The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.
After 1 vote and with 7 points ahead, the winner is...
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"Sega Games Co., Ltd. (/ˈsɛɡə/; stylized as SEGA) is a Japanese multinational video game developer and publisher headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The company, previously known as both Sega Enterprises Ltd. and Sega Corporation, is a subsidiary of Sega Holdings Co., Ltd., which itself is part of Sega Sammy Holdings. Sega's North American division, Sega of America, is headquartered in Irvine, California, while its European division, Sega of Europe, is headquartered in London."
Raltar is Con - AGAINST SEGA.
Jboy3r is Pro - FOR SEGA.
The issue to be contended is SEGA a generally "good" company or a generally "bad" company? All aspects of the company, including the quality of their products, their success versus their competitors, the ethics of their business strategy, the influence of the company within the gaming industry and subjective opinions about their games are up for debate.
By far and away, the most devious villain of the Console Wars was the sprawling international corporation known commonly as SEGA. From humble beginnings as the pet project of an American entrepreneur selling pinball machines to military bases, the company originally known as Service Games began stamping the acronym SE GA on the side of their machines, beginning the crusade for a seemingly meaningless word to eventually terrorize children, adults, internet discussion forums and the entire gaming industry with a campaign of lies, deceit and sub-par products the likes of which the world has never before seen.
It is easy to try to root for SEGA as the "underdog" given their many and drastic failures throughout almost every stage of the Console Wars. In fact, that is almost surely the story you will hear from the tiny minority of Sega fanboys who survived the brutal conflicts of those wars. But losing the wars alone is not reason enough to consider SEGA an underdog, and no such form of Moral License fallacy would justify the vicious stream of lies the company unleashed upon the world, even upon their own devotees. As the facts I present this day shall show, SEGA was no underdog at all. SEGA was a traitorous and conniving liar of the most epic proportions.
Or, as one former video game store owner described it...
"Sega is Japanese for compulsive liar."
The SEGA Master System
As SEGA's first worldwide console, some of the most elder SEGA fanboys will still hearken back to this ancient system as one of the great 'Golden Ages' of SEGA. In reality, this is little more than a misconception caused by the bias of nostalgia and wishful childhood memories.
In fact, SEGA hadn't even come into their full stride yet at this time. The various versions of the Atari home consoles were still strong, but Nintendo widely dominated the market with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Virtually all the major third-party developers had exclusivity contracts with either Nintendo or Atari, leaving little for SEGA to work with. Their mascot at this time wasn't even Sonic the Hedgehog yet, but rather a forgettable character called Alex Kidd.
One recent evaluation of the games on the Master System put it this way;
I spent part of my evening playing through most of the Sega Master System games currently available on the Virtual Console. Back in the '80s, the NES completely dominated the video games market, and I don't think I knew any kid who had the Sega. Thank goodness for that, because it was a lousy excuse for a videogame system.
If you're curious about the Master System, and wanted to download some games to VC, let me spare everyone the trouble, and offer this simple piece of advice: Everything on Sega Master System Sucks. There, I said it. We all believed it back in the '80s, and time has proven us right. This is the crummiest machine Sega ever built.
The SEGA Genesis & The "Blast Processing" Hoax
SEGA launched the Genesis two years earlier than their competitors over at Nintendo could get the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) out the door. Those two years were critical for SEGA, giving them a powerful foothold in the market that they never had before, and would never enjoy again after this. The vast majority of die hard SEGA fanboys will cite this brief era as the true ‘Golden Age’ for SEGA, as they sat atop the throne of the gaming industry. But of course, it wouldn't last long, as Nintendo wouldn't remain complacent forever.
