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Where Does SEGA Go From Here
“We did our best to build a relationship of mutual trust with older fans of Sega but, looking back, there have been some titles that have partially betrayed that [trust] in the past 10 years.” These are the words said by Sega CEO Hajime Satomi, in an interview done with Japanese magazine Famitsu, translated by Siliconera.
The company that brought us The Sega Genesis and Sonic the Hedgehog feels that it’s betrayed the trust of it’s longtime fans. Satomi seems to want to bring Sega back to it’s prime and restore the luster the brand had in the 90s. A task easier said than done, but the CEO says that they’re now committed to listening to employees about how they can bring fans better quality games in the future.
This could mean a number of things for Sega moving forward. Recently, the company acquired Index Corporation, with Index continuing to work on the latest installment in the popular, Persona series, Persona 5. Sega has a dynamic collection of assets that could be used in a number of ways moving forward.
Despite the questionable quality of some of Sega’s offerings in recent years, it still maintains an aura of popularity. The company, if it really wants to do things differently, have several existing IPs that would no doubt be enjoyed if given time and effort their development deserves, outside of Sonic, who could probably use a break after the debacle that was Sonic Boom.
The last NiGHTS game released in 2007/2008 for the Wii. A cult-classic, NiGHTS: Journey Into Dreams was a well-received and successful game. With Takashi Iizuka open to the idea of a third NiGHTS game and Sega now seemingly ready to have a more open dialogue from the people not only working on the games, but playing them, now would be an opportunistic time to rekindle the idea.
Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg is another series that we’ve yet to see another installment from, since the game appeared more than a decade ago. Another critically well-received title, that offers a lot of flexibility and potential for something new from Sega moving forward, even with a shift to mobile gaming.
Even the biggest Sega fan has to admit, for every Sonic Generations there have been twice as many Sonic 06s. While there have been flashes of greatness from Sega here and there, and the occasional return to what made their games fun seen in the past, consistency has been a problem. Sega is set to announce a new console game at the Tokyo Game Show later this year. Perhaps at the event we’ll get a better idea of the sincerity of Satomi’s words in what his company brings to the table.
Hajime Satomi wants to improve the quality of Sega. and the fact that the CEO would even admit there’s a problem is a good start. Whether or not anything good comes from this epiphany is the real question though. One fans and critics alike will eagerly be awaiting an answer to.