“We determined to manufacture [light] weapons and [pinball] flippers ourselves in Japan, which led us to begin creating our personal arcade video games. That was the official begin of Sega.”
– Former Sega exec Akira Nagai, from a 2001 interview printed in Japanese and lately republished (in English) on Shmuplations.
Sega is making a present of celebrating its 16-bit roots this yr with a Mega Drive Mini micro-console, however the venerable recreation firm’s historical past stretches back into the early days of Japanese arcades.
Devs curious to know simply how far back it goes ought to try Shmuplations’ newly-translated interview with former Sega exec Akira Nagai, during which he speaks concerning the firm’s roots within the Japanese arm of a 1940s-era enterprise to import jukeboxes and different amusements for U.S. navy bases.
While this historical past has been advised earlier than, this newly-translated interview (printed within the 2001 Japanese e book “Sega Arcade History”) affords readers perception into Nagai’s perspective on the corporate he served for a few years.
For instance, he talks a bit about why Sega began making its personal arcade video games (as a result of those they imported broke down rather a lot) and how Sega’s transfer within the ’70s away from “gun corners” (areas with clusters of electro-mechanical mild gun video games) in direction of video video games was a giant boon for the corporate.
“The software program improvement aspect of video video games could be very difficult, however so far as the manufacturing goes, they have been far, far easier. All you wanted was the monitor and the pcb, and they didn’t require upkeep both. Electro-mechanicals, then again, had many hand-made parts, and their improvement took numerous time. If one half went dangerous, the entire machine was inoperable till it might be repaired,” Nagai mentioned.
“With video video games, the truth that the PCB might be re-written with new software program was the overwhelmingly decisive issue of their dominance. That, plus the brand new motion/motion that couldn’t be achieved on electro-mechanicals. For occasion, the angles you might hit the ball at in Pong—to the folks back then, that felt very revolutionary.”
The remainder of the newly-translated interview is properly value studying in full over on Shmuplations, because it touches on all the things from Sega’s early days competing with Taito (“Taito’s gross sales in these days have been actually superb—they have been blowing away different Japanese corporations, even Honda”) to the corporate’s efforts to “clear up” the picture of arcades (see picture excerpt under) throughout the peak of the ’80s.
“One query that occurred to me throughout the cleanup marketing campaign was ‘Why do recreation facilities solely have one toilet…?'” Nagai mentioned. “So one among our first priorities once we opened new recreation facilities was ensuring there have been bogs for each males and ladies.”