We Betrayed Fans And Want to Be a Brand Again, Says Sega CEO

Haruki Satomi also teases a new console game announcement at TGS.

319 Comments

[UPDATE] Sega has released a new statement and confirmed that the original quotes should be attributed to Haruki Satomi, CEO of SEGA Games, not Sega Sammy Holdings CEO Hajime Satomi.

"Seeing our fans across the world respond to our recent interview with Famitsu lets us know we've made the right first step in acknowledging who we are and where we want to be," Haruki Satomi said. "Sega is dedicated to bringing you quality gaming experiences and becoming a brand you love and trust again."

The original story is below.

Sega CEO Hajime Satomi has said he believes the company betrayed the trust fans put in it over the last few years, and added it is now aiming to improving the quality of its games in hopes of re-establishing itself as a valuable brand.

Speaking in an interview with Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, which has been translated by Siliconera, Satomi said he has been discussing strategies to improve the quality of its games with employees.

No Caption Provided

"I've been talking to employees about how [Sega] should start putting serious consideration into quality from this point on," he said. "Particularly in North America and Europe, where it's always been more of a focus on schedules."

"I believe that if we can't maintain quality, it would be better to not release anything at all."

Continuing, Satomi said he feels the company did its best to build strong connections with fans of Sega, but admitted that the games it released may have betrayed that faith.

"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," he said.

"Sega in the 90s was known for its brand, but after that, we've lost trust, and we're left with nothing but reputation ... We'd like to win back the trust and become a brand once again."

Looking forward, the exec said Sega is planning to "announce something for home consoles at Tokyo Game Show."

In September 2013, Sega acquired bankrupted publisher Index Corporation, parent company of Persona 4 developer Atlus. A year later, Index Corporation was separated from Atlus.

The studio was tasked with continuing it game projects, one of which is Persona 5, with a team of 121 employees. Index's 166 employees, meanwhile, would focus on distribution, systems development, and advertisements.

Sega seemed to be transitioning away from console games and toward the PC and mobile markets, having invested in three Western developers, the most notable of which is Boston-based firm Demiurge Studios.

Demiurge, which was bought outright by Sega, worked with Harmonix, Gearbox, Irrational, and BioWare. The studio contributed to multiple Rock Band track packs, built the PC edition of Mass Effect, assisted with art design on the original BioShock, and worked on the ultimately canceled Wii U version of Aliens: Colonial Marines.

Its most recent release was mobile game Marvel Puzzle Quest, which it continues to support.

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arc_salvo

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They can go ahead and release PSO2 for the west if they're that serious. And make sure that Sonic games don't suck. They can ask Sony or Microsoft for help if they need funding and/or marketing help. Making a game an exclusive or timed exclusive might give them the momentum they need. Phantasy Star Universe was very popular on the 360 for instance, and F2P MMO's are doing okay on PS4.

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digi-demon

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Edited By digi-demon

Shocking comments from some folk on here.

Sega is bigger than Sonic - ok the sonic games have been a real mixed bag since the Sonic Adventure 2. But to say sega treat there fanbase with distain is a little short sighted imo.

Ok, the games I will list below are not latest releases but they span the past 15 or so years since Dreamcast and tell a different story regards their treatment towards the fanbase.

OutRun 2006, Panzer Dragoon Orta, Jet Set Radio Future on Xbox.

Yakuza 1 & 2, Sega Ages 2500 Series (Japan), Sega Rally 2006, Thunderforce VI, Virtua Fighter 4 Series.

Super Monkeyball series, Skies of Arcadia Legends, Sonic Adventure Battle on GameCube.

AfterBurner Climax, Bayonetta, Sega Rally, Daytona USA, VF5, Yakuza Series - PS3/XBOX360.

Problems for Sega was new ip games like Bayonetta, Vanquish and Binary Domain were largely ignored by many 'gamers' despite glowing reviews.

So imo people need to think before they put-the-boot-in regards Sega's recent-past history of quality titles and fanbase support, ok ;-)

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BradBurns

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Edited By BradBurns

Makes more sense that it was Haruki Satomi.

Hajime seems like he's way too freaking old and wouldn't know anything about games anyway.

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davidsworld3

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Only moronic brain dead fanboys would give this company a chance at this point.

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digi-demon

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@davidsworld3: Those reasons alone don't stop the Master Race from there constant delusional ranting - so good luck to Sega and power to the fanboi's ;-)

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BradBurns

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Edited By BradBurns

@davidsworld3: ..you called..? They will make good games again! I BELIEVE!!!

*Drips hot candle wax on nipples*

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davidsworld3

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Sorry SEGA you fucked us for way too long to get to be redeemed.

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JackNief

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I miss Streets of Rage.

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deactivated-5ca532262d747

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"I believe that if we can't maintain quality, it would be better to not release anything at all."

oh come on you cant all of a sudden believe in something this pure. you been releasing straight crap 80% of the time the past years. but... lets see...

