. As I said, many of the decisions people place squarely on SOA, like FMV games and the Multimedia Studio, weren't just approved by Japan, they were wholeheartedly encouraged. People also forget the shit ton of cash SOJ burned through chasing after its dream to take on Disney, which was disastrous.

The same management that crashed and burned with the 32X and Saturn also did more for the company than any before or since. There were lots of hits and lots of misses, the same as in Japan. Nakayama is often viewed as a villain, but he was a primary force behind all of Sega's successes from 1984 until the late '90s. Hindsight is 20/20, and while I do agree that SOA does have blame, I'm just saying that SOJ holds a bit more responsibility, given that it approved and supported every decision SOA made. Kalinske was bold, but he was no insubordinate maverick who did as he pleased.

That's right, Nakayama accepted complete responsibility for what befell Sega and that was the reason for his resignation in 1998. As Irimajiri would state shortly after, Nakayama was obsessed with the Saturn and wanted to keep pushing it even though it was dead.

But credit is also due: Nakayama is almost certainly singularly responsible for Sega entering the console market. He was focused on hardware innovation way more than other arcade companies. He is one of the main reasons for the resurgence in arcades in the 80s through Sega's efforts to clean up the negative image of arcades. He had a very unorthodox business strategy for which he was famous in Japan of scouting top hires from other companies (Japanese companies at the time were generally life-long employment). He also went against the trend of having a Japanese exec oversee the American division. Him hiring Katz/Kalinske was seen as a very bold move, and the success of Kalinske was seen as a classic case study of how to successfully utilize local talent when building up overseas. I think people have a tendency to forget all of this, but Sega of America only existed by Nakayama seriously bucking the trend and trying something radically different. We never really get this picture, though. It's a shame because, as I said, a limited perspective and the whole "SOJ vs. SOA" thing that gets repeated ad infinitum really takes away from the history.

The only way that Sega got away with trying so much and burning through so much cash in the process is because of Nakayama (who was a complete autocrat at Sega). It's one of those "you have to take the good with the bad" situations. He funneled enormous amounts of money into the whole virtual amusement park business and in pushing internet/cable technology and in building up Sega's R&D division to ridiculous levels, yet that's what made Sega so damn cool. Take that away, and you just have another Konami. Of course, it could never last, but it was awesome.

bultje112
05-08-2018, 03:13 AM
The issue with sales numbers is that they're just hard to find for the Saturn. What is out there is usually incomplete. For what it's worth though, supposedly Sakura Wars sold 500,000 copies in Japan. Whether that's total or release day I don't know. I thought there used to be a site by Sega of Japan that had this information but I can't seem to find it. Sega Rally though I do believe was one title to also break the 1 million sold mark for the platform.

actually a lot of saturn titles have become clear in terms of sales as well as the hardware. the saturn itself sold between 6 and 7 million in japan and it's best selling game was virtua fighter 2, which sold 1.75 million in japan. sakura taisen 1 sold around 550,000-600,000 and sakura taisen 2 sold a bit more.

there's also a topic in neogaf which tries to calculate saturn software sales according to famitsu charts, which used a point system. not sure how trustworthy that is though.

Team Andromeda
05-08-2018, 09:42 AM
Most development was done in Assembly during the 16-bit era, I believe. This wasn't the case by 1995. The PlayStation was easy to jump into for development, while Saturn developers had to use Assembly to work both processors. .

So SEGA kept with what it did with the Mega Drive and you knock it?. Also I don't think many of the better N64 developers were using C, most would neeed to use low level machine code to get the best out of the system and its not like the PS2 or PS3 were easy systems to work on and it never held them back.


Many found it too hard and just turned the second one off. Also, the development tools from Japan weren't great and were really expensive (around $25,000). SOA had to modify them using software made by Cross Products (a company started by the guy who did M1 Abrams Battle Tank).

Yeah, that was an issue SOJ were keen to address and they did with IN March 1995 with the SGL toolset, which was not only a better set of development tools but also used a production Saturn making it far cheaper. Still Saturn development tools was far cheaper than the N64 development set up never mind how the PS2 Tools set up cost some $30 compared to the DC Set Top 5 box of $8,000.
Oh and btw Cross Products made StarStrike and Carrier Command and looking over them, another UK corp was offering a cheap development kit that also was able to use a Production Saturn and that was SN systems with its Psy-Q, which a basic development kit would cost as little as £3,000 upto £7,000

So there have been other systems with complex and more expensive development tools and it didn't really hurt the N64, much less the PS3 or PS2.


I don't think that SOA just decided to stumble ahead and churn out bad games for no reason. Considering the effort it went through to prepare western developers to use the Saturn,

No developer sets out to make a bad game. But FMV had had its day and yet SOA was putting loads of money into Scared Pools and thinking Mr Bones would sell the Saturn; A game that was a horrible mix of amazing Saturn 2D Gfx and FMV backgrounds and the work of 2 studios.
I think it was from Gamefan when SOA said it was the biggest and most expensive project they have ever worked on, and the game was pretty much a joke, that's to overlook the amount of tosh SOA were producing on the Saturn and 32X or the shambles that was their In-House studios of STi and the Multi Media Studio . To be fair to Bernie, he sorted that part of SOA out and got them much more focused on quality titles and a nice In-House set up with VC and even tried his best to save Sonic X.


As I said, many of the decisions people place squarely on SOA, like FMV games and the Multimedia Studio, weren't just approved by Japan, they were wholeheartedly encouraged

Of coruse, they were paying for it. So lets not kid ourselves that SEGA Japan didn't look to help SOA or back it up. Unlike the myth that's being peddled, SOJ had a great working relationship, allowed a lot of creative freedom to SOA and back them up with Dosh setting up studios and also new ventures like SEGASoft/. SEGA Europe was given over £10 million to set up its new development support unit in the UK in 1994 (for Saturn and 32X games) and also SOJ injected over £5 million into Scavenger in 1994 and also SOJ supported the Mega Drive at the same time too. Still all that can't change that SOJ did a much better job with its In-House teams and the game it was producing, to that of the SOA and SOE. When back in the 16 bit days, SOA and SOE were both producing fine software. I just feel there took their eye of the ball and were too convinced the 32X was outsold all systems, thanks to price alone.

I did like Bug and Bug II, Thought they were really nice games, just too hard for their own good. SEGA Japan real screw up was poor launch tools, no Sonic 3D game and not looking to get Square on the Saturn. Its funny because with the DC, SOA was exceptional, SOJ didn't see to have any fight and Sega Europe was run by bannons at the time, who had not a clue

gamevet
05-08-2018, 09:49 AM
Iíd often visited this site.

http://www.the-magicbox.com/Chart-JPPlatinum.shtml

Melf
05-08-2018, 11:46 AM
So SEGA kept with what it did with the Mega Drive and you knock it?. Also I don't think many of the better N64 developers were using C, most would neeed to use low level machine code to get the best out of the system and its not like the PS2 or PS3 were easy systems to work on and it never held them back.

Sega kept on, but times were changing. PlayStation was in C, which made starting development much easier. It was a major concern for SOA technical staff.


I think it was from Gamefan when SOA said it was the biggest and most expensive project they have ever worked on, and the game was pretty much a joke, that's to overlook the amount of tosh SOA were producing on the Saturn and 32X or the shambles that was their In-House studios of STi and the Multi Media Studio . To be fair to Bernie, he sorted that part of SOA out and got them much more focused on quality titles and a nice In-House set up with VC and even tried his best to save Sonic X.

Bernies basically ended SOA's in-house development, which was too big. He planned to restart it after the DC took off, but it never did. Geist Force was the last SOA in-house title, and it was canceled.

Team Andromeda
05-08-2018, 12:25 PM
Sega kept on, but times were changing. PlayStation was in C, which made starting development much easier.

You could use C on the Saturn, not that you always got great results I gather Die Hard Trilogy was coding 100% in C on the Saturn. It wasn't great, but the N64 needed low-level code to get the best results and so did the PS2 or PS3. So I don' know why you single out the Saturn, when compared to their rivals the PS2, PS3 had issues over development and it never held them back and the N64 development set up was the most costly out of any console. So again, I don't get the focus on the Saturn over that.


Bernies basically ended SOA's in-house development, which was too big

I don't think it was 2 big, it was only 2 studios and the STI had little more than one line of the staff. There were just mismanaged with STI working on 2 different versions of Sonic X on 3 systems via the same team, and despite spendling millions and in Scott Bayless words one of the biggest orders for Silicon Graphics workstations, SEGA Multi-Media studio made 1 game and 1 utter rubbish game, that was it.
Badly run studio, from the very start as the development of Jurrasic Park was all over the shop and Scott had to be sent in, to get the game and team back on track. Very much like with MS and the XBox One (even to the point of poor launch development tools) The staff that made the MD such a hit made too many bad calls with the successor and like with Robbie going from MS, so did TOM with SEGA. The only different was Phil stuck with the XBox One made a far better job of it and had the backing financially, Bernie was just too quick to kill the Saturn.

SEGA Japan made lots of mistakes too, but the sheer incompetence of the SEGA America in the 32bit age was shocking.

Splatterhouse5
05-08-2018, 12:35 PM
yes I meant to say almost no support. wii u in 2015 was comparable to saturn in 1998 in the west (not japan) and by then the dreamcast was 1 year away from release while the switch still needed 2 more years in 2015.

I'd say that WiiU in 2016 was comparable to the Saturn in 1998 (in the west). WiiU got Splatoon, Yoshi's Wolly World, Super Mario Maker, Tokyo Mirage Sessions, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Pokken Tournament, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, Mario Party 10, Devil's Third, and (lamentably) Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival out of 1st and 2nd party studios in 2015. Splatoon and Super Mario Maker (in particular) were big hits for Nintendo that year, and did their part in selling WiiUs that year. The Saturn was already 6 feet under in the West in 1998.

The WiiU in 2016 was the year of Star Fox Zero, Paper Mario: Color Splash, and just about nothing else - with a HUGE drought between those two releases. The WiiU would stop being manufactured before Color Splash or BotW would ever hit retail. I'd say that this sounds a lot more like the Saturn in 1998. I can reasonably understand why someone would want to buy a WiiU in 2015, where as 2016 offered only a couple of bones to people that already owned the system. By the time Nintendo ceased production on the WiiU, the Switch was literally only a few months away.

