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Thread: Sega’s Financial Troubles: An Analysis of Export Revenue 1991-1998

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    but we all need to remember the SNES came out 2 years after the Mega Drive it was always going to seem a little newer and fresher. I think 5 years is more than enough for any console
    This is something I always considered when I look at console launches and their lifespans. Whenever my friends with a SNES picked on me because it was better than the Genesis my retort was always "it should be better they had a good 2 years to upgrade and refine the system to keep up." And I definitely agree that 5-6 years lifespan is more than enough for consoles, even today. Look at the hardware today and just the jump in the capabilities is insanely impressive. I've seen a lot of people complaining about buying a new console, but when you look at it we're getting 5 good years out of them and IMO that's plenty of time and I definitely get my money's worth out of them.
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  2. #17
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    Awesome thread. Sadly I can't give more rep to you, Gryson.

    Some notes about your article:
    - You made a mistake here:
    During 1993, the yen lost ~10% value against the dollar. This trend would continue through 1995 (1992: $1 = ¥127; 1993: $1 = ¥111; 1994: $1 = ¥102; 1995: $1 = ¥94). This spelled serious trouble for all of Japan’s exporters. Although it cost the same to manufacture the product in Japan, less money was being earned on it overseas.
    Yen didn't lose value against dollar, it was the opposite.
    Note that Nakayama said: "the second reason is the appreciation of the yen".
    The conjecture you drew based on the wrong assumption is therefore also incorrect.

    - You brought up a valid and very interesting point in terms of 3rd party sales share and how they impacted revenue as whole, but you also neglected some other factors.
    We need to remember that, initially, the European Mega Drive was actually a Japanese Mega Drive converted to PAL 50 Hz. The same for the units being sold in the rest of Asia and in South America. Later on it changed; you had both decentralized manufacturing and also licensed manufacturing of consoles such as Samsung and Tec Toy.

    - Furthermore, by 1993 and 1994 you had lots of 3rd party controllers and peripherals available in the market while early on it was pretty much all Sega. ASCII, STD Manufacturing and Honey Bee in Japan/Europe/US, Hori in Japan, Quickshot in Europe/Brazil/Australia, Competition Pro in US/Europe, etc.

    - We could expand the 3rd party software discussion, since some of the good/best selling genres for the platform also changed and SOJ lost a lot of ground in terms of market share.
    Acclaim had MK and WWF titles; Capcom had SFII and Muscle Bomber; SOJ failed to compete in those fronts, especially during 1993 (the big SNK hits such as FF2, AoF and SS would only be released in 1994).

    I'd also argue that early on SOJ pretty much dominated the beat'em up genre in the platform with SOR1, SOR2, GA1, GA2 while later on SOR3 and GA3 had to compete in a flooded market with several license-based games by Acclaim and the likes of Splatterhouse 3 (Namco also manufactured their own cartridges).

    - I'd also be interested in seeing some discussion on the licensed games released by SOJ in 1993 and 1994 in comparison to the previous years. I assume they failed to reproduce the success they had had with the likes of Michael Jackson's Moonwalker and Ayrton Senna's Super Monaco GP II.

    - Finally, we could speculate that the aging hardware, the lack of console-exclusive features and replayability, and Sega's Arcade shift to 3D games also made it more difficult to create good sellers by just porting arcade games to the Mega Drive. I'd point to OutRunners and Virtua Racing as different kinds of failed attempts, especially when compared to early releases such as OutRun, Super Monaco GP and Super Hang-On.
    MD's Outrun didn't have to compete with games such as Top Gear/Top Gear 2 and Super Mario Kart.

    - We probably should consider a Master System's sales drop off after 1992.
    Sonic Chaos certainly didn't sell as much as Sonic 2. And Deep Duck Trouble certainly isn't as popular as Lucky Dime Caper and Land of Illusion.
    Last edited by Barone; 04-17-2021 at 12:16 PM.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    We need to remember that, initially, the European Mega Drive was actually a Japanese Mega Drive converted to PAL 50 Hz.
    I don't that's quite the case, maybe for the Mega Drive's sold in Hong Kong. The Pal Mega Drive was a little different in that it didn't have the cartridge lock a slightly different size to the Japanese MD cartridge bay, the Japanese MD also lacked an RF out port and while the early Mega Drive's sold in Japan was made in Japan, the early Pal Mega Drive units were made in China.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    Awesome thread. Sadly I can't give more rep to you, Gryson.