Seeing the SNES upon the horizon, and recognizing it as their doom, SEGA devised a vile and evil scheme to blatantly lie to the public at large about the capabilities of their console versus the capabilities of their competitor. They gave this hoax the term "Blast Processing" and began an aggressive advertising campaign in which they swore that "SEGA does what Nintendon't!" SEGA claimed that 'Blast Processing' made the SEGA Genesis faster and more powerful than any other piece of technology without 'Blast Processing' could ever hope to be. Commercials for the Genesis heavily focused on this mythical speed, showcasing the new mascot Sonic the Hedgehog and his central theme of running fast. With Sega's strong popularity during this age, their throngs of adoring fans ate up this claim and even regularly repeated it for many years thereafter, insisting that 'Blast Processing' was the secret to SEGA's success.
In reality, 'Blast Processing' never existed. It was a flat out lie, based on an exaggeration of a hypothetical capability the console may have had but which wouldn't have worked in many cases and was never actually used in a single SEGA game. The former SEGA employee who accidentally 'invented' this term (by making an unintentional comment to SEGA's marketing department) has even officially apologized!
In spite of SEGA's lie and the short-lived popularity of the Genesis, the SNES is still widely regarded as the "winner" of the Console Wars during this era. The SNES not only sold more units, but the games are vastly more memorable with titles that are still sought after even to this day, such as the Final Fantasy series, Chrono Trigger and Earthbound, as well as in-house Nintendo games like the Super Mario series, Donkey Kong series and early Star Fox games.
The 32X & SEGA CD
As a user of the website Urban Dictionary put it, "Sega ran blindfolded into Hell after 1993." That process began with the short-lived and poorly conceived add-ons for the Genesis; 32X & SEGA CD.
The 32X had a measly 40 games in total, of which six of them required both a 32X and a SEGA CD in order to be played. The majority of these games were simply rebranded versions of games that were already available on the Genesis or other platforms. One critic stated that the 32X "tainted just about everything it touched."
The SEGA CD had a slightly larger library of games and received a slightly better reception, yet both of these add-ons suffered from the same critical flaw; Neither add-on was expected to be capable of competing against the next generation of consoles, which were already known to be in development and nearing release within the next few years. Few developers wanted to risk wasting resources to develop games for a platform which was going to be unable to compete, making it difficult for SEGA to convince anyone to make games for these add-ons. Critics widely panned SEGA's decision to release these add-ons, pointing out that they were dividing their own market, confusing both third-party developers and consumers.
The SEGA Game Gear & SEGA Nomad
During the same time period SEGA was still pushing the Genesis, 32X and SEGA CD (while still hyping the future release of the Saturn), SEGA further sabotaged themselves by making multiple ill-fated attempts to overtake Nintendo's iron grip on the handheld gaming market. This took the form of not just one handheld held system, but two of them at once; Game Gear and Nomad.
Although both of these systems boasted color graphics and other supposedly "innovative" ideas, both were also widely panned by critics for their bulky shape, high battery usage and lackluster library of games. Both of these systems collapsed before the simplistic black & white Nintendo Game Boy, joining their kin in the graveyard of failed SEGA hardware.
While the Saturn certainly wasn't a bright idea even on it's own, it's true destruction was at the hands of SEGA themselves and their own blunders in launching and marketing the system on the belief that they needed to beat their competitors to the marketplace with an early launch. SEGA had learned this strategy from those critical two years when the Genesis was unopposed before the SNES was released. Putting their faith in the idea that an early launch equals success, SEGA tried a bold but ultimately stupid strategy...
At the 1995 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Sega made the dramatic announcement that they were releasing the Saturn four months earlier than expected. But Sony counter-attacked even before the end of the Expo, when their entire press conference consisted merely of a single man briefly walking up to the lectern, announcing a price reduction for the upcoming Sony Playstation and walking away as the crowd went wild.
The Saturn died that very day. The Saturn launch was an unmitigated disaster because Sega wasn't ready for it. Meanwhile, the Playstation already had tremendous hype and hordes of adoring fans, who upon learning that the system was getting a drastic price reduction were glad to pass over the Saturn to wait for Playstation. The Playstation is widely regarded as the hands-down winner of this era of the Console Wars.