Sure, you could see the writing on the wall with the WiiU in 2015 (or even as far back as 2014), but I do think that Nintendo supported the system far better in 2015 than Sega did the Saturn in 1998. From the consumer's POV, 2016 was the year that made it abundantly clear that Nintendo was absolutely done investing money into the WiiU. Color Splash and BotW (2017) even had identical release circumstances to Panzer Dragoon Saga and Shining Force 3; being recognizable IP released after their consoles had already been discontinued - Releasing far too late to salvage their consoles.

Melf
05-08-2018, 01:59 PM
You could use C on the Saturn, not that you always got great results I gather Die Hard Trilogy was coding 100% in C on the Saturn. It wasn't great, but the N64 needed low-level code to get the best results and so did the PS2 or PS3. So I don' know why you single out the Saturn, when compared to their rivals the PS2, PS3 had issues over development and it never held them back and the N64 development set up was the most costly out of any console. So again, I don't get the focus on the Saturn over that.

Getting the best results isn't the same as getting started. It was already difficult enough to work in 3D at the time, and if you have tools that make that even harder, you tend to move away from the platform. That's not my interpretation; it's what many tech people at Sega were experiencing. SOA VP of Technology Marty Franz explained that to me (several times actually, since it was a bit complicated!).


I don't think it was 2 big, it was only 2 studios and the STI had little more than one line of the staff. There were just mismanaged with STI working on 2 different versions of Sonic X on 3 systems via the same team, and despite spendling millions and in Scott Bayless words one of the biggest orders for Silicon Graphics workstations, SEGA Multi-Media studio made 1 game and 1 utter rubbish game, that was it.

There were more than two studios. There was also Sega Midwest, Sega Studios LA, Sega Interactive, and BlueSky (sold back to George Kiss in 1996). I think part of the blame for the whole Sonic X fiasco should Japan. How could they not see the importance a Sonic title would have for the Saturn in the West? Did they completely forget the role that franchise had in Sega's success the previous 4 years? I know Sonic wasn't as big in Japan, but they HAD to know it was needed in the U.S. Why would they have SOA do it? And when they saw it wasn't working, why didn't they take over? They didn't need Sonic for the Saturn in Japan and just didn't care.

Also, those Silicon Graphics stations were used by multiple studios at SOA, not just the MMS. Jurassic Park was just the most high profile title to use them.



Badly run studio, from the very start as the development of Jurrasic Park was all over the shop and Scott had to be sent in, to get the game and team back on track. Very much like with MS and the XBox One (even to the point of poor launch development tools) The staff that made the MD such a hit made too many bad calls with the successor and like with Robbie going from MS, so did TOM with SEGA. The only different was Phil stuck with the XBox One made a far better job of it and had the backing financially, Bernie was just too quick to kill the Saturn.

None of the people I spoke to about Jurassic Park ever mention Bayless coming in to fix the project. They mention studio head Tom Rheuterdahl as the guy who got the game to market, but no one ever mentioned Bayless, do I'm not sure about that. Bayless also said the 32X was literally designed on a cocktail napkin, something Joe Miller flat-out denied, so I think he may have overstated his role a bit. I do agree that the MMS was a massive money pit. SOA over-extended itself there greatly, trying to be at the forefront of the multimedia revolution, which never really happened. Again, hindsight is 20/20, and at the time it seemed that CD-ROM was indeed the future. Sega wasn't the only one, either, 3DO was born from the same philosophy.

Mega Drive Bowlsey
05-08-2018, 05:39 PM
Exactly. A hell of a lot of the bad decisions that Sega made in running the company as a whole seemed like good decisions at the time. It's only with the gift of hindsight that people say "Why the fuck did Sega think that was a good idea?!" or "How the fuck did Sega not see that was gonna fail?!" Obviously no company sets out to intentionally make bad decisions. They only become bad decisions after time has passed and hindsight has kicked in.

Team Andromeda
05-08-2018, 08:37 PM
Getting the best results isn't the same as getting started. It was already difficult enough to work in 3D at the time, and if you have tools that make that even harder, you tend to move away from the platform. That's not my interpretation; it's what many tech people at Sega were experiencing. SOA VP of Technology Marty Franz explained that to me (several times actually, since it was a bit complicated!).



There were more than two studios. There was also Sega Midwest, Sega Studios LA, Sega Interactive, and BlueSky (sold back to George Kiss in 1996). I think part of the blame for the whole Sonic X fiasco should Japan. How could they not see the importance a Sonic title would have for the Saturn in the West? Did they completely forget the role that franchise had in Sega's success the previous 4 years? I know Sonic wasn't as big in Japan, but they HAD to know it was needed in the U.S. Why would they have SOA do it? And when they saw it wasn't working, why didn't they take over? They didn't need Sonic for the Saturn in Japan and just didn't care.

Also, those Silicon Graphics stations were used by multiple studios at SOA, not just the MMS. Jurassic Park was just the most high profile title to use them.




None of the people I spoke to about Jurassic Park ever mention Bayless coming in to fix the project. They mention studio head Tom Rheuterdahl as the guy who got the game to market, but no one ever mentioned Bayless, do I'm not sure about that. Bayless also said the 32X was literally designed on a cocktail napkin, something Joe Miller flat-out denied, so I think he may have overstated his role a bit. I do agree that the MMS was a massive money pit. SOA over-extended itself there greatly, trying to be at the forefront of the multimedia revolution, which never really happened. Again, hindsight is 20/20, and at the time it seemed that CD-ROM was indeed the future. Sega wasn't the only one, either, 3DO was born from the same philosophy.

Retro gamer did a making of Jurassic Park on SEGA CD..Scott confirmed what a mess the game was in, that he was brought in to get the team and project back on track. He also talked of the insane amount of money that was spent on the project and studio with loads of state of the Art SGL work stations and full access to the location used in the film, hours of footage taken, only to never be used. I never seen Miller say that over the the 32X, only that both Marty Franz and Scott Bayless confirm they put a wish list of a bit of tissue paper .

I'll not defend SOJ and its lack of a Sonic game or letting it be kown that a Sonic game would be made, but one can't really blame SOJ for the mess of the Sonic X project or the poor handling of the Multi Media studio. One can blame SEGA Japan for not giving it's In House team a mandate to make a Sonic game, the 1996 Saturn Sonic Adv game was too late

Also I had no idea that the likes of BlueSky was 100% owned by SEGA and a In House team.

Moirai
05-08-2018, 10:35 PM
If there was any one group to blame for that situation with the Saturn it would probably be Bernie Stolar and Sega of America. They pushed hard for the Dreamcast and when it was obvious it was happening, they ditched the Saturn and threw all their eggs in the Dreamcast basket. The problem was the basket wasn't ready yet. In Japan this gap didn't really happen. So it's not like there was nothing to release. What probably should have happened instead was to shift focus to localizing Japanese software that worked for the US market and making nice with as many developers who could help in that process such as Working Designs, Capcom, SNK, and Konami.

If the cards were played right we could have had 1997-1999 on the Saturn be full of niche but good releases such as Arcade ports, JRPGs, shmups, etc. We could have had Working Designs localizing the Lunar Titles as well as games such as Grandia, Thunder Force V, Radiant Silvergun, etc. You could have had Konami bringing over their numerous arcade ports as well as Castlevania. You could have had Capcom and SNK localizing all their amazing Arcade ports. Sega could have then focused on bringing over the rest of Shining Force III, Deep Fear, the rest of the Sega Ages line, etc. Who knows if things went well some of the cancelled stuff such as the localization of Policenauts, or the cancelled port of Resident Evil 2 might have actually materialized into something.

The Saturn was never going to go toe to toe with late gen PS1 and N64 software in the 3D department. But it didn't really have to in order to simply keep consumers happy until the Dreamcast came along. It just had to supply good quality software that did something better than the competition. It had that in Japan. It didn't have that showing here in the US and Europe.

All I can think of is how much money a US copy of radiant silver in in a long box would go for today had it been made... $700?

Melf
05-09-2018, 09:37 AM
Retro gamer did a making of Jurassic Park on SEGA CD..Scott confirmed what a mess the game was in, that he was brought in to get the team and project back on track. He also talked of the insane amount of money that was spent on the project and studio with loads of state of the Art SGL work stations and full access to the location used in the film, hours of footage taken, only to never be used.

He wasn't a part of the MMS, so he perhaps didn't know that the SG workstations weren't exclusively used by it. Part of what the studio did was train other in-house teams to use the new tech Sega acquired, and the SG stations were part of that. I do know that there was a lot of money spent on JP and Japan wasn't happy with the result.


I never seen Miller say that over the the 32X, only that both Marty Franz and Scott Bayless confirm they put a wish list of a bit of tissue paper.

He said it in our interview. Reading it again, he doesn't "flat-out" deny it like I thought, but he does admit that it's been made to be more of a story than it actually was. He also mentions that they had less than a year to design, manufacture and ship the 32X and its software:


Itís not as dramatic at all as itís been made out to seem. There was no palace revolt, and I donít think there were any napkins involved, though we did have large stacks of sticky, white paperÖ easel paper all over the place. We were drawing pictures and diagrams (system diagrams) and doing lots of other things during those meetings which took place at all hours in rooms at our Las Vegas hotel.


I'll not defend SOJ and its lack of a Sonic game or letting it be kown that a Sonic game would be made, but one can't really blame SOJ for the mess of the Sonic X project or the poor handling of the Multi Media studio. One can blame SEGA Japan for not giving it's In House team a mandate to make a Sonic game, the 1996 Saturn Sonic Adv game was too late

Japan's not to blame for how SOA handled Xtreme, but the whole things never should have even happened, I think. Sonic should have been a priority, since experience showed that when SOA did well, it boosted the company overall. If Japan didn't need the game, it should have at least recognized that the U.S. and Europe did. It should have been Sonic Team's priority.


Also I had no idea that the likes of BlueSky was 100% owned by SEGA and a In House team.

That's why you need my book! :D

BlueSky had an exclusive contract with Sega and was then bought. They later regained their independence but faltered shortly thereafter.

Gryson
05-09-2018, 10:16 AM
Japan's not to blame for how SOA handled Xtreme, but the whole things never should have even happened, I think. Sonic should have been a priority, since experience showed that when SOA did well, it boosted the company overall. If Japan didn't need the game, it should have at least recognized that the U.S. and Europe did. It should have been Sonic Team's priority.