    Some notes about your article:
    - You made a mistake here:

    Yen didn't lose value against dollar, it was the opposite.
    Note that Nakayama said: "the second reason is the appreciation of the yen".
    The conjecture you drew based on the wrong assumption is therefore also incorrect.
    Thanks - I corrected this to 'gained value' rather than 'lost value'. But it was just a terminology miss on my part. The point is still correct that this was bad for exporting. For example, a product that sold for $100 in the US would have brought in revenue of ¥12,700 in 1992, but the same product in 1995 would have brought in ¥9,400.

    - You brought up a valid and very interesting point in terms of 3rd party sales share and how they impacted revenue as whole, but you also neglected some other factors.
    We need to remember that, initially, the European Mega Drive was actually a Japanese Mega Drive converted to PAL 50 Hz. The same for the units being sold in the rest of Asia and in South America. Later on it changed; you had both decentralized manufacturing and also licensed manufacturing of consoles such as Samsung and Tec Toy.
    Do we have any clear dates on when localized manufacturing might have begun? As I mentioned in a comment above, I only ever saw mention of this in 1994 and beyond. But this is a bit of a muddy area since we don't know how Sega's revenue stream was working with localized manufacturing. I focused on overseas third-party royalties because that's one of the figures Sega reported, and the increase is really striking.

    - Furthermore, by 1993 and 1994 you had lots of 3rd party controllers and peripherals available in the market while early on it was pretty much all Sega. ASCII, STD Manufacturing and Honey Bee in Japan/Europe/US, Hori in Japan, Quickshot in Europe/Brazil/Australia, Competition Pro in US/Europe, etc.
    Good point - more competition in the peripherals domain too.

    - We could expand the 3rd party software discussion, since some of the good/best selling genres for the platform also changed and SOJ lost a lot of ground in terms of market share.
    Acclaim had MK and WWF titles; Capcom had SFII and Muscle Bomber; SOJ failed to compete in those fronts, especially during 1993 (the big SNK hits such as FF2, AoF and SS would only be released in 1994).

    I'd also argue that early on SOJ pretty much dominated the beat'em up genre in the platform with SOR1, SOR2, GA1, GA2 while later on SOR3 and GA3 had to compete in a flooded market with several license-based games by Acclaim and the likes of Splatterhouse 3 (Namco also manufactured their own cartridges).

    - I'd also be interested in seeing some discussion on the licensed games released by SOJ in 1993 and 1994 in comparison to the previous years. I assume they failed to reproduce the success they had had with the likes of Michael Jackson's Moonwalker and Ayrton Senna's Super Monaco GP II.
    Good points, but let me frame it in terms of the Japanese market. By 1993, Japan was focusing development almost exclusively on its home market. There are a few exceptions like SOR3 that were ordered by SOA and Virtua Racing which was supposed to be a worldwide showcase title, but most titles from 1993+ were designed to boost the Japanese market. And although it's not reflected in console sales numbers, 1992-1994 is considered the Mega Drive's peak by most people in Japan. Far more of the console's memorable titles came from that period than from 1988-1991. It's the time when Sega started to court its second party developers (like Treasure) to make up for the lack of exclusive titles from third parties there. Sega also established a special RPG development division in mid-1993 to expand the Japanese market more (one of the outcomes of this was that 'Mega RPG Project' thing).

    So, Japan was really starting to find its feet in its own market at this point (in terms of game development), and that let them transition to the same sort of thing on the Saturn. But they certainly put out far fewer titles that were competitive worldwide (and a lot of these late-era MD titles remained untranslated for a long time and are generally ignored nowadays, which is unfortunate, because I think games like Lord Monarch are absolutely some of the best of the system).

    This was, of course, NOT a case of Japan ignoring its international markets (at least, North America). SOA didn't really want Japan's games at that point, since they didn't consider most of them appealing to their market. There are some interesting things to be said about SOA's distaste for Japanese games then. I've done some very basic research on how SOA advertised Japanese-developed games vs. American-developed games here (spoiler: they basically did not advertise Japan's games much, even when they did decide to localize them).

    Another interesting occurrence was when Japan funded development of a title like Crusader of Centy or OutRunners and then SOA refused to localize it, but a third-party publisher localized it. So you have Japan funding and publishing Crusader of Centy, but Atlus licensing it and publishing it on the Genesis, and Data East doing the same with OutRunners. And then of course titles like Golden Axe III that were most likely intended for the international market but didn't get localized.