The Console Wars turned dark and bitter after this time, particularly for SEGA fans. Previously there had always been a presumed "balance" between SEGA and Nintendo, even if SEGA's success had been based on a lie. But with the repeated failures of the 32X, SEGA CD, Nomad and Game Gear, followed closely by the udder destruction of the Saturn at the hands of the newly minted Playstation, SEGA fans rapidly became jaded and hateful toward the new arrival. Nintendo fans weren't much happier, as the late arrival of the N64 seemed more of a footnote in the grand history of Sony's new dominance over the gaming industry.
But SEGA announced the development of the Dreamcast anyway. Gaming missionaries of SEGA carried news of this new messiah out across the internet. Terrifying threats of the imminent return of 'Blast Processing' were issued and Sony fans (as well as those of us intelligent enough to prefer desktop PC games) were told to bow down to the master now, or face certain destruction at the hands of the coming onslaught. These messages were often met with the internet equivalent of an angry mob with torches and pitchforks, yet SEGA fanboys stood defiant against the majority opinion that their time had passed away. In these days some of the most vicious battles of the Console Wars were fought, tearing internet message boards and small websites asunder as combatants ripped into each other.
On September 9th, 1999 (9.9.99) "Dreamcast Day" arrived. Only a few months into the launch of the system, rumors already began to circulate that SEGA was considering abandoning the system and getting out of the hardware business entirely. On January 31, 2001, Sega announced that was exactly what they were going to do, and production of the Dreamcast would end immediately. Once again, Sega lost the Console Wars and Playstation 2 was declared the victor of this era.
The "Beta-7" Hoax
But lo, though the inevitable defeat of Sega was already nigh, they still had one more vile deception to unleash upon the masses before the Dreamcast would go to it's grave.
Having recently purchased a small game developer called Visual Concepts to use as an in-house development studio for sports titles, SEGA also hired an advertising firm called Wieden Kennedy to create a viral advertising hoax to promote an upcoming football game against the monolithic force of the Madden football series.
Wieden Kennedy created Beta-7.
The entire saga of this dastardly hoax is too long to fully retell here, but suffice to say that an anonymous blog was set up to promote the idea that SEGA video games included secret subliminal messages which could force an unsuspecting victim to transform into a psychotic football player who would tackle (and possibly vomit on) their friends and loved ones. Small humorous videos of people being tackled in unlikely situations were used to promote this blog and the outrageous claims it made, while seemingly hostile opponents of the blog were also set into motion as additional false flags to cause further confusion. The blog was eventually taken down in an unceremonious fashion, while SEGA publicly denied all knowledge of the incident.
The actual goal of this hoax remains unclear even to this day, as it was neither terribly competent as a form of advertisement, nor did it succeed in convincing anyone to purchase the game. Few people who saw the tackle videos even knew what game was meant to be promoted by the videos.
Sonic the Hedgehog; The 6th Worst Thing to Happen to the Internet!
These days there is a lot to dislike about Sonic the Hedgehog. Gone are the fun games, gone is the endearing character with a little bit of attitude. The Sega games have grown worse with each generation of consoles and his character more bizarre. He's been in multiple unwatchable cartoons and appeared in a number of mediocre comics. Sonic and his supporting cast of dozens of annoying characters generated by Sega rule over a rickety media empire of excrement.
It would all be pretty routine for a 90s era gaming franchise on its last legs, if it weren't for the way it has translated onto the Internet. To find the real nightmare Sonic the Hedgehog has wrought you need only log onto your computer and open up your Internet browser. His fans have vomited their inner filth onto the web for everyone to see.