We don't really know the story there, though. This is what Yuji Naka has to say (in Edge 35):


Why did you introduce a new character [NiGHTS] instead of writing another Sonic sequel?

Yuji Naka: Yes, it would have been easier to use Sonic, but we thought that people were expecting more, so we created a new character and a new world. We also wanted to take a long break from the Sonic series so that, when we approached it again, we could make a significantly more advanced game. Many companies continually capitalise on their successful titles, bringing out more and more sequels until eventually the market gets saturated and the players get bored. In any case, it is difficult to keep coming up with new ideas for a familiar series. We're only human after all!

Timing also has to be considered. Sonic & Knuckles was released in October 1994, concurrent with the release of the Saturn in Japan. NiGHTS was released in July, 1996. Even if Sonic Team had immediately started working on a Saturn Sonic title after Sonic & Knuckles, it wouldn't have been timely. Around the release of Sonic & Knuckles, STI was already working on Sonic X-Treme. SOA had handled most Sonic productions since Sonic 1. If they were working on a Saturn Sonic title, I'm not sure why SOJ would have stepped in and said no, let us make Sonic Team do that for you, despite them being burned out on Sonic and having no Saturn experience (either). The point of building up production capabilities at your daughter company is that they handle region-specific production (obviously). I'm not sure what makes this situation different - aside from hindsight being 20/20.

Edit: And let's not forget, it was very difficult for companies to hold onto developers in Japan throughout the 80s and 90s; there was rampant poaching from other companies (thus the lack of credits on games), and successful developers often went independent. Sega only held onto Yuji Naka for so long by giving him free reign (going to America, making NiGHTS, doing whatever). Sega, in fact, was famous for letting its (more established) developers pretty much do whatever they wanted. There was no way in hell Yuji Naka was going to be compelled to do another Sonic if he didn't want to.

gamevet
05-09-2018, 12:07 PM
Whatís Nakaís excuse for not letting the team use his Nights engine? It was a selfish move on his part.

Team Andromeda
05-09-2018, 01:14 PM
Whatís Nakaís excuse for not letting the team use his Nights engine? It was a selfish move on his part.

Yes it was childish, but that's to overlook SOJ never shared games engines internally (so it was a push to expect them to share an engine with a Western team) that Sonic Team Japan were using the NiGHTS engine themselves for their own Sonic game and why SOA top In-House team would even need to look for an outside game engine in the 1st place, much less for a game that was 2 years into development.

Not that I think the NiGHTS engine would have made any difference, given so little of Sonic X was completed, the game was never able to be played from start to finish and tbh STi own tech for Sonic X looked more than good enough

Team Andromeda
05-09-2018, 01:19 PM
Timing also has to be considered. Sonic & Knuckles was released in October 1994, concurrent with the release of the Saturn in Japan. NiGHTS was released in July, 1996. Even if Sonic Team had immediately started working on a Saturn Sonic title after Sonic & Knuckles, it wouldn't have been timely. Around the release of Sonic & Knuckles, STI was already working on Sonic X-Treme. SOA had handled most Sonic productions since Sonic 1. If they were working on a Saturn Sonic title, I'm not sure why SOJ would have stepped in and said no, let us make Sonic Team do that for you, despite them being burned out on Sonic and having no Saturn experience (either). The point of building up production capabilities at your daughter company is that they handle region-specific production (obviously). I'm not sure what makes this situation different - aside from hindsight being 20/20.


Spot on, Like I said SEGA looked to support the Mega Drive for too long and it should have had its main Teams working on 32bit productions, Instead you had Sonic Team in the USA making S&K and part of Sonic Team Japan making Ristar. Sonic was never going to be ready to go in 1994 ot 1995, not just because of NiGHTS but also the issues over making a full 3D Sonic game, but SEGA Japan should have made it more clear than a Sonic title was also coming from them and looked to have a game like Sonic CD on the Saturn ready for the USA and Pal launches. The issues was untill 1996 there was no word from SEGA on any Sonic game for the Saturn and that was a total cock up

Team Andromeda
05-09-2018, 01:29 PM
He wasn't a part of the MMS, so he perhaps didn't know that the SG workstations weren't exclusively used by it.

He was sent into get the protection back on track. The SGL workstations were all for the Multi-Mega Studio and they made 2 games, one of which was shockingly poor. Its wasn't a well run studio and it could barly make games it's self, much less teach others. They produced ace music though, I'll give the studio that.


He said it in our interview. Reading it again, he doesn't "flat-out" deny it like I thought

He didn't say it though, and he also talked of a good working relationship with SEGA Japan, also confirmed by Scott and Marty too (unlike the myth that peddle around) . And I don't think anyone ever questions the team was given little time to make the add-on, they made a nice unit. The issues was with the 3DO flopping and the Saturn all set to hit its Fall 94 date, that was the time to can the project


Japan's not to blame for how SOA handled Xtreme, but the whole things never should have even happened, I think. Sonic should have been a priority

I agree, but with the main Sonic Team wanting to make a new product and STI working on Sonic X, SEGA Japan most probs thought they didn't have to do anything until the Sonic Team finished NiGHTS. I agree it was a mistake and a cock-up, but SOA is the blame for the balls up that was Sonic X and Bernie canceled the game .
I blame SEGA Japan for the lack of a Sonic Team Sonic game on the Saturn though.


BlueSky had an exclusive contract with Sega and was then bought

So why was they bought and what In-House games were made by them when they were 100% owned by SEGA? Not being clever, just interested

Gryson
05-09-2018, 04:10 PM
Whatís Nakaís excuse for not letting the team use his Nights engine? It was a selfish move on his part.

Yuji Naka was really not impressed by the work on X-Treme. He said "I felt relief when I heard it was cancelled" (2011 interview (https://www.gamesradar.com/super-rare-1990-sonic-the-hedgehog-prototype-is-missing/)). I think he was pretty pissed off that Bernie Stolar took his source code without permission (or even notification) and gave it to the X-Treme team, who were a complete mess at that point, before NiGHTS was even released. I'm not sure why Naka takes so much flak for being pissed about it. He's a perfectionist and arrogant, no doubt about it, but he was about to begin work on the Saturn Sonic at that point, so I have a feeling he wanted X-Treme shut down since it was such a mess.

It's really a moot point, though. X-Treme was never going to be anything, with or without Naka's code. It had been in development for two years (or more) by that point.


I blame SEGA Japan for the lack of a Sonic Team Sonic game on the Saturn though.

Yuji Naka and Sonic Team began work on the Saturn Sonic right after NiGHTS was finished:


1UP: I'd like to jump forward in time, with a little more obscure title: Sonic Jam on Saturn, the collection of the Genesis Sonic games. Basically, I just want to know what was the idea in making that at that time.

YN: We were actually creating a 3D Sonic for the Sega Saturn, but right when we were in the thick of development, Sega was getting ready for the next console, Dreamcast. It was at a crucial point where, if we were going to move ahead with the project, we'd better move it to Dreamcast, or else we wouldn't be able to finish it [for Saturn] in time. But we did have a certain amount of 3D graphics for the Saturn version, so we decided to [keep that and] pull in and emulate the Genesis games. For the Sega Saturn users back then, I'm sorry we couldn't create a 3D Sonic for them, but [in Jam] you were able to have a glimpse.

1UP: Right, and there were other Saturn games from Sonic Team like NiGHTS and Burning Rangers that had clear passion behind them, so maybe it wasn't a great loss. But regardless, is there part of you that regrets not making a "real" 3D Sonic for Saturn?

YN: Honestly, I was making so many Sonics, I wanted to make something new. But after NiGHTS, we were making Sonic, but it just would have been too late for that period. Because there's only me, there's no other Yuji Naka, I could only be the main programmer for NiGHTS, I couldn't do many projects at once. But after NiGHTS, Sega wanted me to oversee more projects, so that was the last game on which I was main programmer.

Every hardware launch, there's those crucial moments of timing. Saturn didn't have Sonic, and the GameCube had Luigi's Mansion; no Mario at the beginning. But Dreamcast did have Sonic from the beginning, and I think that's why it did well. Now that I've grown and can look back at those days, yeah, I think I should have thought more about the company, but back then I didn't care. I just wanted to create what I wanted to create.

But it's the same with Nintendo: There are times when Mr. Miyamoto isn't involved with [all] projects. And with 3DS, I'm surprised they're using Kid Icarus for launch, and not Mario. [Of course,] at the booth, you can see Mario Kart and Paper Mario, and maybe the public will view it differently, but in my opinion, I thought it would be better to have [a traditional] Mario with 3DS.

http://info.sonicretro.org/Yuji_Naka_interview_by_1UP_(June_25,_2010)

Great interview. I think it was the correct decision to write-off a late Saturn Sonic in favor of Sonic Adventure.

Peeteris
05-09-2018, 05:03 PM
Yuji Naka was really not impressed by the work on X-Treme. He said "I felt relief when I heard it was cancelled" (2011 interview (https://www.gamesradar.com/super-rare-1990-sonic-the-hedgehog-prototype-is-missing/)). I think he was pretty pissed off that Bernie Stolar took his source code without permission (or even notification) and gave it to the X-Treme team, who were a complete mess at that point, before NiGHTS was even released. I'm not sure why Naka takes so much flak for being pissed about it. He's a perfectionist and arrogant, no doubt about it, but he was about to begin work on the Saturn Sonic at that point, so I have a feeling he wanted X-Treme shut down since it was such a mess.

It's really a moot point, though. X-Treme was never going to be anything, with or without Naka's code. It had been in development for two years (or more) by that point.



Yuji Naka and Sonic Team began work on the Saturn Sonic right after NiGHTS was finished:



http://info.sonicretro.org/Yuji_Naka_interview_by_1UP_(June_25,_2010)

Great interview. I think it was the correct decision to write-off a late Saturn Sonic in favor of Sonic Adventure.
That's so sad. Every time I remember that Sonic Xtreme isn't released, I feel really down.

gamevet
05-09-2018, 09:13 PM
Yuji Naka was really not impressed by the work on X-Treme. He said "I felt relief when I heard it was cancelled" (2011 interview (https://www.gamesradar.com/super-rare-1990-sonic-the-hedgehog-prototype-is-missing/)). I think he was pretty pissed off that Bernie Stolar took his source code without permission (or even notification) and gave it to the X-Treme team, who were a complete mess at that point, before NiGHTS was even released. I'm not sure why Naka takes so much flak for being pissed about it. He's a perfectionist and arrogant, no doubt about it, but he was about to begin work on the Saturn Sonic at that point, so I have a feeling he wanted X-Treme shut down since it was such a mess.