    There was just very little incentive for Japan to try to develop titles for the overseas markets when there was a very strong chance they wouldn't get localized. That, coupled with the push to boost the MD in Japan, led to a lot of more Japan-centric titles. If you look at the Japan-developed titles from 1993+, the vast majority of them were not localized (at least, that's my feeling--I have yet to count).

    All of this is to basically say that it's interesting that you see a decline in Japan's titles from 1993, which is likely true on an international scale, but not true within Japan.

    On the topic of the thread: Whether this affected overseas game sales is a really tough question. Clearly, SOA wanted to push its sports and licensed titles and thought that's where the market was. Europe and the rest of the world were kind of pushed to the side, so there's probably a connection with the revenue decline in Europe in 1993.

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    Is there data available on Nintendo's market share of software sales? If they had a similar business model to Sega I wonder if they were dealing with the same problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryson View Post
    There was just very little incentive for Japan to try to develop titles for the overseas markets when there was a very strong chance they wouldn't get localized. That, coupled with the push to boost the MD in Japan, led to a lot of more Japan-centric titles. If you look at the Japan-developed titles from 1993+, the vast majority of them were not localized (at least, that's my feeling--I have yet to count).
    I don't think any of the major console manufacturers ever made games that would appeal to the West more than Japan. I think in those days the teams just made the games they wanted to make for the most part. In an era when team sizes and development costs meant you only needed to sell maybe 50,00 to 100,000 units to make a profit. Nintendo USA had to use a completely different game to give a sequel to Mario and how many games made it over from Japan to the USA for the PC Engine, same for the Super Famicom

    I don't blame SOA for turning down Outrunners It wasn't a very good port and it wasn't like Outrun sold well on the Mega Drive in the USA. I just suspect that SEGA America was more interested more action games that SEGA Japan was producing or publishing with the likes of Treasure, Ancient games and the likes of Art Of Fightin and no doubt helped to fit in with SEGA cool, fast action style to boring Nintendo? I was very disappointed that Monster World IV was never translated but I guess sales of the early titles weren't that good in the West.

    I doubt in that period many games from NCL or SEGA Japan were ever developed for Western markets, but just worked the world over
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  7. #22
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    Let's say that speech made by Sega president Hayao Nakayama on January 17, 1994 as reported in your article, cites 2.5 reasons out of 3 as not depending on their offering. (I count .5 of the third one as bound to them as arcade games are sort of tight to the Mage Drive offering).
    If he was correct, than we should see the same trend on SNES home console & software numbers.
    If it is not the case then it proves something more/different could have been done, negating the fact the the shift of focus to the Saturn was sort of obliged.

    Honestly I still believe that the launch of Saturn was not completely a mistake but the medium term vision of not trying to win relevant third parties esclusives and the struggle in adapting to the 3D of most of the SEGA brands didn't allow SEGA to resist.

    Mega Drive in all this was not to be supported to delay Saturn, but was supposed to be supported to keep fresh and easy money coming back to allow investments.

    At least in the first two years of the life of SEGA Saturn. This means that, as I agree the support was there until 1995, maybe an extra year was needed.
    This means 2/3 AAA games, well advertised and published in all three markets.

    Actualy 1995 gave us some really strong titles such as:
    Ristar
    Alien Solider
    Skeleton Krew
    XMen 2: Clone Wars
    Gargoyles (US only)
    Weaponlord (US only)
    Vectorman
    Scooby Doo Mystery (US only)

    that could have been better advertised and published with a global release.
    Energies and money to do so would definitely came from not doing the 32X.

    Also if this would have been paired with not cancelling too many titles for MegaCD like:
    Power Drift
    Ultima Underworld
    Dark Seed
    Return to Zork
    King's Quest V
    Myst

    We would have:
    - one failed add-on less: 32X
    - better support of a relevant add-on like MegaCD/SEGA CD (that already has over 200 titles but, again, with very different release for the three main markets)
    - possibly a smooter transition from old platform to new one

  8. #23
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    Nintendo seems to have suffered the same problems as Sega beginning at the start of 1994. I'm not that knowledgeable in Nintendo's financials, but I will post this graph taken from here:



    Look at the period from 1993 to 1996, at the blue line. This is overall revenue for the entire fiscal year (where FY1994 = Apr 1993 - Mar 1994). The drop here is even more striking than Sega's overall revenue for the period 1993-1996, since Sega was able to prop itself up with its arcade business and with initial Saturn sales.

