9 Simple Steps to a Sega Revival

9 Simple Steps to a Sega Revival

OK Sega, step one to fixing a problem is admitting you have a problem. Luckily, your CEO recently said he believes you betrayed fans’ trust by selling yourselves on nostalgia rather than quality. Good, good. Now the healing can begin. Luckily, I’m here to give you a nine-step program that will get you back on your feet as a giant of the video game world.

Step 1 – Scale back licensed properties

Remember how big of a flop Aliens: Colonial Marines was? Yeah. You know why it was a flop? Because licensed properties suck. You are in too precarious of a position to be spending any more money picking up any more licenses. You have plenty of properties that you can leverage without having to expend more of your money. I know the temptation to cash in on a buzz is strong, but you need to make more solid properties now in order to regain faith with the fans.

Step 2 – Spend small amounts of money on classic franchise revivals

Part of your problem is common to most AAA developers these days. You are always chasing Call of Duty money. Stop it! Instead, follow the example of the indie sphere. Instead of investing 50 million dollars on a project hoping to make 600 million, get a small group of programmers, give them 5 million dollars, and watch them bring in 60 million. Sure, it isn’t the big bucks, but it will be a solid profitable game that fans will love while you can work on bigger projects in your spare time. Possible candidates include Ecco: The Dolphin , Golden Axe , Gunstar Heroes , or Streets of Rage .

Step 3 – Choose one or two big properties for a larger budget revival

Once the fans realize you can make good games, target some of your larger franchises. Crazy Taxi , Skies of Arcadia , Jet Set Radio, and Rez would make for huge reveals at next year’s E3 as a next-gen game. Heck, now that we have the Kinect and the PlayStation camera, consider doing another Seaman . Once again, don’t spend Call of Duty money on these games, but make their production bigger, and make their release more of an event. Nights … yes, make another Nights .

Step 4 – Make one huge multiplayer project

Two words: Phantasy Star . Phantasy Star Online was huge in the days of the Dreamcast. It was free. It was a console game. It was primarily online. It was a JRPG. This combination of features was incredibly unique, and while I know you have created sequels that were PC only, they don’t capture the same wonder that the original Phantasy Star did.

Step 5 – Return your classic franchises to their classic format

OK, you had your fun making a Shining Force fighting game and action game, but stop it. You keep trying to innovate and change around your classic franchises but when people want to play a Shining Force game, they want to play a tactical RPG. Don’t believe me? Look at Fire Emblem ! It hasn’t changed up its formula in years and it’s still a powerful Nintendo brand. Nintendo doesn’t need to keep reinventing itself and you don’t either.

Step 6 – Shift your puzzle games over to handheld or mobile format, but still make party versions

You have a ton of great puzzle games, from Puyo Pop Fever to Chu Chu Rocket . I hate to say it, but the best place for these games is the mobile market. So get some Puyo happening on the iOS and Droid markets and then, once every few years, create a party version so that everyone can come together around one couch and play each other.

9 Simple Steps to a Sega Revival

Step 7 – Support the communities for your successful franchises

Virtua Fighter keeps selling well, yet we never see a lot of support for the series at events like EVO. Valkyria Chronicles sold well, yet we never got the PS3 ports of the PSP games that people loved so much. Sands of Destruction was considered an incredible JRPG, and it got no support and likely won’t ever see a sequel. You are very quick to abandon your successful franchises because they were only good and not blockbusters. It’s OK to just be good, Sega. Good is good.

Step 8 – Whatever you are doing with Sonic right now? Stop it!

Sonic Boom ? Nope! Forget it. Forget everything Sonic related. Give him a rest. Don’t create a new Sonic game for at least 3-5 years. Let people remember how much they miss the blue hedgehog. Then, when our nostalgia is at its peak, create a new Sonic game. Something like Sonic Generations . A simple 2D affair with maybe some 3D in it. No werewolves. No swords. No grappling hooks. Just speed.

Step 9 – Make something new

Finally, if you really want to get back in the good graces with fans, make something new. That’s it. No big secret. You used to do this all the time back in the day. Come up with a new action game, racing game, or fighting game. Just put some of your energy into a totally new IP. So few companies make new IPs these days, fans will be happy just to see something fresh.

To top