It's really a moot point, though. X-Treme was never going to be anything, with or without Naka's code. It had been in development for two years (or more) by that point.


You might want to brush up on the history of Sonic Xtreme. Naka threated to leave Sega if they let the team use his Nights engine. It set back the development of the game about a year.

https://www.neogaf.com/threads/final-build-of-sonic-xtreme-found-leaking-as-we-speak.925240/


This version featured improved graphics, morphing ground (ala soft museum in NiGHTS), and a 3D sonic. Unfortunately, Yuji Naka got wind that they were using his prized engine, and threatened to leave sega unless they stopped using his work. Rather than lose Yuji Naka, SoA yanked the NiGHTS engine from the team, leaving them about a year into the project with absolutely nothing to show for it.


Game Rader threw him a softball question, and he didn't even acknowledge that Chris Senn was part of that question.

Blades
05-09-2018, 09:52 PM
X-treme was garbage. If it was released it might've killed Sonic for good.

Melf
05-09-2018, 10:03 PM
Yes it was childish, but that's to overlook SOJ never shared games engines internally (so it was a push to expect them to share an engine with a Western team) that Sonic Team Japan were using the NiGHTS engine themselves for their own Sonic game and why SOA top In-House team would even need to look for an outside game engine in the 1st place, much less for a game that was 2 years into development.

This is true. It's why the GEMS sound driver was made. Western developers were more or less "locked out" of many of the features the Genesis sound chip. Reportedly, the only documentation Japan gave was a single handwritten memo note... in Japanese. It's what made Jon Miller and others create GEMS to effectively emulate stuff the chip could do natively.


The SGL workstations were all for the Multi-Mega Studio

They were purchased by the MMS but weren't exclusively for them. Other in-house studios used them as well.


He didn't say it though

Well, he didn't remember it at all, and I'd think that the guy who supposedly drew on the napkin would remember doing so. He did say there was a lot of paper used to diagram stuff, but no napkins. The point is that it was much more thought out and serious than Bayless' napkin comment made it sound.


I agree, but with the main Sonic Team wanting to make a new product and STI working on Sonic X, SEGA Japan most probs thought they didn't have to do anything until the Sonic Team finished NiGHTS. I agree it was a mistake and a cock-up, but SOA is the blame for the balls up that was Sonic X and Bernie canceled the game .
I blame SEGA Japan for the lack of a Sonic Team Sonic game on the Saturn though.

I don't think Sonic Team burnout was a good excuse though. Why not give the project to Yasuhara's team? They did a good enough job with Sonic CD. I think that SOJ felt the Saturn was doing well enough in Japan without Sonic and was simply in no rush. The needs of SOA and SOE, especially considering how the Saturn was doing in those regions compared to Japan, simply wasn't an issue.


So why was they bought and what In-House games were made by them when they were 100% owned by SEGA? Not being clever, just interested

BlueSky was purchased in 1995, after much of its catalog was already done. I believe it continued the World Series Baseball games and did both VectorMan titles. Desert Demolition was during this period as well, I think and there was the College Football Championship series. It also did Web of Fire and WSB for the 32X during this time.


Yuji Naka and Sonic Team began work on the Saturn Sonic right after NiGHTS was finished:

This kind of goes back to my point about not needing Sonic. SOJ was in no rush to create a new core Sonic game until a new hardware cycle was looming? That's really poor timing. The game was at least 2 years too late by the time development even started. Naka himself admits he screwed up in that very interview:


Every hardware launch, there's those crucial moments of timing. Saturn didn't have Sonic, and the GameCube had Luigi's Mansion; no Mario at the beginning. But Dreamcast did have Sonic from the beginning, and I think that's why it did well. Now that I've grown and can look back at those days, yeah, I think I should have thought more about the company, but back then I didn't care. I just wanted to create what I wanted to create.

Gryson
05-09-2018, 10:20 PM
You might want to brush up on the history of Sonic Xtreme. Naka threated to leave Sega if they let the team use his Nights engine. It set back the development of the game about a year.

https://www.neogaf.com/threads/final-build-of-sonic-xtreme-found-leaking-as-we-speak.925240/


Did you just quote a random post on neogaf as evidence that I need to brush up on my history? :lol:

Let me brush you up some:

1. STI never had access to the NiGHTS engine. Chris Senn was clear about this:


Q: Was the NiGHTS engine used?

Senn: No. This was discussed at one point, but never became a reality. The Boss engine Christina Coffin created provided a similar look, albeit simpified, to the NiGHTS engine, but the actual engine was never shared or used.

http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_Xtreme_FAQ_by_Chris_Senn_(December_23,_2008)

2. Bernie Stolar provided a level-editor from NiGHTS in mid-1996, which the STI team looked at for two weeks before Naka found out and threatened to quit:


Mike Wallis: You know, it was sometime in late summer, so I think it was September of '96 when Bernie Stolar had come on to Sega as the CEO around July of '96. He came over from Sony. And he said, "Look you guys. I want you to get a core team together," he told Roger Hector who was at the time the head of STI, and he said "I want you to get a core group together and we're gonna lock them together, away from everybody, and we'll feed them, we'll bring in cotts and mattresses and they can sleep there, and I don't want them to have any outside contact and get them whatever support they'll need. I want just this core team to do Sonic X-treme." 'cause we needed it to be out there in time for Christmas of '96. So we took the core group -- oh, Ross Hariss is another, he was one of the animators... so we took the core group and they basically locked us (chuckles) into the first floor in.. oh God, what was the address? ...of Sega at the time.


PACHUKA: Lemme look it up here... (both laugh) I don't have the specific address, but it was Redwood City, right?

Mike Wallis: Yeah, there were two buildings. One was 255 and one was 275, I think they locked us into the first floor of the 255 building, which was the old STI area and you know, they'd bring in breakfast, lunch and dinner and people would basically work like, 15-16 hour days. And it kind of sucked, because Bernie Stolar made us alot of promises that he couldn't deliver on. He was brand-new and he said, "Look, what do you guys need to do this by Christmas?" and we said "Well, we need the NiGHTS engine, because we can't develop the technology, it would take too long." ... so he said, "Alright! You got it." So, you know, they shipped us a NiGHTS editor, a level-based editor and our designers where familiarizing themselves with that, and after about two-weeks, Yuji Naka who was the designer of NiGHTS, and one of the original SonicTeam, had said "No". There was a big rivalry between SOJ and SOA and Yuji Naka hated SOA..


PACHUKA: Yeah, I had a feeling.

Mike Wallis: So he said he came to Yuri Maguire (sp?) who was the head of Sega, SOJ at the time, and he said "Look. I don't want these guys to have the NiGHTS engine. I do not want them to have the NiGHTS technology. If you give it to them, I quit." and so Yuri Maguire came back to Bernie Stolar and said, "I'm not giving you anything. You're gonna have to do it without it." So.. Bernie had to come to us "Sorry guys, you're gonna have to do it without the NiGHTS Technology." So at the time, Ofar Alon was developing this game; he was developing Xtreme on the PC... with the intent of porting it to the Saturn. He wrote these great development tools and everything, and it looked great on the PC. But the problem was so processor intensive that when it went to the Saturn, it was running at like, 2 frames a second. So independently of that, Chris Coffin, who was the lead programmer for the Boss Levels -- you know, the boss levels were supposed to be like, these Arenas...

http://info.sonicretro.org/Mike_Wallis_interview_by_PACHUKA

So no, Naka did not single-handedly set the development of Sonic X-Treme back one year. It is amazing how crap rumors like that continue to spread. But thanks for the brush up ;)


This kind of goes back to my point about not needing Sonic. SOJ was in no rush to create a new core Sonic game until a new hardware cycle was looming? That's really poor timing. The game was at least 2 years too late by the time development even started. Naka himself admits he screwed up in that very interview:

Maybe SOJ wasn't in a rush because STI was developing a Sonic game for the Saturn? Once it was clear that that was trash, Naka turned to making a proper one. I don't know. We don't have the answers, so why are we playing the blame game? There was an attempt to make the game at STI, it failed, there was a second attempt in Japan, it wasn't in time.

gamevet
05-09-2018, 11:25 PM
Did you just quote a random post on neogaf as evidence that I need to brush up on my history? :lol:

The story was pieced together from all of the stories around each engine the author of that thread was showing. There was more than just 2 gaming engines that were designed.


Let me brush you up some:

1. STI never had access to the NiGHTS engine. Chris Senn was clear about this:



http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_Xtreme_FAQ_by_Chris_Senn_(December_23,_2008)

2. Bernie Stolar provided a level-editor from NiGHTS in mid-1996, which the STI team looked at for two weeks before Naka found out and threatened to quit:



http://info.sonicretro.org/Mike_Wallis_interview_by_PACHUKA

So no, Naka did not single-handedly set the development of Sonic X-Treme back one year. It is amazing how crap rumors like that continue to spread. But thanks for the brush up ;)



There seems to be a hidden message in this quote from your link, that suggests Naka did not like the looks of Ofer's engine that POV used. It may be why the rumor was started, because something about it pissed Naka off. And when Senn says that the engine that he and Ofer had could not be used, because of SOJ politics, which suggests to me that there was more to it than just a bad rumor.