    I come across this thinking sometimes that Nintendo had a brilliant plan to subsist on the SNES alone into 1996, and that Sega should have done the same. Make no mistake: Nintendo was in a bad spot, and they were trying everything they could to get out of it. Yes, they had Donkey Kong Country which helped prop up their revenue, but it wasn't sustainable strategy on its own.

    First, there was the Virtual Boy, released mid-1995. Obviously, it didn't get Nintendo out of its slump.

    Then, there was the N64. Nintendo originally wanted this out by the end of 1995, but according to a former SGI engineer, the release got pushed back to the second half of 1996 due to hardware issues. This delay contributed to Nintendo losing the majority market share it had enjoyed since 1983 (but of course there were bigger issues too).

    Nintendo was really saved by the Game Boy, which had a huge revitalization beginning in 1997. The Game Boy sold more units than the N64 in 1997, and that was just the beginning of its second coming. Even then, Nintendo wasn't able to reach the same revenue peak it hit during the SNES era until the Wii.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryson View Post

    I come across this thinking sometimes that Nintendo had a brilliant plan to subsist on the SNES alone into 1996, and that Sega should have done the same. Make no mistake: Nintendo was in a bad spot, and they were trying everything they could to get out of it. Yes, they had Donkey Kong Country which helped prop up their revenue, but it wasn't sustainable strategy on its own.
    It wasn't a plan and instead forced on NCL by 2 delays to N64 Hardware meaning that the planned date of launch date of summer 1995 needed to be put back twice that's to also overlook how the Super Famicom launched nearly 2 years after the Mega Drive. Also, the 16-bit market was in decline and oversaturated. Even Nintendo saw a drop of over 41% in its net income 1994 compared to 1993, which lead to a 32% drop in its share price. Much the same for SEGA.
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  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryson View Post
    Good points, but let me frame it in terms of the Japanese market. By 1993, Japan was focusing development almost exclusively on its home market. There are a few exceptions like SOR3 that were ordered by SOA and Virtua Racing which was supposed to be a worldwide showcase title, but most titles from 1993+ were designed to boost the Japanese market. And although it's not reflected in console sales numbers, 1992-1994 is considered the Mega Drive's peak by most people in Japan. Far more of the console's memorable titles came from that period than from 1988-1991. It's the time when Sega started to court its second party developers (like Treasure) to make up for the lack of exclusive titles from third parties there. Sega also established a special RPG development division in mid-1993 to expand the Japanese market more (one of the outcomes of this was that 'Mega RPG Project' thing).

    So, Japan was really starting to find its feet in its own market at this point (in terms of game development), and that let them transition to the same sort of thing on the Saturn. But they certainly put out far fewer titles that were competitive worldwide (and a lot of these late-era MD titles remained untranslated for a long time and are generally ignored nowadays, which is unfortunate, because I think games like Lord Monarch are absolutely some of the best of the system).

    This was, of course, NOT a case of Japan ignoring its international markets (at least, North America). SOA didn't really want Japan's games at that point, since they didn't consider most of them appealing to their market. There are some interesting things to be said about SOA's distaste for Japanese games then. I've done some very basic research on how SOA advertised Japanese-developed games vs. American-developed games here (spoiler: they basically did not advertise Japan's games much, even when they did decide to localize them).
    I was focusing on the exports revenue.

    You could produce interesting analysis if you had a look at the EGM Video Game Buyers Guide over the years.
    I'm pretty sure you could find interesting things to pay attention to but I'll just highlight a few:
    - SOJ-developed games were the best sports games in 1989 and 1990. Starting in 1991, EA and Acclaim games begin to dominate the segment.
    - The percentage of western-developed games improves their participation in their "best" categories significantly from 1992 to 1993 and then to 1994. But that trend is reset with the release of PS1 and Saturn; PS1 games dominate their awards from 1995 and on.

    - I'd also add that both violence and digitized sprites hype were strong mostly in US and not so much in Japan.