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deathBRINGER201

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Edited By deathBRINGER201

@inso-maniac: Sonic All-stars racing transformed was a good game IMO but none the less you are right

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BradBurns

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@deathBRINGER201: So was Vanquish, Bayonetta, and Sonic Generations. :)

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No_one

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We know they are never going to make another console, but make another console.

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digi-demon

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@no_one: Dreamcast 2 FTW!

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No_one

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Best sonic game by a mile - Jazz Jackrabbit 2 on PC.

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vexxouds

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Edited By vexxouds

The SEGA comeback can it happen hardcore gamer's what to know, only time will tell!?

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Diarma10

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I've lived through the Saturn and Dreamcast phases. Sega are awful to fans. Despite being hammered by Sony, they continued to have a company culture of arrogance and short sightedness. They continue to treat fans of their games with utter disrespect. Look at some Youtube videos of Shining Force that were taken down for "copyright reasons". This was relatively recently. They really need to reign in their legal department, but things in Japan change slowly, so I think I'll not believe anything they say, until I see it.

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Masaaki_Hosoi

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This is an interesting article to see, particulary where he talks about how Sega has been more focused on releasing on time than quality - which is what created the absolute disaster that was Sonic 06 (just think, if they had only delayed the game to actually spend more time fixing bugs and improving the writing, it could have been an OK game...)

Now let's see if this actually means anything.

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Litchie

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Cool to see them acknowledge that their Sonic games suck. Doubt they'll stop sucking though. I've never been a Sonic fan as I thought the "good" ones are pretty boring games as well, so I don't really care either way. Sonic to me, back when it was "good", was just run as much as you can, jump sometimes, get stuck sometimes on some obstacle which totally fucks up your speed and the flow of the game. I find them clunky, and not fun.

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DeusMortem

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Edited By DeusMortem

This article makes me downright moved. I loved Sega as a child, but there has been a constant decline in the quality of their products, and most of the time they feel like a mere shell of their former selves. I didn't think they realised how much worse their newer games are, and that mades me sad -- because that would mean they most likely didn't see the true beauty in their old gems. Now my hope is somewhat restored ...

Please give us something with the same amount of atmosphere as the 2D Sonic games ...

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dr_zomberg

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release shenmue 3, sonic adventure 3, phantasy star, and all the other games that made sega a household...name?

not all these worthless POSs youve released in the last 5 years.

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V-Nine

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...hurts this turn around won't happen on "Sega" hardware. Their IP's are all over the place and some are in indefinite hibernation. Really tough climb ahead.

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_Plaguelight_

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Edited By _Plaguelight_

Do the Nintendo Way: If it isn't ready and up-to-par, DO NOT RELEASE IT. Push it back and delay it as much as you need to in order to make it WORTH the wait.

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Guimengo1

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Edited By Guimengo1

Virtua Fighter
Virtua Cop
(Classic) Sonic
Daytona USA
SEGA Rally
Shenmue
Skies of Arcadia
Streets of Rage
House of the Dead and so much more

So many classic games to remake and relaunch. Then there's newer stuff like Binary Domain, showing they can branch off and do something new and different that isn't an absurdly fun arcade title.

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gunswordfist

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Edited By gunswordfist

@Guimengo1: Yes, please! Especially Streets Of Rage.

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sirjohnlaborde

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If you want to prove you are serious about quality there is no better alternative than doing remakes of your highest quality game you Sega have made and I am talking about Shenmue I and Shenmue II. But please don't make the remake instead outsource it to Yu Suzuki team to make Shenmue I and II in unreal engine 4 So that they can be compatible with Shenmue III. If you could give Giant button 20 million to develop low mediocre game like Sonic Boom why not invest 20 million in your most elite Developed that actually made you great ? That is Yu Suzuki

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santinegrete

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Well they let go Platinum Games, they should try to not screw up like that again. Have to admit tough, I liked Binary Domain a lot. Hope I see more of it again. Does anyone know if Sword of Berskerk is an IP from Sega? it would be lovely to see that game again, and Vectorman.

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AyumiSpender

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All I want right now is more english support on PSO2.

And Sonic Adventure 3.

Samba De Amigo 3.

New Phantasy Star game on consoles.

New Street of Rage.

Maybe get back in the console business (maybe not).

Get rid of the Sonic Boom spinoff completely.

New House of the dead/Virtua Cop.

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rusty12000

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Step One: drop this mobile BS.

Step Two: Stop releasing unfinished games.

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nini200

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Edited By nini200

Dreamcast 2 would be a great start. Then bring back your other forgotten but great titles such as Eternal Champions, Vectorman, etc.