: Senn wrote, "When Nakayama-san from SOJ visited and saw the POV presentation, he did not like what he saw. He said firmly, "make the game like [Chris Coffin's boss engine level]". Due to the importance of Nakayama-san, being at the top chain of command, nobody could go against his decree. This meant that the POV version of the game, which was a very rudimentary version (and based on an old version of Ofer's editor), would not continue. This also, unfortunately, meant that the version Ofer and I were working on (which was LIGHTYEARS ahead of anything anybody had seen) could not officially continue under the Saturn banner as well. If Ofer and I could have shown Nakayama-san our version, I am quite sure he would have liked it enough to let us continue. Unfortunately, the attitude from SOJ was: Anything remotely looking like Ofer's old version should not continue. I think this was a political reason why the PC group at SOA decided to pass on our PC version. Also, I think the PC group didn't have the money or the confidence in Ofer and I to finish a PC version in a timely manner. If this was true, it would have been really unfortunate - because the advanced version of Ofer's editor that the PC group DID see was on the PC!"

stu
05-09-2018, 11:26 PM
Did you just quote a random post on neogaf as evidence that I need to brush up on my history? :lol:

Let me brush you up some:

1. STI never had access to the NiGHTS engine. Chris Senn was clear about this:



http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_Xtreme_FAQ_by_Chris_Senn_(December_23,_2008)

2. Bernie Stolar provided a level-editor from NiGHTS in mid-1996, which the STI team looked at for two weeks before Naka found out and threatened to quit:



http://info.sonicretro.org/Mike_Wallis_interview_by_PACHUKA

So no, Naka did not single-handedly set the development of Sonic X-Treme back one year. It is amazing how crap rumors like that continue to spread. But thanks for the brush up ;)

Further down that interview you quoted:


Yeah, Sega of Japan was actually not involved with X-treme at all, other than saying that they would initially provide the NiGHTS engine, and then pulling it from us. Other than that, they were not really involved, because I think they were part of the backup plan with Sonic 3D Blast, and Travellers Tales (http://info.sonicretro.org/Traveller%27s_Tales) did the game and SOJ did the Bonus Levels.



Kinda indicates that it was promised then pulled at the last minute

gamevet
05-09-2018, 11:38 PM
You know what they say about rumors? There's always some sort of truth to them.

Gryson
05-09-2018, 11:51 PM
There seems to be a hidden message in this quote from your link, that suggests Naka did not like the looks of Ofer's engine that POV used. It may be why the rumor was started, because something about it pissed Naka off. And when Senn says that the engine that he and Ofer had could not be used, because of SOJ politics, which suggests to me that there was more to it than just a bad rumor.

? You know that quote you posted is referring to Hayao Nakayama, the president of Sega, right? Not Yuji Naka?


Further down that interview you quoted:

Kinda indicates that it was promised then pulled at the last minute

Who knows? It's not discussed anywhere else. One thing's for certain: Sonic X-Treme had been in development far prior to any engine of NiGHTS existing. It's possible Mike Wallis is referring to the Bernie Stolar situation in mid-1996 in that quote. Whatever the case, there is absolutely nothing said by Wallis or Senn to indicate that the loss of the NiGHTS engine was a serious set back.


You know what they say about rumors? There's always some sort of truth to them.

Gamevet, your task is simple: Provide a first-hand source that says that Naka set back the development of Sonic X-Treme by one year. Otherwise, your initial point is totally invalid and you should just admit to that neogaf thread being crap.

gamevet
05-10-2018, 12:12 AM
? You know that quote you posted is referring to Hayao Nakayama, the president of Sega, right? Not Yuji Naka?

Yeah, but he had to have a reason behind why he told them to not use it. It's not like Nakayama was a game designer.



Gamevet, your task is simple: Provide a first-hand source that says that Naka set back the development of Sonic X-Treme by one year. Otherwise, your initial point is totally invalid and you should just admit to that neogaf thread being crap.

It's not just about the Neogaf thread though. It's been a long standing rumor that has been spread around the gaming community and books talking about the subject.

Here's Senn being asked about it in an interview.

http://www.poprewind.com/sonic-x-treme-the-lost-world-an-interview-with-chris-senn/


PR: With Yuji Naka angry that X-treme tried to use the NiGHTS engine, or something similar to the NiGHTS engine, what do you think of NiGHTS being incorporated into Lost World, as in the inclusion of NiGHTS and the Nightmarens in the Deadly Six Bonus Edition?

Senn: I only heard that Naka-san was adamant about keeping the NiGHTS engine private. I also recall a rumor that the NiGHTS engine was shared with the STI crew. Iím not sure if Naka-san was asked, but if this rumor were true and he said ďnoĒ, and then the engine was shared anywayÖ I would completely understand being angry! But, all of this is speculation only. As to the Nightmaren content in Lost World? I think thatís great! Nodding to previous materials is always a bonus for fans, so Iím all for it!


The Nights engine was being used by another team, outside of Senn's group.


http://sost.emulationzone.org/sonic_xtreme/whatis/index.htm



Chris Coffin, working independently of Ofer Alon, created his own boss engine based on the NiGHTS technology. Boss battles were to be fought in large circular arenas. While Coffin only managed to get two full-fledged bosses up and running (series villains Fang the Sniper and Metal Sonic), they were completely developed right down to the AI.


Despite the circumstances, development continued and Sonic X-Treme was beginning to take shape. Unbeknownst to the team, the final blow was yet to come. During the summer of '96, right in the thick of X-Treme's development, the head of SoJ caught a glimpse of an early build. He favored Chris Coffin's boss engine over Ofer Alon's game engine, and instructed the team to scrap the latter entirely and build the whole game on the boss technology. Alon quit the team and left Sega in frustration, leaving the remaining crew with even more to do in even less time. At this point, the entire project was hinging on director Chris Senn, who was putting in 200%, doing his best to pick up the slack. But after 7-8 weeks of sleepless nights, even the energetic Senn reached his limit. Producer Mike Wallis had no choice but to put the hedgehog out of his misery. He broke the news to Stolar, who officially ended the Sonic X-Treme project in favor of their backup plan, Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island. Sonic X-Treme was officially canned.

All of the work that Senn and Ofer's teams had done was scrapped, in favor of the Night's technology based version being worked on by Chris Coffin's group.

Lync
05-10-2018, 01:34 AM
X-treme was garbage. If it was released it might've killed Sonic for good.

Pretty much - I don't know why anyone would offer any endearments toward Sonic-Xtreme.

It's a case of 'canceled-game syndrome.' It wasn't canceled because it was going to be the greatest game of forever, it was canceled because STI had been spinning their wheels since concept producing a game that had no direction and praying that something would stick.

So I can't imagine SOJ going out of their way to derail development, it feels as if they were almost indifferent to anything SOA brought to the table in games; but Sonic Team Japan, denying game tools/engines seems like they more or less did that anyways.

I don't think the American branch had the tact or vision in designing the next Sonic game. In fairness it was a mountain of an endeavor with the premiere of 3D, but they more than anyone were probably the least equipped. With the exception of playing sous-chef on Sonic 2 and 3, the only realized effort they contributed was Sonic Spinball. I'm sure everyone at Sonic Team Japan were beaming with confidence...

Sonic X-Treme is better off being another gaming oddity shrouded in the great: 'What if?'

But hey, at the very least 'Space Queens' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPYPmXETH00) is a spectacular friggen' arrangement.

Blades
05-10-2018, 01:54 AM
But hey, at the very least 'Space Queens' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPYPmXETH00) is a spectacular friggen' arrangement.

Omg I know right? Iíve had the extended mix on my current music player for more than 10 years now.

bultje112
05-10-2018, 05:23 AM
Who made the sonic jam 3d section? Sonic team as well? they should've made a sonic game like that and release it in 95 or 96 and a saturn release no earlier than november 95 for 299 (without any games in like playstation had) and it could've changed it's entire future.

keep in mind playstation released for 299 without a memory card or game. saturn didn't need a memory card but they should've not included any game and hit something off the price. people were so fucking dumb to not realise saturn was actually cheaper since you got a game and memory card for free with it.

Team Andromeda
05-10-2018, 08:23 AM
You might want to brush up on the history of Sonic Xtreme. Naka threated to leave Sega if they let the team use his Nights engine. It set back the development of the game about a year.


You might need to brush up. Bernie didn't join SEGA America untill July 1996 and looked to get the game out for Fall 1996, so where you get a year from, its anyone guess

Mega Drive Bowlsey
05-10-2018, 08:26 AM
Who made the sonic jam 3d section? Sonic team as well? they should've made a sonic game like that and release it in 95 or 96 and a saturn release no earlier than november 95 for 299 (without any games in like playstation had) and it could've changed it's entire future.

keep in mind playstation released for 299 without a memory card or game. saturn didn't need a memory card but they should've not included any game and hit something off the price. people were so fucking dumb to not realise saturn was actually cheaper since you got a game and memory card for free with it.

True, but then people just looked at the price and thought "Wow, the PlayStation is a hundred dollars cheaper than the Saturn!" They didn't think about the lack of game or memory card, just the price. It was a reaction that Sony were banking on and they were proved right.

Team Andromeda
05-10-2018, 08:39 AM
This is true. It's why the GEMS sound driver was made. Western developers were more or less "locked out" of many of the features the Genesis sound chip.

I wouldn't say locked out, just that SEGA Japan, like Nintendo Japan, SONY Japan didn't share game engines with outside teams. So why Bernie thought he would be able to change a Japanese tradition is anyone guess.


They were purchased by the MMS but weren't exclusively for them
These, studios would be?



and I'd think that the guy who supposedly drew on the napkin would remember doing so
They did and told, Rertro gamer.


I don't think Sonic Team burnout was a good excuse though. Why not give the project to Yasuhara's team? They did a good enough job with Sonic CD
I dodn't think it was burn out, but the team looking to do something new and its hard to knock that. IMO SEGA looked to keep the Mega Drive going too long and you had not just S&K, but said to be another Sonic game in development for the Mega Drive, where Sonic was chained to his pal Tails. Then you had parts of Sonic Team Japan working on Ristar and also Chaotix. To me all that was madness and the teams should have all be working on Saturn software in 1995. Looking over that, Yes I would have looked to SOJ to begin its own Sonic Project in 1995 and rather than Bernie trying to change a Japanese tradition of not sharing engines , I would have looked to getting the SEGA Tiger/Away team onboard Sonic X and also drafted in Real Time Associates; Those 2 groups had delivered the good Bug, had a lovely game engine in Bug II and maybe would have been able to get the project back on track and use some of Bug Tech too, which seemed a better match for Sonic X, Than NiGHTS engine to me.

Not that ones elite In-House team should be looking to an outside group for a game engine inthe 1st place, more so after 2 years work

[


BlueSky was purchased in 1995, after much of its catalog was already done. I believe it continued the World Series Baseball games and did both VectorMan titles
100% owned by SEGA America and all for them to make just one or 2 games, yet another example of poor management by SEGA America, to add to the mess up with Multi Mega Studio and STI

Team Andromeda
05-10-2018, 08:42 AM
Who made the sonic jam 3d section? Sonic team as well? they should've made a sonic game like that and release it in 95 or 96 and a saturn release no earlier than november 95 for 299 (without any games in like playstation had) and it could've changed it's entire future.

keep in mind playstation released for 299 without a memory card or game. saturn didn't need a memory card but they should've not included any game and hit something off the price. people were so fucking dumb to not realise saturn was actually cheaper since you got a game and memory card for free with it.

