1. Dooble

    Dooble
    Member OP

    I just want to highlight their most notable current divisions. and projects. Why? Because I think they deserve too, much like Nintendo (but I' not sure if I will update this). If you any questions about any staff (say who was manly responsible for Shinobi PS2, and what they did do then?) or which were behind each game in the past, and what they do now, feel free to ask. I'm sure I can answer it. I have it all in my head.

    "Full overview" and the lead of each studio link to Sega Retro.

    Sega CS1

    Consumer Studio #1 is probably the premiere gaming studio for Sega of Japan. It is headed by tanned mastermind Toshihiro Nagoshi who was behind Daytona USA, Super Monkey Ball and Yakuza as a director.
    The main purpose of the studio is to create the Yakuza series. The legacy of the developers at the studio are of AM11/R&D4/Amusement Vision and CS1/Sega PC/Smilebit. Super Monkey Ball, Jet Set Radio, Panzer Dragoon and Spikeout. Full overview.

    Recently completed projects: Yakuza 6
    Current projects: Hokuto Go Gotoku, Shin Yakuza

    Members
    Tetsuya Kaku (programmer at Sega since Virtua Fighter 1)
    Masayoshi Yokoyama (since Jet Set Radio, script writer then for Yakuza series)

    Sega CS2

    The second studio for console and handheld games is mainly resposible for the Sonic the Hedgehog, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic games and the Puyo Puyo series. The legacy behind the studio mainly people who worked on the Sonic series since Sonic Adventure as well as Space Channel 5. Also devs from Shinobi/Nightshade joined in around 2006. It also has a US studio, that only supervises Sonic projects out in the West (Sonic Mania). It is overall headed by Sonic Adventure director, Takashi Iizuka.
    Full overview.

    Recently completed projects: Sonic Forces, Puyo Puyo Tetris for Switch
    Current projects:???

    Members:
    Kazuyuki Hoshino (artist since Sonic CD, or art director for Sonic Adventure)
    Sachiko Kawamura (artist since Sonic 3D Blast, creator of Chao, art director for ChuChu Rocket, art director since Sonic Unleashed)
    Shinkichi Tanahashi (character animator for Space Channel 5, then switched to the Sonic series since Unleashed)
    Tetsu Katano (programmer since Clockwork Knights, then lead programmer for Sonic Adventure)
    Takumi Yoshinaga (game design lead for Space Channel 5, Feel the Magic)

    Sega CS3

    The third consumer studio. This one is headed byAkira Nishino, who directed Ristar way back in the day. The main background of this studio is Sakura Wars, who went to do Skies of Arcadia. Pretty much the RPG veterans. Also has staff coordinating outsourcing games with outside developers (special note to the Sega Ages prject son PS2 and ports on PS3/360).Full overview.

    Recently completed projects: Hatsune Miku Project DIVA X, Valykria Revolution, 3D Classics (with M2)
    Current projects: A Certain Magical Virtual On, Valkyria Chronicles 4

    Members
    Akira Nishino (director of Ristar)
    Hirotaka Kanezawa (artist for Skies of Arcadia)
    Rieko Kodama (Phantasy Star)

    Sega AM1

    The arcade studio who's legacy goes way back into the 80's. The last console project were some House of the Dead ports for PS3 Move and Wi last gen. Also a DS conversion of Sangokushi Taisen.Full overview.
    Has veterans from Sega Rally, HotD and other racers and rail shooters.

    On going projects: Initial D, World Club Champion Football, MaiMai, Code of Joker
    Current projects: Sega World Drivers Championship, House of the Dead Scarlet Dawn, Fate Grand Order Arcade

    Members:
    Kenji Arai (Initial D)
    Takashi Oda (House of the Dead)
    Atsushi Seimiya (Streets of Rage)

    Sega AM2

    The second arcade studio, like AM1 also existing since the 80's. It is headed by Hiroshi Kataoka. Full overview.
    Has veterans from Virtua Fighter, Fighting Vipers, Daytona USA, Virtua Tennis and more.

    On going projects: Border Break, Mahjong Arcade, Kancolle Arcade, Miku Arcade and Future Tone on PS4
    Current projects: Soul Reverse, Border Break PS4 (first console project in more than five years)

    Members:
    Daichi Katagiri (Virtua Fighter)
    Hiroshi Kataoka (Fighting Vipers)
    Makoto Osaki (Virtua Fighter Kids)
    Shinichi Yoshino (Shenmue)

    Mobile & Online R&D

    The mobile studio, as well as the studio that is currently making F2P projects in generel. Full overview (Online R&D). Full overview (Mobile Sega Networks)

    On going projects: PSO2, mobile games
    Current projects: PSO2 for Switch, mobile games (the Megami Tensei game for mobile for example)

    Members
    Akinori Nishiyama (Phantasy Star)
    Shuntaro Tanaka (Skies of Arcadia)
    Masayoshi Kikuchi (director of Jet Set Radio)

    Also I recommend the article series I did for Segabits:
    http://segabits.com/blog/2015/09/23/history-sega-japan-rd-part-1-origins-80s/
     
  2. CS1 and CS3 are their only interesting developers. CS2's failure with Sonic Forces (and previously, Sonic Lost World) was so catastrophic that I think Sonic Team is as bad as ever.