Remember of all the great games dreamcast alone had: Ready 2 Rumble, Blue Stinger, Power Stone, Skies of Arcadia, IllBleed, Code Veronica, Phantasy Star Online, Outtrigger, Trickstyle, Chu chu rocket, Spawn: Into the demon's hand, Heavy Metal Geomatrix, Cannon Spike, All the SNK games, etc. That alone is worth the purchase of the console

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digi-demon

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Edited By digi-demon

@nini200: Ye, I wonder how many gamers on here actually bought a Dreamcast on release bitd?

I still got my Japanese 1998 console - awesome machine.

Seems bitd lots of gamers dismissed the Dreamcast after reading/hearing Sony's hype for PS2, and then when PS2 did launch it was a complete mess - suckers.

Unfortunately by then it was too late for Sega.

Eventually PS2 software came good in 2002 - but it was over 2 yrs after its release that games got on a par with the Dreamcast for quality.

I also liked Blue Stinger - and managed to complete the NTSCJ version bitd, despite the awful camera - lol

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Paulf001

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Guess Sega found out they can't make it rich by making crap mobile games.

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Miguel_Fight

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Edited By Miguel_Fight

Sega used to be great, but after the release of Sega Saturn's too complex hardware configuration for developers to do/convert games for, the only way was going down! No chance! Sega Saturn was way more powerfull than Playstation, but the hardware configuration didn't made life easy for game developers so, many titles would go exclusive to PSone, and the rest is history... And the jump from Saturn to Dreamcast was really a stab in the back for Sega fans, no software/hardware compatible - but at the same time Playstation 2 was compatible with PSone games and controlers. The war console was easily won by Sony, of course.

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00J

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@Miguel_Fight: I still have a Sega Dreamcast. They were on the right track with that system, then they just quit...

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digi-demon

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@00J: Instead of buying Dreamcast bitd many people held on for PS2 - which was eventually a great disapointment on its launch. Until GT3 and GTAIII PS2 had zero games worth getting.

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BlueFlameBat

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I hope not releasing Alien Isolation on Wii U had nothing to do with Colonial Marines.

Anyway, I don't know the insides of gaming companies and how things generally work, but personally, I'd recommend Sega just stop making games for a while and license out some of their IPs to companies who could really do something with them. Obviously it's not guaranteed to result in true quality games (I still remember how badly received Golden Axe: Beast Rider and some of the Sega Ages games for PS2 were), but I still think it's worth it to see newer games of Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, maybe Toejam & Earl, Monster World, and possibly even Chakan. Of course, that's just my opinion. Not everyone likes Spider-Man: Friend or Foe as much as I do so they might not be as excited about a Streets of Rage game made by Next Level Games as I would.

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silverwings21

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Edited By silverwings21

@BlueFlameBat said:

I hope not releasing Alien Isolation on Wii U had nothing to do with Colonial Marines.

I would have also bought Alien Isolation on Wii U.

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nini200

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@BlueFlameBat said:

I hope not releasing Alien Isolation on Wii U had nothing to do with Colonial Marines.

I would have bought Alien Isolation on WiiU. The Radar on the gamepad and having no HUD on the screen would have been a much more immersive experience.

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VannHagen

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@nini200: Yeah, it just would've looked terrible

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digi-demon

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@vannhagen: Alien Isolation looks ok on XB1 & PS3 but could have easily been done on Wii U tbh lol

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nini200

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@vannhagen: Like what for example?

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Incognito_Jay

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Also if there is a new Sega console I hope its games don't involve endless talking and cutscenes. There's enough of that crap from Playstation and X-Box. Here's what the consumer back in the 90s thought 21st century gaming would be like,

"Hell yeah! Better graphics, vastly superior AI, destructible environments, greater freedom, better controls, more intricate and in-depth gameplay!"

What we got instead, "Talking, custcenes, more linear, graphics are there of course, no real gameplay in many cases as 'story' became the main focus."

Sega could do very well if they opt for what we wanted instead of what companies wanted to give us. There can still be some story in order for stuff to make sense but developers try too hard to be Dostoevsky. Ocarina of Time is an example of the perfect balance between story and gameplay.

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Incognito_Jay

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If they do make a console I hope it's 8k compatible with HDR and uses a Volta GPU and i7 Cannonlake...What, too soon? It takes years to engineer and design a console so 8k TVs with HDR will have unbelievable potential for gaming. Since consoles are hooked up to the internet maybe it could act like a Roku too in addition to a console? It would have no disc drive because you can directly download games online and have access to all previous Dreamcast, Saturn, and Genesis games remastered for higher resolutions up to 8k but otherwise unchanged (I'm looking at you, Shinobi for the Wii that replaced Spiderman with a pink...thing!)

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SeriousDave

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"I believe that if we can't maintain quality, it would be better to not release anything at all."

About a decade to late for that, I'd say. After consistently ruining their credibility as competent game devs for years they sure have to prove that they can actual deliver what they spout here.

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