Yeah it was Sonic Team Japan who did the 3D sections to Sonic Jam and also the 3D bonus sections to Sonic 3D onthe Saturn. You are spot on about the Saturn too, unlike the PS you had VF packed in and no need to buy a memory card either. I wouldn't call it people being dumb, more clever PR from SONY and SEGA America being hopless at pointing that fact out.

Team Andromeda
05-10-2018, 08:54 AM
[QUOTE=Gryson;814961

Yuji Naka and Sonic Team began work on the Saturn Sonic right after NiGHTS was finished:
[/QUOTE]

I know, but still that was a little late. Work should have happned far sooner, but still here's what the Team had to say on staring work on the project along with the talk of Sonic Coin up

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3954/14979751143_1f762b23b2_k.jpg

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5616/14979173574_f10623c1f1_k.jpg

Gryson
05-10-2018, 08:56 AM
Who made the sonic jam 3d section? Sonic team as well? they should've made a sonic game like that and release it in 95 or 96 and a saturn release no earlier than november 95 for 299 (without any games in like playstation had) and it could've changed it's entire future.

See the quote I posted from Yuji Naka on the previous page. He says that Sonic Team started working on a Saturn Sonic after NiGHTS, but the release would have come too late, so they decided to shift to the Dreamcast for its launch. Since they had already made progress on a 3D Sonic for the Saturn, they released it with Sonic Jam.

Mega Drive Bowlsey
05-10-2018, 11:28 AM
I don't think Sega supported the Mega Drive for too long at all. Quite the opposite actually. The Mega Drive still had legs in 1995 and was already in millions of homes worldwide. Tom Kalinske thought that Sega should have set aside some money to continue to support the Mega Drive/Genesis rather than drop it completely. He believed that there was enough love and support for the Mega Drive worldwide to continue to support it into the late 90's and I completely agree.

Gryson
05-10-2018, 11:56 AM
I don't think Sega supported the Mega Drive for too long at all. Quite the opposite actually. The Mega Drive still had legs in 1995 and was already in millions of homes worldwide. Tom Kalinske thought that Sega should have set aside some money to continue to support the Mega Drive/Genesis rather than drop it completely. He believed that there was enough love and support for the Mega Drive worldwide to continue to support it into the late 90's and I completely agree.

It's not true that Sega dropped the MD/Genesis completely that early. This is one of those points that keeps getting passed around, but you just have to look at game release dates to see that Sega was still producing MD/Genesis games into 1996 (in America, more so than Saturn games!). In addition, in April 1996 Hayao Nakayama said that the Genesis was still a focus for the company and that he wanted to get more titles out on it (this resulted in Virtua Fighter Genesis). Sega also designed the Genesis 3 for license to Majesco in 1998.

Kalinske was saying that rather than shift focus to the Saturn, SOA could have gotten by another year on the Genesis:


I felt that we were rushing Saturn. We didnít have the software right, and we didnít have the pricing right, so I felt we should have stayed with Genesis for another year. I recognize that our volumes would have gone down, but I think we would have been a much healthier company. We would have been more profitable, and I think the folks who appreciated video games would have appreciated that we were still doing a lot of great product on the 16-bit hardware.

The question is: how well did those late MD/Genesis games (Vectorman, Sonic 3D Blast, etc) sell? Sega definitely put a ton of marketing into them. Without the PlayStation, I might agree with Kalinske, but I don't think it's likely that the Genesis could have done well head-to-head against the PlayStation without a killer title.

Blades
05-10-2018, 12:33 PM
I know, but still that was a little late. Work should have happned far sooner, but still here's what the Team had to say on staring work on the project along with the talk of Sonic Coin up

I think people overestimate how much lifetime the Saturn had. The Saturn was released in the US in mid '95 and by mid '97 it was all over. In this time, Sonic Team alone completed Nights (which was fantastic and polished, albeit too short as most Saturn games were) and then Burning Rangers (also short). In the middle of all this they also completed the 3D parts of Jam and 3D Blast and started work on Sonic Adventure which was mostly done by late 1997. Very impressive output for a small team. Yuji Naka must be one hell of a manager.

Gryson
05-10-2018, 12:42 PM
I think people overestimate how much lifetime the Saturn had. The Saturn was released in the US in mid '95 and by mid '97 it was all over. In this time, Sonic Team alone completed Nights (which was fantastic and polished, albeit too short as most Saturn games were) and then Burning Rangers (also short). In the middle of all this they also completed the 3D parts of Jam and 3D Blast and started work on Sonic Adventure which was mostly done by late 1997. Very impressive output for a small team. Yuji Naka must be one hell of a manager.

The guy was famous for not leaving the office. I recall him saying something about sleeping under his desk while programming Ghouls n Ghosts.

That was also one of the reasons for the trouble he had in America w/ Sonic 2. The Americans would go home at the end of the work day, while he and the Japanese would work long hours of overtime.

Team Andromeda
05-10-2018, 01:24 PM
I think people overestimate how much lifetime the Saturn had. The Saturn was released in the US in mid '95 and by mid '97 it was all over. In this time, Sonic Team alone completed Nights (which was fantastic and polished, albeit too short as most Saturn games were) and then Burning Rangers (also short). In the middle of all this they also completed the 3D parts of Jam and 3D Blast and started work on Sonic Adventure which was mostly done by late 1997. Very impressive output for a small team. Yuji Naka must be one hell of a manager.

Sonic Team would have had access to Saturn in 1994 and known about it. When SEGA made the Saturn they would have been looking at a 6 year lifespan no doubt, But you look at most top corps and they look to get their best-selling IP on any new console with-in 2 years of the system being on sale. SEGA really should have had Sonic being worked on in 1994, not leave it until 1996, more so when you knew you had to take on the might of SONY and not just Nintendo. I agree about the Japanese work ethic (but so do western teams put the hours in, at crush time) and also how Naka-san was a genius coder, but the top brass at SOJ needed to get their best-selling IP on the Saturn and they really messed up on that score

Team Andromeda
05-10-2018, 01:28 PM
I don't think Sega supported the Mega Drive for too long at all. Quite the opposite actually. The Mega Drive still had legs in 1995 and was already in millions of homes worldwide.

It didn't have legs, Mega Drive software sales were in decline and if look at the sales for software in 1995 it wasn't great for the likes of Comix Zone, Vectorman II even Sonic games was seeing sales decline, despite the massive userbase, Sonic 3 and S&K numbers are nothing to those of the 1st 2 games.
The 16 bit sales market was in decline. It was time to move on and have your In-House teams work on the new system and just leave 3rd parties to handle the support for games.

stu
05-10-2018, 02:14 PM
The question is: how well did those late MD/Genesis games (Vectorman, Sonic 3D Blast, etc) sell?

I can't speak of Vectorman but according to Mike Wallis, Sonic 3D sold in excess of 700,000 units, not too shabby for a system that "some" people say was a "dead" system that didn't deserve support.


Sega-16: Sonic 3D Blast was Segaís back up plan in case Xtreme didnít make it out in time for the í96 holiday season. Sega released a Genesis version, even though it had discontinued the platform a year before in order to concentrate on the Saturn. Why do you think they did this? Could it be that Japanese management realized the mistake it made by killing the hardware too early?
Mike Wallis: No, there was always the intention of doing a Genesis version of Sonic 3D Blast. Hardware cycles being what they are, just because a console system is canceled doesnít mean software sales will immediately cease. In fact, with the Saturn sales still ramping up, and with the massive installed base of Genesis owners, Sega knew a Genesis version of3D Blast would still sell. And sell it did, over 700k units if I remember correctly.

http://www.sega-16.com/2007/06/interview-mike-wallis/

As for a proper Sonic game on Saturn in 1995, tbh I would of thought it would have been better to have delayed Sonic 3+Sonic & Knuckles and moved it over to the Saturn as a US launch title, joined the games together and made it a pseudo-3d title. Of course they still would have had Genesis version of the game, but cut down like they did with the Master System versions of Sonic 1 and 2 (and on 1 32Mbit cart instead of the lock on system).

Melf
05-10-2018, 08:50 PM
I wouldn't say locked out, just that SEGA Japan, like Nintendo Japan, SONY Japan didn't share game engines with outside teams. So why Bernie thought he would be able to change a Japanese tradition is anyone guess.

Not sharing is about the same as locking out. It's not a good way to do business.


These, studios would be?

Most of the others like STI and SSIDD. It's not clear to me if any games that used them were ever released.


They did and told, Rertro gamer.

Well, Joe Miller told me himself, so... I guess it's a question of who do you believe. Personally, after speaking to Miller, he definitely did not come across as the kind of guy who diagrams stuff on napkins.


100% owned by SEGA America and all for them to make just one or 2 games, yet another example of poor management by SEGA America, to add to the mess up with Multi Mega Studio and STI

They had been exclusive Sega developers for several years by then and produced the NFL Football and World Series Baseball series, as well as Jurassic Park, which was a monster hit. Why wouldn't they buy them? Remember that Sega switched platforms shortly after, and it was BlueSky that wanted out of the deal after it saw the Saturn.

STI wasn't a mess at all. It produced the best Sonic games, made Kid Chameleon, Comix Zone and Die Hard Arcade. They were a pretty solid studio.


It didn't have legs, Mega Drive software sales were in decline and if look at the sales for software in 1995 it wasn't great for the likes of Comix Zone, Vectorman II even Sonic games was seeing sales decline, despite the massive userbase, Sonic 3 and S&K numbers are nothing to those of the 1st 2 games.
The 16 bit sales market was in decline.

Even in decline, the numbers made development more than profitable. 700k for a non-mainstream Sonic game is pretty damn good. You just don't walk away from a 40 million-strong user base. But, Japan was eager to move on from the MD, so it dragged the other territories with it, and the company suffered as a whole.

