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Thread: Classic Interview: Hayao Nakayama and David Rosen

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    Blast processor Melf's Avatar
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    Sonic Classic Interview: Hayao Nakayama and David Rosen

    This interview with Sega chairman and president David Rosen and arcade distributor Esco Trading Co. president Hayao Nakayama discusses the new relationship between the two companies, and offers a fascinating glimpse into the early business history between Rosen and Nakayama and their views of the arcade industry at the dawn of its Golden Age. Read the full interview for more details.

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    Raging in the Streets Blades's Avatar
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    Great interview.

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    Hayao Nakayama has a unique head of hair.

    He was certainly right about the growth the industry would see and where it would grow.
    Last edited by JPEC83; 01-06-2022 at 05:36 PM.

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    Raging in the Streets Blades's Avatar
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    He's always had that weird hair lol. I never could tell if it's just a really bad hairpiece, or that's how it just is.

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    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    Nakayama's hair aside (it's a classic Japanese 'barcode' hairstyle)...

    I like this part of the interview:

    Game Machine: It seems that Sega has not released any hit machines recently. I know this is difficult to answer, but…

    President Rosen: Our company has made a lot of electro-mechanical and electronic game machines in the past, but last year we concentrated on flippers and produced a lot of good flippers. We have been concentrating on TV games for the past six months, recognizing that TV games are currently a big hit and are booming. In the sense that we missed the boom, it means that we haven’t had any hit products recently.
    (in case it's not obvious: "flipper" was the Japanese term for pinball)

    The interview was printed during the Space Invaders boom in Japan, and Sega was basically getting destroyed in the market because they failed to respond well to the new video game industry. As the story goes, Hideki Sato, who joined Sega in 1971, was appalled at the company's lack of investment in video game R&D (management told him, "Since it was founded, Sega has never posted a loss, even when the economy was bad. It’s too risky to invest a lot into R&D. We’ll be fine if we just focus on running the company well."). Sato found an ally in Nakayama, and one of Nakayama's first directives was to increase the company's focus on R&D, famously saying "Development is the lifeblood of this company!" (quotes from the book 'Game Sensou').

    Nakayama always involved himself heavily in the R&D process. In that recent Hideki Sato interview, Sato reveals that it was Nakayama himself who came up with many of the ideas that made Monaco GP (the game that made Sega competitive in the market again) such a big hit.

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