Microsoft chose not to buy Sega because it didn't have the 'muscle'

Xbox owner once considered buying Sega to help it develop gaming hardware, says former Microsoft executive.

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Microsoft once considered purchasing Sega before opting to develop the original Xbox internally, a former executive at the company has said.

"There were three companies at that point in time, I think this was [Sony,] Sega and Nintendo. There was always talk maybe we buy Sega or something like that; that never materialised," said Joachim Kempin, former vice president of Windows Sales at Microsoft, to IGN. "We were actually able to license them what they call Windows CE, the younger brother of Windows, to run on their system and make that their platform [for the Dreamcast]," added Kempin.

Kempin worked at Microsoft for almost 20 years, from 1983 to 2002, and saw Bill Gates resolve to enter the hardware business itself in a bid to take market share away from electronics giant Sony. "[Gates] didn't think that Sega had enough muscle to eventually stop Sony so we did our own Xbox thing," he said.

Before that, though, there was the idea within Microsoft that the company would purchase Sega in its entirety. "There were some talks but it never materialised because Sega was a very different bird. It was always Sony and Nintendo, right? And Nintendo had some financial trouble at that point in time, so Sony came out with the PlayStation and bang! They took off, and everyone else was left behind."

The original Xbox sold 24 million units before being replaced by its successor, the Xbox 360. Sega's ill-fated Dreamcast, by comparison, sold 10.6 million units in its three-year life span.

Discussion

346 comments
commanderxp90
commanderxp90

Microsoft sucks.  Sony must have purchase the Sega.

SanjuroGT
SanjuroGT

If Microsoft buys SEGA then no more Yakuza series on ps3. Nuff said.

gokuofheaven
gokuofheaven

Anything would have been possible.  We would have seen another Shenmue, another JSRF, another Panzer Dragoon..etc etc on the 360.  But it didn't happen so let's leave that behind.  What's important is that we did get some of the classics back on multi-platforms for everyone to enjoy.  That's important.  This new article is just here to troll everyone.  

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

Ms should of brought them because then i would be getting all my sega games in one place instead of on 3  different consoles. plus if ms would of got shenmue 3 made all sega fans would of loved ms forever.

Talnova
Talnova

Lol why are they bringing this up now?  First of all, it sounds like this "former executive" was a yes man that didn't know any thing about gaming.

"There were three companies at that point in time, I think this was [Sony,] Sega and Nintendo. There was always talk maybe we buy Sega or something like that; that never materialised..." yeah, clearly he had a handle on what was happening.  


I'd say he was subconsciously afraid the same might happen to MS in the next generation but the article seems to indicate he'd no longer an exec.

Mortos13
Mortos13

Poor SEGA... No Dreamcast 2.... The Dreamcast will always remain the best console out there :)

steelmouth
steelmouth

Great decision as always Bill, no wonder i admire you soo much

UberGamer44
UberGamer44

If people know their history what killed sega wasnt anything but BS peripherals and terrible timing on systems. examples like 32x and saturn

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

Sega just needs to release a Dreamcast 2 or Dreamcast HD, then their stocks will rebound. Just have it released with a new Panzer Dragoon title as a pack-in.

Rheinmetal
Rheinmetal

Why didn't they buy Sony instead?

l3igl3oss
l3igl3oss

Who would like a SEGA Smilebit HD Collection containing Jet Set Radio Future, Panzer Dragoon Orta and Gun Valkyrie? (three XBOX titles).

Victorious_Fize
Victorious_Fize

Sega are the masters of making amazing things and fucking them up.

X-RS
X-RS

Still all worth a sequel to JSRF! =)

SteamyPotatoes
SteamyPotatoes

They would have surly destroyed them like RARE, where's Perfect Dark 2 :(

chipwithdip
chipwithdip

Thank heaven and its affiliates for Microsoft NOT buying Sega. Sonic Colors would have never happened if they did. Sonic most likely wouldn't have been in Smash, either. Hell, who knows if Sonic would have been remotely the same if they did...


Some things happen for a reason. If anything, let Nintendo buy Sega.

Blue-Sky
Blue-Sky

Sega pretty much went the way of Rare. All the prominent people left. Now it's just a hollow shell of former IPs. 

Paul2004
Paul2004

Not alot of company's could challenge Sony after the PS1's success, they made a ton off that but Sega and Nintendo did produce some worthwhile consoles (Dreamcast is still one of my fav's, N64 had some nice stuff aswell) but today they have fallen. Sega gave up producing hardware and instead concentrate on games while nintendo cant match the sheer power of the PS3 or 360.

franzito
franzito

Dreamcast sold 10 million units? How come SEGA couldn't make another system after that??

mark_unix
mark_unix

the sega/nintendo partnership pretty much destroyed the xbox though...

Vegeta-sama
Vegeta-sama

Where is Sega today? You think their IPs wouldn't have been put to better use under Microsoft? They destroyed their image and failed to leverage their assets and this has put them behind the eight ball so to speak... they're clearly heading towards Atari's fate

grey_fox1984
grey_fox1984

I think it would have been a good call for Microsoft to pick up Sega- Nintendo has a massive roster of children's characters like Mario, Kirby, Donkey Kong ect. and Sony has Little Big Planet and the Sly, Jak & Daxter and Ratchet & Clank games. Microsoft just has Banjo Kazooie, which they've really done nothing with, so if they had exclusivity on Sonic, they'd have a good foothold on the younger demographic that they don't have now. A total remake of the whole Shenmue series (with a proper ending) could also be their answer to Quantic Dream games like Heavy Rain and Beyond.  

