View all items from this company in our collection...
Sega Corporation is a multinational video game software and hardware development company, and a home computer and console manufacturer headquartered in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan. The company had success with both arcades and home consoles, but on January 24, 2001, formally left the consumer console business and began concentrating on software development for multiple third-party platforms.
Sega's main offices, as well as the main offices of its domestic division, Sega Corporation (Japan), are located in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan. Sega's European division, Sega Europe Ltd., is headquartered in the Chiswick area of London. Sega's North American division, Sega of America Inc., is headquartered in San Francisco, California; having moved there from Redwood City, California in 1999. Sega Australia's headquarters are located in Sydney, New South Wales.
Until 2000, Sega's official corporate name was Sega Enterprises Ltd.
Sega was founded in 1940 as Standard Games (later Service Games) in Honolulu, Hawaii, United States, by Martin Bromely, Irving Bromberg, and James Humpert to provide coin-operated amusements for American servicemen on military bases. Bromely suggested that the company move to Tokyo, Japan in 1951 and in May 1952 "SErvice GAmes of Japan" was registered.
In 1954, another American businessman, David Rosen, fell in love with Tokyo and established his own company, Rosen Enterprises, Inc., in Japan to export art. When the company imported coin-operated instant photo booths, it stumbled on a surprise hit: The booths were very popular in Japan. Business was booming, and Rosen Enterprises expanded by importing coin-operated electro-mechanical games.
Rosen Enterprises and Service Games merged in 1965 to make Sega Enterprises. Within a year, the new company released a submarine-simulator game called Periscope that became a smash-hit worldwide.
In 1969, Gulf+Western purchased Sega, and Rosen was allowed to remain CEO of the Sega division. Under Rosen's leadership, Sega continued to grow and prosper.
In the video game arcades, Sega was known for games such as Zaxxon and Out Run. Sega's revenues would hit $214 million by 1982 and in 1983, Sega would release its first video game console, the SG-1000, the first 3D arcade video game, SubRoc-3D, which used a special periscope viewer to deliver individual images to each eye, and the first laserdisc arcade game, Astron Belt.
In the same year, Sega was hit hard by the American video game crash. Hemorrhaging money, Gulf+Western sold the U.S. assets of Sega to famous pinball manufacturer Bally Manufacturing Corporation. The Japanese assets of Sega were purchased for $38 million by a group of investors led by Rosen and Hayao Nakayama, a Japanese businessman who owned a distribution company that had been acquired by Rosen in 1979. Nakayama became the new CEO of Sega, and Rosen became head of its subsidiary in the United States.
In 1984, the multibillion dollar Japanese conglomerate CSK bought Sega, renamed it to Sega Enterprises Ltd., headquartered it in Japan, and two years later, shares of its stock were being traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. David Rosen's friend, Isao Okawa, the chairman of CSK, became chairman of Sega.
In 1986, Sega of America was established to take advantage of the resurgent video game market in the United States.
Sega would also release the Sega Master System and the first Alex Kidd game, who would be Sega's mascot until 1991 when Sonic the Hedgehog took over. While the Master System was technically superior to the NES, it failed to capture market share in North America due to highly aggressive strategies by Nintendo and ineffective marketing by Tonka. However, it did dominate the European and Brazilian markets until Sega discontinued the system in Europe in 1996, and in Brazil in 2000.