Sega are cowards and I wish Microsoft or Nintendo would buy them

A reader has had enough of Sega’s treatment of its classic games and demands it sells them to a company that will make better use of them.

So another week another goes by, with another Tokyo Game Show on the horizon, and, as usual, Sega is acting like Sega in name only. News emerged that they were going to announce a new role-playing game at the show and immediately people started hoping for a new Skies Of Arcadia or Phantasy Star. But what did we get? Some generic looking mobile game that’s guaranteed to be filled with gacha and microtransactions.

I don’t know why Sega hate their own legacy but I’m at the point where I’ve had enough and just want them to sell up to someone else. Sell their classic franchises to someone that actually cares about them and then they can carry on making their boring PC games and I can finally forget they even exist.

The excuse many people give is that Sega aren’t the company they used to be and can’t afford to make reboots or sequels to old games, but that’s not true. All those strategy games don’t grow on trees and they’re part of a larger, profitable company, called Sega Sammy, that makes £2.5 billion a year and also own Atlus. That’s not quite as big as EA or Activision but it’s not far off.

Sega bought all the developers it uses for its strategy games – they don’t work for Sega they’re owned by them – and yet apparently it’s never occurred to them buy Dotemu, the company that made Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap and Streets Of Rage 4. Or the developer they’re getting to make Panzer Dragoon and The House Of The Dead.

Occasionally, Sega does allow games to be made based on its old franchises, but it never makes them itself. Those games had nothing to do with them and neither did Sonic Mania. But did that clue them in to the idea that maybe they should get other people to make all of their games? No, they completely ignored their success and so far there’s no sign of a Sonic Mania 2, Streets Of Rage 5, or any kind of follow-up from the same developers.

Sega’s disinterest in its own history is frankly offensive and it has done nothing in the last 20 years to honour them. The few times it has it’s been 100% the work of external companies, who have created games that were good because Sega had nothing to do with them, not despite it.

There was a story recently that Sega wanted to bring back dormant franchises like Shinobi and Altered Beast but, of course, that came to nothing and there’s been no new announcements of anything for the months – and apparently there won’t be at Tokyo Game Show either.

Decades later and anyone that thinks Sega are suddenly going to start bringing back classic franchises is deluding themselves. I should know because I’ve been kidding myself all this time. And even if they do pay Dotemu to make a new Golden Axe, or similar, a low budget retro homage should be the absolute bare minimum of what they’re doing.

Why aren’t we seeing big budget revamps of these games, of OutRun and After Burner, Space Harrier and Thunder Force? It’s pointless to say that they wouldn’t sell because they’re old because a) Sega has never tried and b) they’re such open-ended ideas it should be easy to revamp them for the modern age. OutRun is a racing game, Space Harrier is a shooter, Shinobi is a ninja game, and Golden Axe is Lord of the Rings with more monsters.

Any company should be able to use these raw ingredients to mould a modern, exciting game that appeals to everyone, especially as they’ve already got a recognisable brand name to use. Any company except Sega, apparently. I just hope and pray that they get sold to another publisher. To Microsoft or Nintendo, Bandai Namco or even EA and 2K. It doesn’t matter. They could be sold to my dog and she’d be able to make better use of the IP than Sega is.

Enough is enough. Sega has sat on these franchises for far too long and they have to be taken away from them and given to someone that actually cares enough to create quality new games.

By reader Gadfly

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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