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Thread: When did Sega "peak"?

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    Default When did Sega "peak"?

    I was born on Christmas Day 1992 (I put December 3 when I joined, I was 15 and embarrassed of my actual birthday. Mods, feel free to change it). I've always felt that day was Sega's "peak". It was a Christmas, so Sega products were being opened by the millions under Christmas trees that day. Late 1992 was a great period for Sega. The Super Nintendo was building up momentum, but was still a year or two from its peak. The NES popularity was way down. Sega had a line of Genesis hits including Sonic 2 and Streets of Rage 2 which were brand new.

    So when did Sega peak? 1992? 1993? 1994?
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    I would say 1994. That's when Sega really started messing around with everything outside the box, and money and profits were good. After that it all went south fast.

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    In the USA prob when the genesis was popular.
    In Japan SEGA was much more popular during the years when Saturn games were available.

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    80s back when arcades were relevant. Sega made a lot of great console titles in the nineties and 2000s but in my eyes they were always the best at arcade games and with the industry trending toward rpgs and action adventure titles with hundred plus hour gameplay it seems like sega became a niche software developer with a more limited but diehard fanbase

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    Birthday-o change-o! Now your account magically lists December 25th as your birthday!

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    Quote Originally Posted by retroman View Post
    I would say 1994. That's when Sega really started messing around with everything outside the box, and money and profits were good. After that it all went south fast.
    1994 was when they released the 32x probably the worst decision Sega ever made. Outside of Sonic & Knuckles I can't think of anything else Sega made that was good that year

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    1994 was when they released the 32x probably the worst decision Sega ever made. Outside of Sonic & Knuckles I can't think of anything else Sega made that was good that year
    I can actually see how 1994 could be seen as Sega's peak. The 32X sales were great at first, although once 1995 came they crashed like a rock as people saw how useless it was. The Genesis had a strong library, Sonic 3 also came out that year, and third party support was great. Still, a lot of the groundwork for Sega's fall was laid that year; a resurgent Nintendo was also an issue for Sega. I think '94 is the year the SNES surpassed the Genesis. I could see early 1994 as the "end of the peak" but if I had to put a year on it it would be '92 or '93.

    1995 is really the year Sega collapsed. Between the 32X's meteoric crash, the Saturn surprise launch, and the general decline of the 16-bit era it was a terrible year for Sega.

    In Japan the story was different, the Saturn was launched there and as most of us know it was more successful than the Genesis (Mega Drive) over there. I would say Sega of Japan peaked about 1997, right before Bernie Stolar said "The Saturn is not our future." at E3. That screw-up cost Sega its last successful territory, there was a cascading effect that if the president of Sega USA didn't believe in the Saturn, why should the rest of the world, and the Saturn really lost momentum in Japan in '98.

    I also saw a post that said that Sega peaked in the 1980s due to the arcade. Sega was very strong in the arcades then, especially in the latter half of the decade. I wouldn't say Sega peaked when they didn't have any home consoles, but I could certainly see a case for Master System era Sega being the company's peak based on the arcade success.

    So I would put the peak in 1992 or 1993, but based on your perspective and what you emphasize anywhere from 1986-1997 is plausible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WelcomeToTheNextLevel View Post
    I can actually see how 1994 could be seen as Sega's peak. The 32X sales were great at first, although once 1995 came they crashed like a rock as people saw how useless it was. The Genesis had a strong library, Sonic 3 also came out that year, and third party support was great. Still, a lot of the groundwork for Sega's fall was laid that year; a resurgent Nintendo was also an issue for Sega. I think '94 is the year the SNES surpassed the Genesis. I could see early 1994 as the "end of the peak" but if I had to put a year on it it would be '92 or '93.

    1995 is really the year Sega collapsed. Between the 32X's meteoric crash, the Saturn surprise launch, and the general decline of the 16-bit era it was a terrible year for Sega.

    In Japan the story was different, the Saturn was launched there and as most of us know it was more successful than the Genesis (Mega Drive) over there. I would say Sega of Japan peaked about 1997, right before Bernie Stolar said "The Saturn is not our future." at E3. That screw-up cost Sega its last successful territory, there was a cascading effect that if the president of Sega USA didn't believe in the Saturn, why should the rest of the world, and the Saturn really lost momentum in Japan in '98.

