CEO Hajime Satomi has acknowledged that Sega has betrayed fans in recent years with their approach to video games, and has vowed to renew efforts to regain trust in the future.
Back in the day, you couldn’t move without people talking your ear off about how much they loved their Sega Genesis. Sonic The Hedgehog was a role model, not only to hedgehogs, but to any 80’s kid who wanted to say no to drugs and yes to chili dogs. Then in the late 90’s Sega dropped the Dreamcast and captured the hearts of a whole new generation with Sonic flying the Sega flag high. The following years saw Sonic performing a series of depraved acts for money including what many considered the final straw… Sonic Free Riders.
NOT EVEN TAILS WANTED TO BE SEEN WITH SONIC.
Sega closed down it’s San Francisco branch in January laying off 300 employees with a view to focus on smartphone apps and PC games. With no dedicated console to speak of and a string of sub-par releases culminating in Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric on the Wii U, Sega’s no show at E3 2015 sparked a lot of debate about its dwindling status.
Hajime Satomi has now spoken out in an interview with Japanese publication Famitsu (translated to English by Siliconera) about the Sega brand, its struggles and the planned rejuvenation.
I’ve been talking to employees about how [Sega] should start putting serious consideration into quality from this point on …. 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.
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.
When asked about what Sega has planned for the near future, he told fans they would announce something for home consoles at the Tokyo Game Show in September but, for the time being, to rest assured that they are planning to rebuild:
Sega in the ‘90s was known for its ‘brand’, but after that, we’ve lost trust, and we were left with nothing but reputation. For this reason, we’d like to win back the customers trust, and become a ‘brand,’ once again.
If he’s serious about this, we could be seeing great things coming out of Sega very soon.