Killing Chickens Before They Hatch

Article By: BAD 
Written 2/11/01

Recently, Sega announced that as a result of restructuring, they would discontinue manufacturing of the Dreamcast system by March 31st of 2001, and act only as a third party developer for other systems. As a third party developer, they will develop games for the PlayStation 2, a Set-Top Box with DC architecture, and GameBoy Advance as of now, and quite possibly the XBox in the future. Although Sega's plans are of third party nature, support for the Dreamcast has not come to a slow, and will continue to be strong into the coming year. Many were startled by this announcement, some were angered, some spread filthy rumors about it, some yelled 'sellout!', news broadcasts claimed Sega to be 'bankrupt', and the media misinformed the public in sickening manner. Radio, newspapers, news channels, and other misfits of journalism have spread shit on Sega's current status in an attempt to drive them into the ground. Of course, we all know the restructuring was due to Sega's profit-loss in the past year associated with the DC and it's sales, not bankruptcy, as the media so willingly misinformed. Also, Sega is not dropping the Dreamcast at all, and will not only continue to develop for the DC, but for the set-top boxes that contain the DC's architecture as well. Though the DC will be out of distribution soon, the DC technology's architecture will live in set-top boxes that will allow more than just playing DC games. Not only does Sega want everyone to be able to play DC games on the set-top boxes with DC architecture, but also on PC as well, with the help of a driver that will read GD-ROMs. Friend or foe? Sellout? Good move? Bad move? Fuck the media. Whether the media likes it or not, Sega lives.

First, I'll start by saying fuck you to all the assholes of the media who claim Sega's going bankrupt. Second, I want to say fuck you to all the bastards who say 'told you Sega wouldn't make it'; fuck you, Sega's not out of the industry, you fucks. With all the screams of 'sellout!' and assumptions Sega making a 'bad move', this is what I have to say about something that's been blown way out of proportion and distorted by the motherfuckers of the media (a special no thanks goes to the radio stations who said Sega was merging with Microsoft). I don't see it as a taboo for Sega to start making games for other systems because they've always been more of a third party developer from the start, rather than a first party developer. Sure, they make a few games here and there that are classified first party, but look at where all the classics and hits are from Sega-in their own third party support for their systems. Sure, it hurts me to see that Virtua Fighter 4 will not be a DC exclusive, but I'd like to see it no matter what system it's running on. It will be interesting to see what Sega can do with the other systems, and even more interesting to see Sega's flagship titles on those systems (Virtua Fighter on PS2?). Although I am content with seeing Sega's games on other systems, I would like to see games like Shenmue and Jet Grind Radio as DC exclusives. Why? Simply because the Dremcast system shouldn't be subject to hostile views (of narrow-minded individuals) of being a worthless system just because some of the titles may also be on the PS2. There'll no doubt be a lot of titles being brought to the PS2, but that's not to say that DC owners will stop getting exclusives. I know that I'll be getting a PS2 the release day of Virtua Fighter 4, but I'll still be supporting my Dreamcast as well; I'm still saving my coins for the DC collection pack with Jumbo Safari and Brave Firefighters. The point is, panic will not help the situation at all, but buying the games will. Sega is selling out at all, because if not for this move, who knows where Sega would be in the future? This move is keeping Sega above water, so they can still make great games even if they are on other systems. The main point is, Sega is making these changes to bring you, the gamer, the best games that they can. Just because they are making games for other systems doesn't mean they are going under.

Will exclusive games for the PS2 hurt sales for DC games? No, because there are also exclusive DC games as well, including upcoming releases and games in development. Sure, a few key games like Crazy Taxi are being ported, but so far Shenmue II and loads of other games as well. Sure, there might be some announcements we still have yet to hear, but chances are Sega won't port <i>every</i> game to PS2 or any of the other systems. The DC will still get exclusive games that will make it so that people will still have to get a DC to play some of the games; in another sense, Sega can also spread conversions across different systems, giving specific systems their own respective exclusives from Sega.

One other exciting aspect is the fact that Sega is running most of their new arcade games on the Naomi2 hardware, which is strikingly similar to Sony's System 246 hardware; this means that we can expect to see a significant portion of Sega's games to come home. With the Virtua Fighter 4 is coming to the PS2 for that reason, and most likely Sega's newer arcade titles will continue to come to the PS2. Not to say that Sega will stop supporting the Naomi hardware; Shenmue II and many other games within the coming year are being developed on the Naomi. If Sega wouldn't have made the move they made, they might not have been able to bring the Naomi2 titles home, since bringing out an upgrade for the DC would not only bleed more from Sega's funds, but would also bring immediate memories of the Sega CD and 32X to most consumers. In no way am I saying the 32X was bad, but mainstream people didn't like it, and developers might take the same thought as the majority (just as Square didn't stay with the N64, but I won't get into that now...). If the developers think "oh, this is just another Sega add-on", then Sega would lose even more money, and might have even got into serious a financial situation. By instead upgrading their arcade hardware to a structure (Naomi2) similar to that of another hardware's structure (System 246), Sega was able to instead use their resources to develop more games and learn the new hardware, as opposed to taking a risk in making an add-on.

By saving their resources for current development, Sega also stays in the technological loop as far as hardware goes, possibly considering another system in the future (remember, they haven't denied that just yet). Sega has always been about arcade games, and by making the choice to model the Naomi2 similar to the System 246, Sega can skip a lot of architectural work with the DC and concentrate on what they can do with existing hardware. In other words, we should be happy Sega made the choice they did. 'Oh, so you're happy they sold out then?' No. I didn't say anything about selling out; if you're a true Sega fan, you'll play their games on any hardware. Like always, it's not about the hardware, it's about the games (don't talk about the N64).

One other point is that the System 246 can also support Naomi games (since the Naomi2 is an upgrade upon Naomi), so if some of Sega's Naomi games don't come home to the DC, at least they might come home to the PS2. Though Sega has not completely ruled out the possibility of seeing titles on the GameCube or the XBox, it's most likely at this point that a significant portion of titles will hit the PS2. Why the PS2? Because the Naomi2 and the System 246 are so similar in architecture as said in previous paragraphs, problems might be imminent in the XBox or the GameCube hardware. Though I think Sega would have a much easier time developing for the GameCube than the XBox, I'll just stay nuetral for now until more is released on development progress. Nintendo and Microsoft both say their systems will be extremely friendly to programmers and their families, but will it be enough to combat the established base Sega will have already aqcuired by developing games for the PS2 first? Will the GameCube and XBox be in fact so pleasing to developers and programmers that Sega will migrate to them instead of making more games for the PS2?

Oh, and I'd like to say fuck you again to all the bastard-ass motherfuckers of the media (Gamefan and Tips & Tricks are exempt from this) who go out of their way to make Sega look like fuck-ups. Thanks for shit-ass gossip and filth, you fucking pricks. We don't need you.

Thank you for reading my commentary.

"Fuck, the media, the gossip, the lies, you fuel the fire, wipe that shit, from your eyes."