It is difficult not to see Sonic's fans as particularly unbalanced (or particularly unemployable). Unfortunately, the nightmare doesn't end there.Once fans have devoted thousands of hours to sketching out Sonic the Hedgehog, writing their 600-page Sonic novel, and fighting a 20-day edit war of attrition over the major waterways of Angel Island, they might think they have nothing left to give to Sonic the Hedgehog. Think again.I will allow this very simple diagram to explain a Sonic the Hedgehog fan's evolution."I love Sonic the Hedgehog!" > "I love drawing Sonic the Hedgehog!" > "I love drawing Sonic the Hedgehog's butthole!"
Sega Sammy Holding Co. Era
At the end of it’s lifetime, SEGA was finally sold to a Japanese gambling company with limited experience in the video game market called Sammy. The new Sega Sammy Holding Company continued to release video games under the SEGA branding, yet the company receives the majority of it’s income from the gambling business. The final survivors of the deadly Console Wars greatly lamented this turn of events as Sammy was widely considered to be even more unethical than Sega themselves had been, and was even rumored to have connections to the Japanese criminal underworld. In 2015, a Yakuza-linked shooting took place at the home of the Sega/Sammy CEO.
...with ad aslike these [...] they need to exist...
Lastly, this really doesn't address my earlier points about SEGA's advertising frequently being dishonest, such as their blatant lie about 'Blast Processing' or the seemingly counter-productive Beta-7 hoax.
If they were so bad then they would have lost the consel wars early on...
The SEGA Master System lost to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) quite badly and is generally remembered with disdain.
The SEGA Genesis was SEGA's most successful console, but still sold fewer units than the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). In addition, the games on the SNES are commonly remembered more favorably than those on the Genesis, as I pointed out in my opening arguments. On top of that, my opponent himself said that he feels Nintendo won the console wars, further implying that SEGA lost during this era despite the popularity of the Genesis.
Saturn was destroyed on the very day it launched, as I cited in my opening arguments.
And Dreamcast lasted only slightly more than a year before SEGA gave up the ghost.
...most of there games are fun and enjoyable...
The second problem with this assertion is that it ignores the obvious decline in the quality of SEGA games over time. We previously established that all the games on the Master System were terrible. Generally, when SEGA fans point to the supposedly great games SEGA made, they refer to those from the Genesis era most often, and less often a select few from either the Saturn or Dreamcast. Hardly ever does anyone argue in favor of any game made by SEGA after they abandoned hardware and became a third-party developer exclusively. The reason for this is very simple; SEGA's quality was at it's pinnacle during the Genesis era and has declined steadily since then.
One of the sources I provided in my opening argument already highlighted the decline in the Sonic the Hedgehog games;
These days there is a lot to dislike about Sonic the Hedgehog. Gone are the fun games, gone is the endearing character with a little bit of attitude. The Sega games have grown worse with each generation of consoles and his character more bizarre.
I ran out and bought Phantasy Star II when it was released in 1990...apparently I had forgotten that Zillion 2 sucked ass compared to the fantastic Zillion. Phantasy Star II wasn't that great. In point of fact, it just barely missed being branded as "totally sucking." I was 15 at the time. Fast-forward and rewind a touch to the summer of 2000. "Maybe you just didn't appretiate PS2 'cause you were too young," I told myself, contradicting the memory. So, I went out and bought Phantasy Star II, III, and IV. And, you know what? I was right the first time: PS2 does mostly suck, except that now, after Chrono Trigger, Earthbound, and Final Fantasy II, PS2 has graduated to the infamous "totally sucks" category.
Though if you wanted to put it plainly and, well, honestly, you could just say that these are 10 awful remakes of old Sega games that will only serve to infuriate their intended audience.
Worst of all are the unspeakable evils, so diabolical that the merest rose petal brush with a hinting of their existence irrevocably damages the persons so contaminated. They have the dangerous, malignant capacity to spread and destroy like a plague. Such nameless evils are, fortunately, rare and those who contact them usually have the wisdom to smash them immediately to tiny pieces, burn the pieces, ground the ashes to powder and bury the single grains of remaining carbon separately in the deepest darkest pits from whence they’ll never see the light of day, usually meeting their own heroic destruction by this selfless act. Virtua Striker 2 is just such an evil and there appears to have been no hero to contain it.
