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Thread: Is Tom Kalinske full of it?

  1. #46
    Social Justice Ninja Master of Shinobi IrishNinja's Avatar
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    damn, this really is a thorough thread/OP. i'd been wondering why some members on here really didn't seem to care much for Kalinske...as was said, there's known inconsistencies (one popular one is how he distances himself/SOA from the 32X, but i wanna say interviews from this very site kinda debunk that), but most stuff i too write off as a marketer telling tall tales, as they tend to do.

    looking at the specific claims made in Console Wars, it feels much more like a Stan Lee approach to simply taking credit for "anything not nailed down"...and even in the day, i saw very little on Katz. by the time Sega Visions kicked into high gear, i feel like Tom's tenure wasn't far off, and saw him there & then many other places - that Next Generation (god, i miss that mag) interview was a great example. having seen so many discussions on here about 32X & Saturn fiascoes (from both sides), it's refreshing seeing those citations.


  2. #47
    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Its simple . Tom takes credit for all the good stuff and blames SOJ for all the bad stuff. To see him trying to take credit for SONIC is laughable, but he does desver a lot of credit for pushing Sonic and packing the game in with Mega Drive systems . Also anyone who played Rad Mobile in 1990 would have got a very early look at Sonic
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    Master of Shinobi Gentlegamer's Avatar
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    The final redpill on Tom is when you all finally start questioning his market share claims from back in the day, too.

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    Kalinske's account of the Pico's failure in the US has always bugged me. He claims SoJ forced him to abandon the project because profit margins were too low and that it would be easier to make money by just making another Sonic title.

    The problem with that is that the Pico was Nakayama's pet project. He invested a lot into it and was personally motivated to see it succeed because his interests were shifting into making more educational products. At the end of 1992 he founded an NPO (The Nakayama Foundation for Human Science) which is still around today and has a focus on gaming for kids.

    Nakayama's dedication to the Pico shows in its success in Japan: it sold several million units there and continued to be sold for many years.

    It doesn't really add up that Nakayama would suddenly throw the Pico under the bus in the US. It just seems more likely that SoA hated the Pico because it was so against their entire marketing strategy of "cool, loud, and in your face".

    Meanwhile, Kalinske would go on to work for Leapfrog, so he has a good reason to re-write history to explain away his failure with the Pico.

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    The Gaming Gangsta Master of Shinobi profholt82's Avatar
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    In most cases, the victors write the history books, but in this case, due to Nintendo's tight lips and the fact that they are still a viable company, Sega (Tom Kalinske in particular) can write the history as they see fit. This was made even easier because of the story that Blake Harris wanted to tell, he went in with a preset bias. Tom has granted more interviews than I care to count about Sega's history over the past decade, and he always paints himself in the most flattering light. Not only was Nintendo the enemy, but so was Sega of Japan. Saint Tom was a savior.

    Most Sega enthusiasts and many video game fans in general understand that this is just Tom being Tom. But to the general public, when a book like 'Console Wars' comes along, it is seen as a factual document of the events regardless of the embellishments. But in a sense, that is how most of our historical stories are. It's impossible to know the exact truth unless you were there. It reminds me of a famous quote in John Ford's 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.' "This is the West, sir. When the truth becomes legend, print the legend." Never let annoying things like facts get in the way of a good story.

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    For what it's worth, I've interviewed both Al Nilsen and Shinobu Toyoda, and both men, without prompting, sang Tom's praises and laid a lot of the success of the Genesis at his feet. I understand people being a bit reluctant to trust Tom when he gives himself credit. But I think it's silly to discount the praise he receives from the people he worked with.

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    Master of Shinobi Bottino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by profholt82 View Post
    In most cases, the victors write the history books, but in this case, due to Nintendo's tight lips and the fact that they are still a viable company, Sega (Tom Kalinske in particular) can write the history as they see fit. This was made even easier because of the story that Blake Harris wanted to tell, he went in with a preset bias. Tom has granted more interviews than I care to count about Sega's history over the past decade, and he always paints himself in the most flattering light. Not only was Nintendo the enemy, but so was Sega of Japan. Saint Tom was a savior.

    Most Sega enthusiasts and many video game fans in general understand that this is just Tom being Tom. But to the general public, when a book like 'Console Wars' comes along, it is seen as a factual document of the events regardless of the embellishments. But in a sense, that is how most of our historical stories are. It's impossible to know the exact truth unless you were there. It reminds me of a famous quote in John Ford's 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.' "This is the West, sir. When the truth becomes legend, print the legend." Never let annoying things like facts get in the way of a good story.
    This.
    It also doesn't help the fact that VG journalists, youtubers etc. also contribute to that scenario, by spreading around unchecked facts and perpetrating myths and lies, which then the internet helps to reverberate it. Something that we see every day - in a multitude of forms - regarding politics, economics etc.