    - Midway/Acclaim games such as MK3/UMK3, WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game (which pretty much uses MK3 controls), and NBA Jam/NBA Jam TE are IMHO a perfect representation of games developed with the US audience in mind and which were a significant departure from Japanese-developed games of the previous years: all those games use a shitload of voice clips (including in-game announcers), digitized sprites, sample-based music, TV-like presentation and over-the-top gameplay/humor.

    While back in 1989 you could have something such as Tommy Lasorda Baseball (which is a Japanese-developed game with minimal cosmetic changes to accommodate the US license) being a very competitive product, later on you'd need a lot more customization/localization to be able to compete in the US market.
    You could also compare James 'Buster' Douglas Knockout Boxing (Final Bow) to Evander Holyfield's Real Deal Boxing and then Greatest Heavyweights as a good example of how things used to be/how they should be.
    Last edited by Barone; 04-19-2021 at 06:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    I was focusing on the exports revenue.

    You could produce interesting analysis if you had a look at the EGM Video Game Buyers Guide over the years.
    I'm pretty sure you could find interesting things to pay attention to but I'll just highlight a few:
    - SOJ-developed games were the best sports games in 1989 and 1990. Starting in 1991, EA and Acclaim games begin to dominate the segment.
    - The percentage of western-developed games improves their participation in their "best" categories significantly from 1992 to 1993 and then to 1994. But that trend is reset with the release of PS1 and Saturn; PS1 games dominate their awards from 1995 and on.

    - I'd also add that both violence and digitized sprites hype were strong mostly in US and not so much in Japan.

    - Midway/Acclaim games such as MK3/UMK3, WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game (which pretty much uses MK3 controls), and NBA Jam/NBA Jam TE are IMHO a perfect representation of games developed with the US audience in mind and which were a significant departure from Japanese-developed games of the previous years: all those games use a shitload of voice clips (including in-game announcers), digitized sprites, sample-based music, TV-like presentation and over-the-top gameplay/humor.

    While back in 1989 you could have something such as Tommy Lasorda Baseball (which is a Japanese-developed game with minimal cosmetic changes to accommodate the US license) being a very competitive product, later on you'd need a lot more customization/localization to be able to compete in the US market.
    You could also compare James 'Buster' Douglas Knockout Boxing (Final Bow) to Evander Holyfield's Real Deal Boxing and then Greatest Heavyweights as a good example of how things used to be/how they should be.
    Right, so your point is that even if Japan had been developing more titles with a worldwide audience (or, at least, a North American audience) in mind, they wouldn't have been as competitive. I was pointing out one of the reasons why they weren't really trying to even do that (they were focusing on games for their home market).

    But I guess there was still a market for Japan-type games, considering how popular Sonic and its sequels were.

    The impression of the American market that I've read from Japanese developers was that essentially a game's success was due entirely to its marketing. There was the impression (whether true or not, who knows?) that marketing alone would determine if and how much a game would sell in North America, while in Japan it came down entirely to the game's review scores in magazines. I bring that up because I think some of the points you mention, like violence, digitized sprites, voice samples, licenses, and such, made it much easier to market a game effectively.

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    Also one needs to factor in the costs to SEGA and NCl given they manufactured most of the carts sold on their systems and the costs involved in bigger cart sizes in what was in 1994/5 a very oversaturated market.
    It is said that SEGA had 3 million unsold Street Fighter 2 Mega Drive carts alone and like a million unsold Streets of Rage 3 carts. I seem to remember Ristar sold far below what SEGA planned too

    That alone means huge costs to SEGA.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    Also one needs to factor in the costs to SEGA and NCl given they manufactured most of the carts sold on their systems and the costs involved in bigger cart sizes in what was in 1994/5 a very oversaturated market.
    It is said that SEGA had 3 million unsold Street Fighter 2 Mega Drive carts alone and like a million unsold Streets of Rage 3 carts. I seem to remember Ristar sold far below what SEGA planned too

    That alone means huge costs to SEGA.
    Lots of the late 94' releases and 95' releases had no chance. SOA went from marketing software to hardware (32x). Look at the difference between 93' releases and how many of them got their own commercials vs 94' releases that got their own.

