Sega’s undoubtedly most fondly remembered for it’s 16-bit classics. We all remember the days of Sonic, Alex Kidd, Altered Beast, Streets of Rage and so many more. These games really helped shape the 2D world of gaming, and I sincerely don’t believe it’d be the same today without Sega and the battle they had with Nintendo.
Since then, Sega has been very much up and down in terms of their content quality, which to many of us, is a disappointment. The Dreamcast, their final console, was a fantastic console, but was sadly beaten down by the likes of the Sony Playstation and Sega never fully recovered. Before the Dreamcast, the company was already in a rough patch with consumers as they released the Sega CD, 32X and Sega Saturn, basically confusing it’s fans and creating confusion amongst newcomers.
Over the years since, there’s definitely been a few standout Sega releases, such as Sonic Generations, Sonic Mania, Valkyria Chronicles, but none have ever really reached the critical success of it’s original 2D releases. Sega seems to now be listening to it’s fans, and have started rebooting old IP’s in a similar style to their 20+ year old counterparts, such as the Sonic Mania title, which has been a fantastic success, and with the recent announcement of a Streets of Rage reboot, there’s definitely a place for them in today’s market. If Sonic Mania has taught us and Sega anything, it’s that there’s still a lot of retro fans out there, who just want a single player experience, that just works. Not only does it work, Sonic Mania is a fantastic game, and priced incredibly competitively.
For me, the future of Sega is definitely in original IP’s with retro style gaming. We’re now getting to a point where the gaming market is so incredibly saturated, full of bad and broken AAA titles, that are completely money driven, falling prey to micro-transaction fuelled gameplay, broken glitch filled games and at a hefty price. Many of us don’t want DLC, we want the full game. We don’t want a day one patch that’s an 8GB download. We want to go out, buy a game, sit down and play it. When I still use my old Sega Megadrive, I put the game in, turn it on, and I’m gaming, within seconds. 2D platformers like Sonic and Mario have stood the test of time, people still play them and people still want them.
Nowadays, I feel that (at least my generation) of gamers are really looking for something nostalgic. We’re looking for a time where gaming was more simple, more creative and simply more fun.
If Sega continues on it’s path, of recreating old titles, rebooting classic franchises and releasing them on all platforms at competitive prices, I can’t see any reason why they couldn’t fight their way back into the console battle. Obviously, releasing hardware is a completely different story to publishing games, but if the Nintendo Switch has taught us anything, it’s that the hardware doesn’t have to completely match up to it’s competitors and doesn’t have to do anything out of the ordinary. It just has to work with as little flaws as possible and deliver original content that’s enjoyable. Graphic most definitely are not the most important part of a game. The gameplay is.
If Sega released a console that was able to run indie games, and older 2D titles, I’m sure they’d still sell well, as there’s plenty of people still clinging on to the nostalgia of Sega’s golden years.
Another way forward for Sega would be releasing previous titles from the Sega Saturn and Sega Dreamcast. These systems has many great games, that such a huge number of people didn’t get to play. There’s been a few games such as Res that have been re-released, but there’s still plenty that fans are dying to play.
Despite my hopes, we may never see Sega return to the hardware market, as it’s an incredibly costly effort and could potentially be the downfall of the company if it is not successful. I’d still love to see what would happen if Sega did release a new console, as I’m sure we all would, but for now, I’m just really glad that Sega is listening to it’s fans, and giving us the classics that we know and love, with a few reboots thrown in.
I just have one request. Please give us a new Golden Axe!
Leave a comment below, let us know what you’d like to see Sega do next.
Still learning about the retro world, and sharing my findings as I go. I love writing and I love games!