Former Sega Executive Talks “Wrong Decisions” Made for 20 Years

Tom Kalinske talks about the recent closure of Sega of America’s San Francisco office, among other things.

Posted By | On 23rd, Feb. 2015 Under News

sonic boom characters

Former Sega of America chief executive Tom Kalinske, who left the company in 1996 and went on to work at Mattel before finally becoming vice chairman of LeapFrog, recently spoke to Games Industry International about the horrible decisions Sega has made over the years. This was in light of the closure of Sega of America’s San Francisco office recently.

“It was not inevitable. It could have been avoided if they had made the right decisions going back literally 20 years ago. But they seem to have made the wrong decisions for 20 years.”

Kalinske touched briefly on his proposal for a joint Sega-Sony console that was rejected by the company’s board in 1996. “We went to Sony and they agreed, ‘Great idea.’ Whether we called it Sega-Sony or Sony-Sega, who cared? We go to Sega and the board turned it down, which I thought was the stupidest decision ever made in the history of business. And from that moment on, I didn’t feel they were capable of making the correct decisions in Japan any longer.”

The company won’t suffer the same fate as Atari just yet though. “You have to really make a lot of mistakes to kill a strong brand. I do think some great brands obviously have been destroyed, Atari being one of them. Why didn’t that survive? I think there’s a lot of bad decision making involved in killing brands like that. I hope Sega isn’t the same thing.”

We hope that too but games like Sonic Boom aren’t exactly shining beacons of hope right now. Your thoughts? Let us know below.

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