[quote]It was time to move on and have your In-House teams work on the new system and just leave 3rd parties to handle the support for games.[quote]

The opposite. Sega should have kept that market alive another year, as it would have helped make up for losses from new hardware sales. Nintendo did exactly that and it was a boon to them.

gamevet
05-10-2018, 09:18 PM
You might need to brush up. Bernie didn't join SEGA America untill July 1996 and looked to get the game out for Fall 1996, so where you get a year from, its anyone guess


I'll concede the year, but the Boss' game engine was based on Naka's Nights engine. Coffin crunched on the game for nearly 8 weeks, working 16 to 20 hours a day, before collapsing and being hospitalized. That was when the game was finally cancelled.

All of the changes and designs that got axed by SOJ put the STI teams in a bind, with STI's lead programmer quitting in frustration early on, leaving Senn to program the game, only to have all of the work he and Ofer did, scrapped in favor of Coffin's boss battle design.

Gryson
05-10-2018, 09:56 PM
You just don't walk away from a 40 million-strong user base. But, Japan was eager to move on from the MD, so it dragged the other territories with it, and the company suffered as a whole.

Can you back this up with anything? Even in your earliest interviews, you make the assertion that the Genesis was discontinued at the end of 1994.

I have a quote from Nakayama (from a Japanese newspaper in early 1996, I believe) saying that the American market for the Genesis was still thriving and he hoped to sell at least 1 million Genesis units in 1996.

A source of some sort would be nice.

Team Andromeda
05-10-2018, 10:31 PM
Not sharing is about the same as locking out. It's not a good way

I would agree, but that was the way The Japanese worked and I very much doubt itís any different now within SEGA and Nintendo, I gather since the PS3 Sony share a tool base, but not sure if they share game engines between their American and Japanese divisions.


Well, Joe Miller told me himself, so... I guess it's a question of who do you believe. Personally, after speaking to Miller, he definitely did not come across as the kind of guy who diagrams stuff on napkins.

Itís wasnít quite napkins, but more on an Hotel notepad, if one listens to Scott and Marty. It was Marty who drew the diagram and made the outline of The SH2s on the notepad, on their very day too


Most of the others like STI and SSIDD. It's not clear to me if any games that used them were ever released. So staff were required to be transported to different areas to use SG workstations in Multi Media Studio ?. Sounds like a shambles to me.


They had been exclusive Sega developers for several years by then and produced the NFL Football and World Series Baseball series, as well as Jurassic Park, which was a monster hit. Why wouldn't they buy them? Remember that Sega switched platforms shortly after, and it was BlueSky that wanted out of the deal after it saw the Saturn.

By all means buy them, but if all they do is make a couple of games and nothing on the Saturn and a pretty rubbish 32X game. Seems to me, to been a waste of money and more bad handling of yet another studio from SEGA America.

And STI was in a complete mess in the 32bit days . I very much doubt any of the Native staff had any major say or involvement in the Somic games, much less Die Hard Arcade. I read the Japanese staff worked on a different floor at STI.


Even in decline, the numbers made development more than profitable. 700k for a non-mainstream Sonic game is pretty damn good. You just don't walk away from a 40 million-strong user base. But, Japan was eager to move on from the MD, so it dragged the other territories with it, and the company suffered as a whole.


One needs too, when the 40 million strong user base, just isnít buying the games in the numbers they were . What were the sales of the Ooze, Vectorman 2, Ristar. I donít think the sales were great, maybe not dire but not brilliant given over 40 million plus owners.


Nintendo did exactly that and it was a boon to them.
Not really, looking over the SNES came out 2 years after the MD, the N64 was also delayed for a year and even Nintendo profits were being hit, with a decline of Snes sales.

Melf
05-10-2018, 11:56 PM
So staff were required to be transported to different areas to use SG workstations in Multi Media Studio ?. Sounds like a shambles to me.

Why? Most were in the same compound (all but STI, I believe, but even they soon joined). It wasn't that far from the PD building to where the MMS was. It's not like they were across town. SOJ was also spread over several buildings (which they will now consolidate in August). It was quite normal.


By all means buy them, but if all they do is make a couple of games and nothing on the Saturn and a pretty rubbish 32X game. Seems to me, to been a waste of money and more bad handling of yet another studio from SEGA America.

How is it bad handling to buy a developer that has made a sting of hits for you? They made few games AFTER the purchase, and I doubt anyone at SOA had a crystal ball to see that their output would drop.


And STI was in a complete mess in the 32bit days . I very much doubt any of the Native staff had any major say or involvement in the Somic games, much less Die Hard Arcade. I read the Japanese staff worked on a different floor at STI.

There was a lot of restructuring overall at that time, not just at STI. From what I read and have been told, they were on the same floor but across the hall. Members came and went between the teams.


One needs too, when the 40 million strong user base, just isnít buying the games in the numbers they were . What were the sales of the Ooze, Vectorman 2, Ristar. I donít think the sales were great, maybe not dire but not brilliant given over 40 million plus owners.

I think Sega wouldn't expect to sell the same amount in 1996 as it did in 1992, considering market saturation and the new hardware on the horizon. Still if you only make $50 million in profit vs. $75 million a few years before, it's still profit. When the Saturn launched and stumbled, that profit - even reduced - would have brought some much-needed relief to Sega.


Not really, looking over the SNES came out 2 years after the MD, the N64 was also delayed for a year and even Nintendo profits were being hit, with a decline of Snes sales.

A decline doesn't mean a product is no longer viable. Nintendo had no intention of boosting SNES sales by that point. It was simply milking all the extra profit it could from the 16-bit market. Sega should have done the same. I don't know why you argue the opposite, because that's just what Sega did, and it was cash-strapped and in trouble for the whole 32-bit era. There was still profit to be made in the U.S. in the 16-bit market, and Sega simply walked away from it.


It didn't have legs, Mega Drive software sales were in decline and if look at the sales for software in 1995 it wasn't great for the likes of Comix Zone, Vectorman II even Sonic games was seeing sales decline, despite the massive userbase, Sonic 3 and S&K numbers are nothing to those of the 1st 2 games.

Both Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles each sold over a million copies. Comparing them to the first 2 games is unfair, since neither were bundled with hardware as Sonic 1 and 2 were. And a million copies isn't a success? Hell, NFL '98 on Genesis sold a million copies, IN 1997!! Saying the market is no longer viable because the numbers don't equal those of 4 years earlier makes no sense. By 1996, making Genesis games was really cheap, so the profits were potentially much larger in percentage. It was easy money that Sega simply ignored.

Mega Drive Bowlsey
05-11-2018, 05:16 AM
I agree with Melf completely. I've thought for years that Sega could have made much more money from the 16-bit market than they did, and that cash would have provided them with a welcome boost during their struggles in the 32-bit era.

Team Andromeda
05-11-2018, 09:01 AM
Why? Most were in the same compound (all but STI, I believe, but even they soon joined).


I thought STI was in SEGA HQ in America and the Multi-Media Studio in a different and separate location. This was in the days before decent high-speed internet connections and so it would have involved staff traveling from one location to the next. I've heard of staff having to share SGI workstations in the same building via the server, not really staff in different locations needing to share SGI workstations and to me, the likes of STI shouldn't have needed too and had their own SGI workstations, given they were meant to be SEGA America elite In-House team.


How is it bad handling to buy a developer that has made a sting of hits for you?

Becasue after the date you said they were bought, their output wasn't great and they aberslotuly failed to make anything on the Saturn and made one crappy 32X game. Not why one buys a new studio when you're about to launch next-gen systems .
In fact bar Bug, Star Wars Arcade, NBA Action and NHL All Stars Hockey 98 and Duke and Quake SEGA America 32bit output was just dire.


There was a lot of restructuring overall at that time, not just at STI. From what I read and have been told, they were on the same floor but across the hall
That happens, but I read even on the development of Sonic II, the Japanese staff worked separate hours, didn't apply to USA union rules over wages or working hours and worked on a separate floor to that of the native STI staff. One only needs to look at the vast difference in quality to the Japanese Sonic Team Sonic games, to games developed by most of the main USA staff at STI, I mean Greendog or Kid Chameleon were hardly Sonic's


I think Sega wouldn't expect to sell the same amount in 1996 as it did in 1992
Is that code for sales weren't that great. 16 bit software sales were in decline and despite the massive user base, SOR III, Vectorman II, Comic Zone, The Oose, Ristar did not sell in big numbers


Still if you only make $50 million in profit vs. $75 million a few years before, it's still profit. When the Saturn launched and stumbled, that profit - even reduced
Saturn launched in 1994 and in that year SEGA made a huge profit, so it did in 1995 That's despite developing 2 different 32 bit systems and launching them - that tends to be the time your profits get hit. What cost SEGA was the lack of market share, but even Nintendo was seeing its profits being reduced with lower Snes software sales.
The 16 bit market for software was in decline and SONY took advantage of both SEGA and Nintendo utter rubbish handling of the jump to the next gen. Even in 1995 despite a much lower user base, the software charts were dominated by PS software.


Nintendo had no intention of boosting SNES sales by that point

Nintendo had no intention of supporting the Snes for so long, it was simply focused to by the delay in the N64 chipset No matter how one paints it, the MD launched 2 years before... SEGA was always going to be launching its next-gen system before Nintendo. You can talk of big user base, it didn't get any bigger than the PS or PS2 userbase and yet SONY launched the PS2 6 years after the PS and the PS3 some 6 years after the PS2 (it would have been 5 if not for a delay) . One can forget 40 million, the PS2 and PS each had 100 million plus userbase and yet SONY still only left it for 6 years before launching their successors; the same gap bewteen the Mega Drive and Saturn launching

Alianger
05-11-2018, 03:51 PM
Here is the archived Japan sales chart for the Saturn:

https://web.archive.org/web/20081230005343/http://www.japan-gamecharts.com/sat.php

But there's a big caveat: the exact numbers are probably not accurate. They were extrapolated from Famitsu sales charts, which don't list actual sales but rather "points." Sega apparently reported 1.5 million pre-order sales of VF2, for example, which exceeds the total sales on the chart, so something is off. Who knows how off it is, though. I think the chart is good for a rough estimate and for a ranking, though.

Interesting, so Shining Force 3 didn't sell in JP?

gamevet
05-12-2018, 01:44 AM
Is that code for sales weren't that great. 16 bit software sales were in decline and despite the massive user base, SOR III, Vectorman II, Comic Zone, The Oose, Ristar did not sell in big numbers


Saturn launched in 1994 and in that year SEGA made a huge profit, so it did in 1995 That's despite developing 2 different 32 bit systems and launching them - that tends to be the time your profits get hit. What cost SEGA was the lack of market share, but even Nintendo was seeing its profits being reduced with lower Snes software sales.
The 16 bit market for software was in decline and SONY took advantage of both SEGA and Nintendo utter rubbish handling of the jump to the next gen. Even in 1995 despite a much lower user base, the software charts were dominated by PS software.




