Sega's NFL 2K1 has been at or near the top of the sales charts since the game was released in early September. Sega's football sequel also coincided with the launch of the SegaNet ISP and network gaming service and the Dreamcast price reduction from US$200 to $149.99. GameSpot spoke with Sega of America president Peter Moore about the effects the release of NFL 2K1 and the launch of SegaNet have had on the sales of Dreamcast hardware and games.
"We are getting excellent responses. You probably know that the NFL 2K1 game, when you actually pop the disc into the machine, you get 50 free hours of SegaNet," said Moore. "We know from the sales of NFL 2K1, which was the top-selling video game two weeks in a row from TRST data. We can tell by the service of playing NFL 2K1 - it's difficult to tell the exact number, but we have thousands on the SegaNet service. What happens, as you may know, is that [Dreamcast players] go in head-to-head competitions and they pair off. At that point, we kind of lose track of them. But I just have to go look at the bulletin boards and look at the news groups to see how well it's doing."
Independent PC Data research seems to validate Moore's comments. According to PC Data, in the three weeks since its release, NFL 2K1 has sold 409,260 units, which equates to approximately 17 percent of the total Dreamcast owners in North America. Additionally, the release of NFL 2K1, the launch of SegaNet, and the Dreamcast price reduction have also stimulated hardware sales for SOA. In the three weeks since the launch of SegaNet, the Dreamcast has seen a unit growth of 92.2 percent when compared to sales in the three weeks prior to launch. In the simplest terms, the sales of the Dreamcast console have effectively doubled since the arrival of SegaNet and the price reduction.
"In combination with the price point, our hardware has increased rapidly," said Moore. "We are certainly on track, if we do the seasonality curve, to get to that 5 million installed base by the end of March, our fiscal year."