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Japanese games company SEGA was one of the major players during the golden age of arcade video games between 1978 and 1983. It has produced many multi-million selling franchises such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star and Virtua Fighter, to name but a few.
The SEGA consoles are legendary and the retro ones, such as the Sega Mega Drive, remain much sought-after today within the gaming community.
SEGA’S history began in 1945, when Service Games was established in Hawaii by Irving Bromberg, his son Martin and associate James Humpert. The aim was to supply slot machines and coin-operated gaming devices to US military personnel stationed in Asia after World War II. The company name came from its market, the military services. Irving was an expert in coin machine technology, having run his own vending machine company since 1933.
In 1951, the US Congress banned slot machines on military bases within the USA, leading Service Games to explore other markets for their products. In 1952, Service Games Japan was set up to sell slot machines on US military bases there. They subsequently built a network of factories across South East Asia.
The brand name was condensed to SEGA following a merger with arcade game manufacturer Rosen Enterprises in 1965. Their first hit electro-mechanical arcade game was a shooter called Periscope, released in Japan in 1966 and overseas a year later.
SEGA expanded during the arcade game heyday of the 1970s and '80s, becoming the first manufacturer to use laser disc technology. Business was booming during the golden era of arcade games between 1978 and 1983, with revenue of more than $100 million in 1979 and more than $214 million in 1982.
Among their most popular games at this time were Head On and Monaco GP, both in 1979; Carnival in 1980; Turbo, Astro Blaster and Space Fury in 1981; and Pengo in 1982.
In 1983, SEGA went into the home gaming consoles market with the release of the SG-1000, followed by the SEGA Mark III in 1985. It was later rebranded as the Master System and was sold all over Europe, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.
The most popular game remains Sonic the Hedgehog, released in 1991 and still going strong today on eighth generation consoles. It had sold more than 80 million hard copies by 2016, plus more than 350 million units of packaged game software and mobile phone downloads.
Originally released in 1988, the SEGA Mega Drive remains one of the company's most famous consoles.
In 2001, SEGA announced it was to become a third-party software publisher, making games for consoles produced by other companies. In 2005, the company purchased UK game developer Creative Assembly, popular for its Total War franchise.
In 2007, SEGA teamed up with Nintendo to create the Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games series, selling more than 20 million copies to date. The Sonic the Hedgehog series continues to be popular internationally. SEGA first broke into the mobile market in 2008 by releasing its first app on the iTunes Store, Super Monkey Ball.
Today, the console legend remains a leading video games manufacturer producing brands such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Total War, Football Manager, Aliens, Bayonetta, Company of Heroes, Dawn of War, Motorsport Manager, Vanquish and Yakuza.
It was announced earlier this year that a new SEGA console was to be released in the autumn. The compact console will include HD versions of favourite games. There will be three variations of the console: Classic Gaming Console with 81 built-in games, Genesis Flashback with 85 built-in games and Ultra Portable Game Player with 85 built-in games.
KAS Shopfittings is a leading supplier of shelving systems, chrome shelving, shop counters and other display equipment. We have supplied various products to SEGA for distribution to different theme parks and arcades, where they are used to display merchandise.