    In 93' Sonic Spinball, Aladdin, Eternal Champions, Ren and Stimpy, Jurassic Park, X-Men, ToeJam and Earl 2, NFL 94' Montana (all these games had individual commercials and big marketing pushes). Also in 93' you had some multigame commercials 1.(Sonic 2, SOR 2, Ecco) 2. (Mortal Kombat, Shinobi 3,) 3. (Treasure Land Adventure, Beauty and the Beast, Pink Panther) <-- Not counting 3rd party commercials. These were all SOA commercials. I will say crazy Gunstar never even ended up in a multigame commercial.
    Also in 93' Sega 1st party titles came with mutiple posters highlighting other game releases. The Console boxes had up to date games on the back.

    Compare that to 94' Sonic 3, Sonic and Knuckles, Ecco Tides of Time, Power Rangers, NFL 95, World Series Baseball,
    No commercials for SOR 3, Jurassic Park Rampage Edition, Star Trek, Dynamite Headdy, Shadowrun, Sub-Terrania, Virtua Racing.
    By mid 94' Sega stopped putting in posters highlighting other game releases (only the Sega Visions card and an add for 6-button pad/Activator/Multi-tap). By mid 94' Sega also never updated the games on the back of the console boxes. So if you bought one anytime after god forbid in 95' or 96' the games on the back were antient. The flimsy cardboard boxes and black and white manuals speak for themselves. The Genesis brand/packaging/ads used to be done with so much care. Quickly it became an afterthought.

    I might be missing some and this is a North American perspective.
    Last edited by cowboyscowboys; 04-20-2021 at 06:24 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboyscowboys View Post
    Lots of the late 94' releases and 95' releases had no chance. SOA went from marketing software to hardware (32x)..
    It's not about late 94, the issues for SEGA started before that. Just look at Sonic 3 by the time of Sonic 3 sales were down and users weren't buying the games in the number they once did. I wouldn't like to think of some of the unsold stock SEGA had.
    I remember at the CES show SEGA saying Greendog was going to be bigger than Sonic and no doubt SEGA were expecting big sales from SOR III, Sonic & Knuckles, Ristar, Adv Of Batman

    But by late 1993 and early 1994 many were just getting bored of the same type of game time and time again and going to the Arcades and seeing the wonders of 3D and coming home and playing the same right scrolling 2D style game
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboyscowboys View Post
    Lots of the late 94' releases and 95' releases had no chance. SOA went from marketing software to hardware (32x). Look at the difference between 93' releases and how many of them got their own commercials vs 94' releases that got their own.

    In 93' Sonic Spinball, Aladdin, Eternal Champions, Ren and Stimpy, Jurassic Park, X-Men, ToeJam and Earl 2, NFL 94' Montana (all these games had individual commercials and big marketing pushes). Also in 93' you had some multigame commercials 1.(Sonic 2, SOR 2, Ecco) 2. (Mortal Kombat, Shinobi 3,) 3. (Treasure Land Adventure, Beauty and the Beast, Pink Panther) <-- Not counting 3rd party commercials. These were all SOA commercials. I will say crazy Gunstar never even ended up in a multigame commercial.
    Also in 93' Sega 1st party titles came with mutiple posters highlighting other game releases. The Console boxes had up to date games on the back.

    Compare that to 94' Sonic 3, Sonic and Knuckles, Ecco Tides of Time, Power Rangers, NFL 95, World Series Baseball,
    No commercials for SOR 3, Jurassic Park Rampage Edition, Star Trek, Dynamite Headdy, Shadowrun, Sub-Terrania, Virtua Racing.
    By mid 94' Sega stopped putting in posters highlighting other game releases (only the Sega Visions card and an add for 6-button pad/Activator/Multi-tap). By mid 94' Sega also never updated the games on the back of the console boxes. So if you bought one anytime after god forbid in 95' or 96' the games on the back were antient. The flimsy cardboard boxes and black and white manuals speak for themselves. The Genesis brand/packaging/ads used to be done with so much care. Quickly it became an afterthought.

    I might be missing some and this is a North American perspective.
    That's true - I mean, Sega had to market more all around in 1994 given the 32X's release. But they were still advertising most of their big Genesis games (I doubt they were ever going to do TV commercials for games like Dynamite Headdy and Shadowrun, no matter what the circumstances).

    However, the general point of the thread though is that, contrary to common opinion, the revenue loss occurred before all of that happened.

    The data suggests it wasn't the case that Sega's revenues dropped because they stopped promoting the Genesis as much, but rather the opposite: they stopped promoting the Genesis as much because revenues had dropped and they were trying to find ways to increase them (32X and Saturn).

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