‘We betrayed consumers’ trust, now we must win it back.’
A long time ago – nearly 25 years ago, actually – the Sega brand and name used to be synonymous with quality, and with one of the top experiences possible within this industry. This is going way back to Sega’s glory days, back when they ruled the roost with the Genesis in the 16 bit days. Chronic mismanagement would mean that they would lose their penchant for quality, and come to be known as a chaotic, schizophrenic company capable of good products, but always hampered by its management.
It was a reputation Sega was never able to shed once it got it, even though it did have a brief resurgence with the Dreamcast, and the games that followed. However, never has Sega’s stock with the gaming community been as low as it is today- with their output being reduced to a few games every year, having even of those games be disappointing can be an issue. And when one of those games is a contender for the title of the worst game ever made, legitimately? Well then, you can see why the brand might have dissolved all value it once might have had.
That’s what happened with Sega, and last year’s horrendous Sonic Boom. The good thing is, they seem to understand that, at the very least. Speaking in an interview with Famitsu, translated by Siliconera, company CEO and president Haruki Satomi discussed the issue.
“I’ve been talking to the employees about how we should start putting serious consideration into quality from this point on,” responded Satomi. “Especially 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.
“We did our best to build a relationship of mutual trust with older fans of Sega, but looking back, there’ve been some titles that have partially betrayed that [trust] in the past 10 years.”
He added that Sega hoped to announce a title for home consoles at the Tokyo Game Show, which would be interesting to see.
He also discussed Sega’s perennial issues with localizing its Japanese games for the western audiences- an issue that has plagued the company going as far back as the infamous Sega Saturn. Apparently, Sega learned a lot from Atlus (a company that it acquired, but lets operate independently, a while back).
“As far as the Western market goes, we learned a lot from Atlus,” continued Satomi. “If we can make a title with proper quality, I believe there’s a good chance for it to do well even in the West for players that like to play Japanese games.”
It’s good to see the company have a level of self awareness, which is something that it has admittedly lacked in the past- however, what remains to be seen is whether it can actually act out on its newfound impulses, or whether it will be, yet again, falling prey to its management issues.