Listen, SEGA, I know you're coming up on 40 years old, but you have got to stop living in the past, man. I mean, 40 is the new 30! You're still young! Sure, you don't have your own console anymore, but you still have at least ten or twenty good years ahead of you.
I have to be honest with you though, and I'm saying this as a friend: If you don't let the past die, you could eventually end up killing your future.
Okay, this isn't true so much in Japan, where you're pretty reliable when it comes to new releases. You're doing good stuff with Yakuza, Hatsune Miku, the Shining series, Phantasy Star Online 2, and such. This is more about what you're doing in North America and Europe.
I mean, let's look at this past year. North America received twenty completely new games from you, SEGA. That sounds like a promising number, right? Except that only a small portion of those were actually new IPs. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, Crush3D, London 2012: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games, Football Manager 2013, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz, Total War: Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai, Alexandria Bloodshow, Zaxxon Escape, Virtua Tennis Challenge, Brick People, Total War Battles, Miku Flick, Miku Flick/02 and House of the Dead 4 were new installments in existing series. There were only four games that showed that you were taking an actual risk: Binary Domain, Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit, Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure, and Jack Lumber.
The thing is, SEGA, you didn't even choose the right IPs to take chances on in 2012. Of the four, Binary Domain and Rhythm Thief were probably the only right games to release. Neither was a fantastic game, but each was pretty darn good. I particularly enjoyed the music of Rhythm Thief and its colorful story. Meanwhile, Jack Lumber and Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit languished in mediocrity.
Meanwhile, you made a big mistake with Anarchy Reigns. It received a 36/40 from Famitsu, which is a very good score, and was very well received in Japan. Instead of releasing it in North America in 2012 as planned, it was put into release limbo. We didn't even get a release date until October 2012. It seems like a mistake to delay a game from a respected developer like Platinum Games that's proven successful in other regions. Of course, the upside is that we'll start off 2013 right, but it's still sad that we had to wait.
Now, let's do some comparisons. We know there were twenty new games. Let's go over the ports for 2012. You ported 29 Genesis, Dreamcast, and Arcade games to PCs, handhelds, and consoles. This means over half of the games you released this past year were games we've already seen and probably owned before. (To be fair, some of them were enhanced a bit.)
It's not that we don't like those old games. We love the Genesis and Dreamcast. They were good consoles, and they brought us a lot of good games. Many of us grew up with them, and we cherish those memories. It's nice to have them on every platform ever, but please, stop flooding Steam, the PlayStation Store, Xbox LIVE Arcade, and all those other lovely digital outlets with them. It cheapens the experience and those games deserve better than to be used as a blatant cash-grab.
You've just got to start thinking smart, SEGA. Take chances on games that deserve it. 2013 could be your year, with games like Anarchy Reigns, The Cave, and Aliens Colonial Marines. In fact, let’s make a deal: If you give Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F, Phantasy Star Online 2, Shining Ark, and even 7th Dragon 2020 North American releases, we'll forget this year's massive trip down memory lane.
Date: December 12, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*