R2C25
R2C25

SEGA big wigs are retarded. They failed miserably at supporting their consoles, and after 2001 they pumped out the s******* games on the market and they didn't even publicize them. MS with SEGA IP's would've blown out of the water all the competition. Even in  recent years after releasing Vanquish and Bayonetta which reached success through mostly word of mouth, they decided not to give them a proper treatment or a sequel in Vanquish's case. Japanese devs must be drinking something wrong for performing so bad this gen. Look at Konami,Square Enix,Sega,Namco etc...

nathangray
nathangray

SEGA keeps its best games in the East, especially when it comes to RPGs. They refuse to localize and completely ignore the West's interest in their games, then wonder why they have no presence here. People are talking about it being a 'good' thing SEGA wasn't bought, as it would have been destroyed; how do you destroy something that's not there? That's what the guy meant about no "muscle", it wasn't worthwhile. It may as well no longer exist for as important as it is anymore, and they did that to themselves. 

SnakeEyesX80
SnakeEyesX80

Piracy killed the Dreamcast. It had nothing to do with muscle. If Sega would've opted for DVD drives instead of CD (like the PS2), it would've turned out different I think. I still feel the Dreamcast was way ahead of its time.

DBZ19
DBZ19

@Mortos13 I know right after the ps1 that was one of my best consoles.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

@UberGamer44 sega did not get killed they are still going only as a third party instead of first party. plus there was nothing wrong with the saturn although 32x they should not of bothered with they should of went straight to the saturn from mega drive and mega cd.  but then the silly amount of hype for the playstation back in the day with the people in stores telling people to get playstation sega or nintendo were never gonna be able to compete with all the bs hype for ps there was and all the games that were made out to ps  only when they were multi platform. the original playstation is like the i phone now it gets sales from stupid amounts of hype but it is not the best product out there.

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

@Rheinmetal I think Sony was a bit too big, or too costly for the big M. Sony outmuscled Sega in the hardware industry, with their royalty practices, and publisher deals, but Microsoft is able to match Sony $ for $ when it comes to their wallets.

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

@Victorious_Fize Nope. Sega is a martyr in the gaming culture. Long live Sega. Sega has always been one of the most creative companies in the industry. They were making true attempts at online before some of their other competitors(Saturn Netlink). Their vmu memory cards were also innovative. Remember the 3D glasses for the Sega Master System? Space Harrier 3D was awesome! Heck, Sega even had a hidden game locked into the Sega Master System hardware!

CRAPCOM1926
CRAPCOM1926

@Victorious_Fize Pfff Amateur, Those are Crapcom And Square Enix. Those 2 sucks more than Sega which was never a AAA Company not since   1998.


brainiac1988
brainiac1988

@SteamyPotatoes   Perfect Dark Zero is the sequel to Perfect Dark N64.

It sucked.

(EDIT: Sorry, meant to say prequel)

chronocommander
chronocommander

@SteamyPotatoes While I agree MS has destroyed most of its internal dev studios and video game franchises with the sole exception of Halo, Rare had been screwing up for the entire Gamecube/PS2 generation after the stellar SNES+N64 era where they made such great classics as Donkey Kong Country and Perfect Dark. Perfect Dark zero was in development hell for the entirety of the GC era and after MS bought Rare and the game finally got released it was quite simply not that great (according to reviews). I haven't played a Rare game in quite some time although their new Banjo and Viva Pinata series seem good, the company seems to have gone into low-fi Kinect development. Just another casualty of Microsoft's gaming division it would seem. Having a true Perfect Dark 2 would have been awesome!

leeko_link
leeko_link

@franzito 

Sega could make another system after the Dreamcast, they (actually it's he, not they) just choose not to. The guy who was responsible for the making of the Dreamcast (formerly a Sony employee and he who hated the Saturn) was fired from Sega before the Dreamcast even launch and the guy who runs Sega when the Dreamcast was still active wants nothing to do with the Dreamcast or any console at all. So there you have it.

Zorphose
Zorphose

@Vegeta-sama mmm... with the successful grab of Relic from THQ I highly doubt a company that will go the way of Atari would do something like that let alone have the capital for it.

vallan2
vallan2

@grey_fox1984 Play the second one, it prettymuch explains everything.  But they DID release it for the Dreamcast, but just not in North America

awheaten
awheaten

@R2C25 Its not proper to use the r word. but every thing else i agree. Sega miss used alot of there assets. but that is why they are sega and nintendo is nintendo. with that said i think nintendo has peeked and will go down this gen. cheers for bringing back vanquished. i hope they bring that back.

vallan2
vallan2

@SnakeEyesX80 agreed, I still play mine from time to time.  Enjoying Shenmue, Skies of Arcadia and Evolution, currently.

l3igl3oss
l3igl3oss

@metroidhunterx @l3igl3oss  No wide-screen, high definition and availability for PS3 makes me a sad panda :( Though the games still look good, I might buy myself an XBOX just to try those.

Victorious_Fize
Victorious_Fize

@godzillavskong lolwut, a martyr? I'm not disputing how creative Sega is, buddy, I'm arguing at how their creative things almost always fail to carry onward.

Here are some amazing things made by Sega that they axed into obscurity and/or oblivion:

- Valkyria Chronicles

- Skies of Arcadia

- Dreamcast

- Sonic

- Phantasy Star

Anybody that thinks Sega is not to blame for why any of the aforementioned suck or gone poof is simply out of touch.

Drilbit777
Drilbit777

@Victorious_Fize @godzillavskong Valkyria Chronicles had 2 sequels, its just that they moved over to the PSP and the 3rd one was never released in the states. Sonic had a really rough time but now he is starting redeem himself with games like sonic generations and sonic colors. I still believe that could get back to their feet their troubles in the past.