    Excellent thread BTW.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-Training fr0zenbuttox's Avatar
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    i don't know if this is appropriate to post this, but.

    1: i don't see a thread starter, assuming i don't have thread-starting privileges yet.
    2: this news article paints how weirdly ambitious kalinske was, without seeing the context of the actual execution.
    3: this gives a little bit more meaningful discussion. allowing to relook into old articles about the intentions that overthrew sega.

    http://venturebeat.com/2016/08/10/fo...eate-sonic-go/

    i'm sorry, but a sonic go. really doesn't seem like a good type of concept at all. we all just can't be trying to make any type of game thats a big social phenomenon like pokemon. by that terms. we also should have. an yakuza go, a pso go. and halo go.

    seriously, a large majorty of gaming magazine interviews really have a proper insight for looking back on what proper reason is responsible for sega's problems today (remember golden axe: beast rider? neither i do i ) and any subtext thats often overlooked. case in point. remember our very own interview with him way back in 2006:

    I told them “you can’t have this title in there, called Altered Beast, because that’s not going to sell in Kansas. Also, you must develop software in the U.S., and you’re relying too much on Japanese software.

    you must develop software in the U.S., and you’re relying too much on Japanese software.

    was he implying, that they should make software only in the us? i'm really curious about this one saying at the time right now as i'm thinking.

  9. #54
    King of the Ring WCPO Agent ThugsRook's Avatar
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    IMHO...

    SOA was the death of Sega.
    we actually liked the very Japanese influence! (in the games) we just wanted them in english!
    we did not want them "Americanized".
    SOJ is why we liked Sega.


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    No success was the death of Sega. What SOA did to achieve it worked well, treat the customers and retailers well and filling gaps Nintendo left open. Even with a small amount of third party licenses Sega managed to release a lot of great games with their known arcade titles, movie and sport licenses. All they had to do was to continue make great games, promote the snot out of those games, not waste money and customer loyalty with addons, and design a programmer friendly system to replace the Genesis down the road. While they did make some great games they did none of the other things.

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    Social Justice Ninja Master of Shinobi IrishNinja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fr0zenbuttox View Post
    we also should have. an yakuza go
    yes please

    wait wait, how would that work? just walk down the street, scan someone, yell some japanese & randomly fight them?

    ...yes please


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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-Training fr0zenbuttox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishNinja View Post
    yes please

    wait wait, how would that work? just walk down the street, scan someone, yell some japanese & randomly fight them?

    ...yes please
    well, maybe i would want a yakuza go. if its a straight pokemon go idea without the weird social media levels of trying to bring weird twitter/facebook/youtube hipsters into the mix. use unfunny memes for anything related to personal status agenda. and going as far to cause incredibly dumb people to get hit by a car.

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by fr0zenbuttox View Post
    i don't know if this is appropriate to post this, but.

    1: i don't see a thread starter, assuming i don't have thread-starting privileges yet.
    2: this news article paints how weirdly ambitious kalinske was, without seeing the context of the actual execution.
    3: this gives a little bit more meaningful discussion. allowing to relook into old articles about the intentions that overthrew sega.

    http://venturebeat.com/2016/08/10/fo...eate-sonic-go/

    i'm sorry, but a sonic go. really doesn't seem like a good type of concept at all. we all just can't be trying to make any type of game thats a big social phenomenon like pokemon. by that terms. we also should have. an yakuza go, a pso go. and halo go.

    seriously, a large majorty of gaming magazine interviews really have a proper insight for looking back on what proper reason is responsible for sega's problems today (remember golden axe: beast rider? neither i do i ) and any subtext thats often overlooked. case in point. remember our very own interview with him way back in 2006:

    I told them “you can’t have this title in there, called Altered Beast, because that’s not going to sell in Kansas. Also, you must develop software in the U.S., and you’re relying too much on Japanese software.

    you must develop software in the U.S., and you’re relying too much on Japanese software.

    was he implying, that they should make software only in the us? i'm really curious about this one saying at the time right now as i'm thinking.
    What a clickbait thread. It's a neat read but the headline is totally misleading since "Sonic Go" is mentioned twice in the entire thing. Once in the clickbait title, and again in the actual interview where they ask him If you were launching Sonic Go, how would you do that? and all he says is "[laughs] That’s a great idea. I love Pokémon Go." Nothing about Sonic, what ridiculous journalism.
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  14. #59
    Master of Shinobi Gentlegamer's Avatar
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    Sonichu Go


  15. #60
    Master of Shinobi midnightrider's Avatar
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    Hmm... interesting note about Sega and other companies doing their own show, and effectively starting E3. They did so many things to shape the modern version of the industry back then.

    I wouldn't want a [Sega IP] Go. They're much more interesting when they do their own thing, like say, JSR with the cell shading, or actually having their games in genres Nintendo still hasn't touched(let alone Sony or Microsoft). Plus with Pokemon already, who can really break into that particular aspect of the market, and make any kind of success?

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