The sales numbers for Donkey Kong Country 2 and 3 don't align with what you are saying.

http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/Donkey_Kong

Also, the top selling game per year points to Super Mario Bros. 2: Yoshi's Island (1995) as the best seller of that year.

http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2013/04/the-best-video-games-to-come-out-every-year-since-the-atari-2600/pokmon-crystal

Team Andromeda
05-12-2018, 04:35 AM
The sales numbers for Donkey Kong Country 2 and 3 don't align with what you are saying.


Both games did not sell as well as the 1st and even Nintendo was seeing a huge drop in their profits due to lower sales of Snes software, with a 16 % reduction to their profits. One look at the 1995 charts saw PS and PC CD-ROM software making up most of the charts in Pal land, I doubt it was different in the USA.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4400/37037326672_aacea620ef_k.jpg

Melf
05-12-2018, 01:19 PM
No one expected them to sell as well as the first. Remember, it cost far less to make a Genesis game in 1996 than it did in 1991, so selling 1 million vs 4 million was still profitable. Sega and Nintendo were aware of the changing hardware cycle and factored that into their sales projections. That dip didn't come as a surprise to either company.

Team Andromeda
05-12-2018, 03:04 PM
No one expected them to sell as well as the first. Remember, it cost far less to make a Genesis game in 1996 than it did in 1991, so selling 1 million vs 4 million was still profitable. Sega and Nintendo were aware of the changing hardware cycle and factored that into their sales projections. That dip didn't come as a surprise to either company.

That's changing the debate a little. I don' think anyone made out the games were profitable . they just weren't selling in high numbers, despite an increasing user base and people who owned the Hardware. It was clear that the 16-bit software was in decline, even for Nintendo. 6 years is more than enough for consoels and only what SONY gave both the PS and PS2.

gamevet
05-12-2018, 09:13 PM
Sony supported the PS2 for 11 years. Their last published title was MLB 11: The Show.

TrekkiesUnite118
05-12-2018, 10:08 PM
Sony supported the PS2 for 11 years. Their last published title was MLB 11: The Show.

They also supported the PS1 for at least 8 years with their last PS1 game coming out in 2002. The System itself though was still getting games as late as 2004. And if you really want to get technical, Sony supported the PS2 for 13 years as the last game they published was Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin in 2013 for Japan.

stu
05-12-2018, 10:54 PM
Sony supported the PS2 for 11 years. Their last published title was MLB 11: The Show.


They also supported the PS1 for at least 8 years with their last PS1 game coming out in 2002. The System itself though was still getting games as late as 2004. And if you really want to get technical, Sony supported the PS2 for 13 years as the last game they published was Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin in 2013 for Japan.


I've also previously posted that MS has supported the Xbox360 nearly 10 years with the release of Forza Horizon 2 in 2014. Sony also brought out big games out on PS3 for in excess of 7 years - Last of Us came out in 2013 - 7 years after the launch. Of course TA ignored both of those since it doesn't fit with his stupid bullshit narrative. :lol:

Team Andromeda
05-13-2018, 03:40 AM
Sony supported the PS2 for 11 years. Their last published title was MLB 11: The Show.

Sigh.... SEGA still made and produced software after the Saturn launch in 1994 for the Mega Drive. Now despite sales of 90 million consoles, PS software dominating the charts. SONY still felt the need to bring out the PS2 in 2000, just six years after the PS and people here have a go at SEGA, for doing just the same?.

Team Andromeda
05-13-2018, 03:55 AM
I've also previously posted that MS has supported the Xbox360 nearly 10 years with the release of Forza Horizon 2 in 2014. Sony also brought out big games out on PS3 for in excess of 7 years - Last of Us came out in 2013 - 7 years after the launch. Of course TA ignored both of those since it doesn't fit with his stupid bullshit narrative. :lol:

SEGA was still bringing out Mega Drive software in 1997 only a year shy of 10 years. Why was it ok for SONY to bring out the PS2 just 6 years after the PS and the PS3 just 6 years after the PS2 (the best selling console of all time). You seem to forget that the Mega Drive came out in 1988 and yet SEGA was still producing software in 1997 for the MD or how MS dropped the OG XBox like a stone;You talk of Forza 4 and MS 360? 6 Years into the Mega Drive life, SEGA was making the likes of S&K, Sonic 3m, Streets of Rage IV, Virtual Racing In House, as well as producing a lot of software, so I wouldn't talk of ingorance if I was you.

Also very nice to see you insult me and be nasty, I remember that the next time you have the cheek to make out that I'm hostile to members.

sull56ivan2010
05-13-2018, 08:38 AM
SEGA was still bringing out Mega Drive software in 1997 only a year shy of 10 years. Why was it ok for SONY to bring out the PS2 just 6 years after the PS and the PS3 just 6 years after the PS2 (the best selling console of all time). You seem to forget that the Mega Drive came out in 1988 and yet SEGA was still producing software in 1997 for the MD or how MS dropped the OG XBox like a stone;You talk of Forza 4 and MS 360? 6 Years into the Mega Drive life, SEGA was making the likes of S&K, Sonic 3m, Streets of Rage IV, Virtual Racing In House, as well as producing a lot of software, so I wouldn't talk of ingorance if I was you.

Also very nice to see you insult me and be nasty, I remember that the next time you have the cheek to make out that I'm hostile to members.

You're not winning anybody over with your narrow minded perspective, and that includes BonusKun and Melf. This and the Switch topic are prime examples. I'll bite at the Sony stuff since you like repeating yourself. Sony was healthy to consider doing a new system six years after whatever they have had. But they also supported it for a few extra years after their successor came out. Nobody is saying Sega shouldn't have released the Saturn six years later. It's the execution of it that hurts it and ultimately doomed it from the very beginning. That's what frustrates people.

gamevet
05-13-2018, 01:09 PM
Sigh.... SEGA still made and produced software after the Saturn launch in 1994 for the Mega Drive. Now despite sales of 90 million consoles, PS software dominating the charts. SONY still felt the need to bring out the PS2 in 2000, just six years after the PS and people here have a go at SEGA, for doing just the same?.

Sony didn't stop manufacturing and selling PS/PS2 after 6 years, like you're trying to suggest. Hell, Sony didn't officially discontinue the PS2 until 2013.

And nobody is suggesting that Sega shouldn't have brought the Saturn out 6 years after the Genesis. What they are suggesting is that Sega should have continued to show strong software support for the Mega Drive/Genesis for at least a couple of years after the Saturn launched. Even Nintendo did it for the SNES after they launched the N64.

Team Andromeda
05-14-2018, 06:15 PM
Sony didn't stop manufacturing and selling PS/PS2 after 6 years, like you're trying to suggest. Hell, Sony didn't officially discontinue the PS2 until 2013.
.


That is not what I ever said. Get your facts right, I was on about In-House software. SEGA kept on making In-House software years after the Saturn 1st hit and also I think kept on manufacturing the Mega Drive till 1998. Yet some here make out SEGA killed the MD early lol

Team Andromeda
05-14-2018, 06:22 PM
I'll bite at the Sony stuff since you like repeating yourself. Sony was healthy to consider doing a new system six years after whatever they have had. But they also supported it for a few extra years after their successor came out. Nobody is saying Sega shouldn't have released the Saturn six years later. It's the execution of it that hurts it and ultimately doomed it from the very beginning. That's what frustrates people.

No some of making out SEGA killed the MD early when they did not. In fact, SEGA made more software for the Mega Drive after the Saturn, contrast to that of the MS with the 360 after the XBox One hit, or the OG XBox after the 360 launched. It's not just SONY or MS. Nintendo didn't make many gamed for the N64 after the Cube launched same went for the Cube when the Wii launched, same for the Wii after the Wii U launched and same for the Wii U after the Swtich. And forget 6 year hardware cycle or the Mega Drive 8 .. The Cube had just 5, same for the N64 and the Wii U did even get 5 . And yet some still want to single out SEGA.

WarmSignal
05-14-2018, 09:16 PM
So taking this back on topic... what I gather is that Sega was scrounging together what little resources they had left to focus on Dreamcast development, but that doesn't really explain why no third party wanted to release a title on the platform for the nearly year and half that nothing was appearing on it. Most of the really late titles for any console will come from third parties, so it seems peculiar. I would guess that maybe the situation with Saturn at the retail level probably discouraged any further support in 1998. I'd imagine it was a lot like Vita, stores weren't willing to dedicate the shelf-space for it and in some causes just ridding it altogether for not selling well. As we know with the Saturn, several major retailers refused to stock it at all.

gamevet
05-15-2018, 01:28 AM
So taking this back on topic... what I gather is that Sega was scrounging together what little resources they had left to focus on Dreamcast development, but that doesn't really explain why no third party wanted to release a title on the platform for the nearly year and half that nothing was appearing on it. Most of the really late titles for any console will come from third parties, so it seems peculiar. I would guess that maybe the situation with Saturn at the retail level probably discouraged any further support in 1998. I'd imagine it was a lot like Vita, stores weren't willing to dedicate the shelf-space for it and in some causes just ridding it altogether for not selling well. As we know with the Saturn, several major retailers refused to stock it at all.

Yeah, that's exactly what happened. Why would anyone use shelf space for something that isn't selling well, when they can use that space for the stuff that generates more at the register.

Team Andromeda
05-15-2018, 10:33 AM
So taking this back on topic... what I gather is that Sega was scrounging together what little resources they had left to focus on Dreamcast development, but that doesn't really explain why no third party wanted to release a title on the platform for the nearly year and half that nothing was appearing on it. Most of the really late titles for any console will come from third parties, so it seems peculiar. I would guess that maybe the situation with Saturn at the retail level probably discouraged any further support in 1998. I'd imagine it was a lot like Vita, stores weren't willing to dedicate the shelf-space for it and in some causes just ridding it altogether for not selling well. As we know with the Saturn, several major retailers refused to stock it at all.

Most 3rd parties looked to wait to see if the DC would take off or just play safe and back the PS2. Also I think you are a little wrong, quite a lot of 3rd parties were on the DC right at the start other than EA and to a point Konami (but they were always SONY)