    I also saw a post that said that Sega peaked in the 1980s due to the arcade. Sega was very strong in the arcades then, especially in the latter half of the decade. I wouldn't say Sega peaked when they didn't have any home consoles, but I could certainly see a case for Master System era Sega being the company's peak based on the arcade success.

    So I would put the peak in 1992 or 1993, but based on your perspective and what you emphasize anywhere from 1986-1997 is plausible.
    yeah I don't know how they did as far as sales but I think that Sega's original success came from the arcade. I do know that a lot of the sales from sports games drove profits for Sega in the early 90's.

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    Probably the best way to settle this would be to simply check their stock history and see when it peaked. But the searches that come up don't go back far enough. Most only go back 10 years but Google Finance at least goes back to 2005 for the Sega/Sammy merger. (Their peak since the merge was in 2006)...but still not far enough.

    Previous to that, when they were just Sega Corporation or Sega Enterprises, or whatever, would take more digging than I was willing to put into it.
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    Default Depends

    I'm going with 94. Sega seemed unstoppable. Everywhere I went Sega was doing cool stuff. The first time I saw Virtua Fighter II and Daytona USA I just stood there watching in amazement. Then at Incredible Universe ( remember those?) seeing arcade Space Harrier on a 32x running in a Genesis was cool. Yes, 32x didn't live up to the hype, but briefly there ( with 1st party titles ) it was neat. I also like late 80s Sega too but that's another thread.

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    Found a reference in an old Wall Street Journal article...

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB854003138646294500
    Sega's parent-company sales for the year ended March 1996 stood at 346 billion yen, up 3.9% from 333 billion yen the previous year but below the recent peak of 354 billion yen in the year ended March 1994. Sega, after muscling market share away from archrival Nintendo Co., has now run into stiff competition from a relative newcomer to the game market, Sony Corp. , and its Playstation video-game machine.
    So looks like '94 is when they peaked....financially anyways.
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    You guys are in luck, as after searching tirelessly and bouncing emails to friends in Japan, I am proud to present video footage of the precise moment Sega reached its peak.

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    Between the Sega CD and the 32x. SCD might not have set the world on fire, but the Genesis itself still was doing pretty gangbusters up until Sega shit the bed with the 1-2 punch of the 32x and botching the Saturn launch in America.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jb143 View Post
    Found a reference in an old Wall Street Journal article...

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB854003138646294500


    So looks like '94 is when they peaked....financially anyways.
    That year is April 1993 - March 1994, so more 1993, but still, Sega was doing exceptionally well in early '94.

    Seems most of the evidence is pointing toward a 1993/1994 peak. '92 seems a bit early as Sega hadn't yet built up the momentum and game library they would have in '93 and '94.

    Sega was sowing a lot of their downfall in '94, the 32X was entirely developed that year, but all of the bad effects hit in 1995 and later. Even the 32X did well briefly during the holiday season of 1994.

    Therefore, at least in my humble opinion, if I had to put a year on Sega's peak, it would be September 1993 to August 1994. The 1993-1994 school year and the following summer.

    Mortal Kombat was a big victory for them starting in September 1993, as well as their game rating system which played into that. Both the Genesis and SNES versions were bloodless - until you hit ABACABB on your Genesis controller. And that's what people were after in MK - blood and gore. If you weren't looking for that, why not just play Street Fighter?

    The Sega CD may not have been the biggest success but it wasn't really a flop, it was there for high end gamers who were willing to shell out more money for the latest and greatest experience. Of course, it did have its flaws. It got some of its best games in this period including Sonic CD and Lunar: The Silver Star.

    The Genny itself got Sonic 3 (as well as sequels to a lot of popular series including , Eternal Champions and Jurassic Park (those launched in August '93, so they were still brand new), and a whole load of EA Sports and Sega Sports games. Sports games sell in huge numbers, and they sell huge numbers of systems.

    It all started to fall apart going into late 1994 with the cardboard game boxes replacing the plastic cases, the 32X, and a stellar holiday season for the SNES taking customers from Sega.
    Real collectors drive Hondas, Toyotas, Chevys, Fords, etc... not Rolls Royces.

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