It can be traced back to an American company ‘Standard Games’ that was formed in 1940 to provide coin operated amusements to military bases in Hawaii. In 1952, when the United States outlawed slot machines, the Japanese market was seen as an opportunity. Machines were purchased from the government, and imported into Japan; the name of the company was changed to ‘Service Games’.
1965 saw the merger with another company and from the combination of the names SErvice GAmes and Rosen Enterprises, Sega Interprises was formed. In 1966 the first Sega amusement machine “Periscope” was manufactured to worldwide success.
The 1970’s saw the reinvention of the arcade industry and at the end of the decade the arrival of video. This sector, both for the arcade industry and the home consumer market, was to become where Sega was most renowned and globally dominant. The last year of the decade was when Hayao Nakayama’s company was absorbed into Sega and he became President and a long standing and important figurehead steering the company for many years thereafter.
During the mid-1980’s Sega became a totally Japanese based company with wholly owned subsidiaries of Sega Europe and Sega Enterprises USA being formed. The first home console “SG-1000” was launched in 1983, followed in 1988 by “The Mega Drive” starting a whole new era for the company.
The most significant event of the 1990’s was the birth on June 23rd 1991 of its now world famous mascot Sonic the Hedgehog, but it was also a decade that launched “Joypolis” its Tokyo based indoor amusement entertainment centre that was the flagship of their domestic arcade operation; these events were paralleled in the home market and saw the legendary consumer consoles of Sega Saturn and Dreamcast launched.
Under new ownership in 2004 and with a new Chairman at the helm, Hajime Satomi, Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. was the latest incarnation of the global brand - SEGA is one of the most active, creative, and productive developers the industry has ever known, it has shaped generations and entered the lives of millions of people around the world and continues to do that to this day…