Programming a gunshot or a haymaker shouldn't be rocket science. Unfortunately, it evidently is within some parts of Sega Product Development.
Spikeout: Battle Street is trying very hard to kick it old-school. It hearkens back to a simpler time, when Final Fight and Streets of Rage were king, and walking around with the sole purpose of beating the living crap out of anyone in your way was the order of the day. Sounds cool, right? Unfortunately, this would-be renaissance is marred by a pretty serious problem. The game itself is lousy.
I can’t even recommend Eighteen Wheeler: American Pro Trucker as a rental, unless you plan on renting something else, too. You’ll be very upset after you’ve had it home for two hours and you’ve already cleared everything there is to be cleared. A couple rounds of the Versus mode will satiate that curiousity, and you’ll be back at the video store, hopefully before it closes.
The music sounds like bad porno music. Not ordinary porno music. Bad porno music. There are also both male and female voice actors that say things like, 'A big one's coming near! Be careful!' They are among the worst voice actors in any game, ever.
It pains Gamestyle to say it, but this compilation should never have gotten out of testing in the state it is in. How such a raft of glitches and mistakes and bugs got through the test phase defies reason. Coupled with these hardly being Sega's best efforts in the first place you'll have only scant reasons for hanging onto this one.
NHL All-Star Hockey may have been a victim of the Saturn's early release but a game this disappointing is simply unforgivable.
I have never, ever seen a story as stupid and pretentious as the one in D2. In the credits Eno thanks Hideo Kojima (famed Metal Gear Solid producer), yet nothing about D2 comes close to matching Kojima's masterpiece. That's sad, considering D2 has been in development for a much longer time and occupies more discs. Every once in a while we're treated to live footage of violence in the world while Mother Earth instructs Laura to do junk. Eno tries so hard to tie a political message into this tripe, but none of it connects. D2 is basically a bad, terrible, gut wrenchingly awful art film. With mutant aliens. And clones. And dinosaurs. And miracle makeup compacts.
And when all of my original arguments still stand, on the subject of SEGA's dishonest advertising and their repeated failures in the hardware market, my conclusion remains the same; SEGA is a BAD company!
These are the reasons I’ve provided for why SEGA is bad;
- Everything on the Master System, SEGA’s first (worldwide)
console, was completely awful.
- SEGA’s second console, the Genesis, was advertised based
on the massive lie of ‘Blast Processing’ which never existed. Even this limited
success was still paled by comparison to the Super Nintendo Entertainment
- SEGA’s add-ons for the Genesis, 32X and SEGA CD, were
both monumental failures commercially, poorly supported by third-party
developers, and served to hurt SEGA’s overall market position.
- SEGA’s attempts to enter the handheld market with the
Nomad and Game Gear were easily crushed by the Nintendo Game Boy.
- SEGA doomed the Saturn with their own stupid strategy of
launching systems early. Sony easily countered this strategy by dropping the
price of the Playstation, condemning the Saturn to the dustbin of history.
- The Dreamcast lasted only a year before SEGA finally
figured out it was time to get out of the hardware business.
- SEGA’s dishonest and sometimes confusing advertising
campaigns, such as the ‘Blast Processing’ lie and the Beta-7 hoax have given
them a reputation as compulsive liars.
- SEGA’s fans were some of the most obnoxious and ignorant
of the Console Wars. Their belief in Blast Processing, obsession with Sonic the
Hedgehog and desire to constantly troll the fans of their competitors made them
an intolerable nuisance.
- SEGA’s final fate was to be sold into the service of a
crime-connected Japanese gambling company, also noted for their potential
- Although the common rebuttal of SEGA fans is that all of
the above should be ignored because of the “good” games, this ignores the fact
that SEGA games declined in quality over the years, the honestly good ones were
rare and SEGA regularly churned out a stream of awful games.