    Sonic Team was at least rushed to make '06, they had four years to make Forces.

    Beyond CS1 and CS3, their Atlus developers would probably be way more interesting.
     
  3. aisback

    aisback
    Member

    I'm still surprised at how big of a company Sega still is. I just wished the management was better
     
  4. ILikeFeet

    ILikeFeet
    Member

    I know this thread focuses on Japan, but I think it should encompass all of sega. Atlus, Relic, Creative Assembly, etc should all be represented. would help with the thought going around when people are disappointed when Sega reveals a western-made game.

    /useless 2 cents
     
  5. Timmit

    Timmit
    Member

    Puyo Puyo Tetris though

    Also I wouldn't assume too much about how or why Forces is like it is. Even with 4 years of possible development time there's plenty that could go wrong.
     
  6. I mean, the rumors are that they ended up making Forces in one year.

    But then it's like... What did you do the other three years.

    And that's a pretty catastrophic failure when you can't do anything productive for three years.

    Regardless, Sonic Team hasn't released an even average non-puzzle game in 6 years and probably won't have another game out for at least 3 more years and that's just fucking terrible work.
     
  7. Tain

    Tain
    Member

    Good overview. Can't wait for Border Break.
     
  8. Dooble

    Dooble
    Member OP

  9. Timmit

    Timmit
    Member

    iirc the rumor was four years spent on Hedgehog Engine 2, two years on Sonic Forces, one year of which was full production. Could be wrong though. Either way, it's wrong to assume that when a studio doesn't do much for a bunch of years that it's the studio's fault. There's plenty of reasons why they could have not worked on much during that time, and chances are it's not something as simple as "they're bad at their job". Not when it comes to the game industry anyway.
     
  10. Candescence

    Candescence
    Member

    Regardless, Sonic Team's competency in terms of handling of the franchise has been all over the place since the Dreamcast's launch, and they've never put out a genuinely great game themselves. It took the colossal disaster that was Sonic 06 to get them to try and shape up, but the Boost games have been divisive anyway, and now Forces is a goddamn mess - it doesn't help that it's contrasted with the near-universal praise for Sonic Mania, which Sonic Team basically had nothing to do with.

    Any sane management would see the inconsistent quality (both with Sonic Team-made games and other Sonic games who had Sonic Team vets as producer roles (mainly Iizuka, who signed off on such "wonders" as Sonic 4 and Rivals)) and the overshadowing of the latest major title by a digital game made by a team of relative amateurs to be an indicator that maybe Sonic Team simply isn't up to the task of handling such an iconic franchise. The only reasons the people who are veterans are still around and in charge is purely because they've been around longer than anyone else, rather than merit - Takashi Iizuka has had no idea what the fuck he's doing for the longest time and Shun Nakamura is still a producer despite basically being at least partly responsible for the parts of Sonic 06 that went wrong that weren't obviously the fault of the game's messy production (he was the director, the main designer and the fucking head writer for one of the most poorly-written narratives in Sonic's history). Such a spotty record should've caused Sega to clean house, but Sonic Team is practically an institution at this point - Sonic Team USA got shut down after Sonic 06 despite not actually having had a hand in that disaster (their last title being the divisive but hardly terrible NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams).

    Seriously, Sonic Team have had too many bungled second chances. I can't fathom why the studio in its current form is still in charge of making mainline Sonic titles.

    (Also, they have an astoundingly bad habit of splitting up Sonic games into multiple game modes often with completely different gameplay for no apparent reason, hence "Sonic's shitty friends" until fans complained and Sonic Team missed the point so they ended up shoehorning their habit into Sonic himself in various contrived ways, such as the Werehog, 2D sections taking up most of the game since Unleashed, Classic Sonic, the Avatar in Forces, etc. I've had a theory for a long time that they're paranoid about the attention spans of players.)
     
  11. fiendcode

    fiendcode
    Member

    Fantastic outline but one correction; Border Break PS4 isn’t AM2’s first console project in 5 years. They also developed console Miku games (Project Mirai series on 3DS, Project Diva Future Tone PS4).
     
  12. Soheil

    Soheil
    Member

    I think it's better to update this thread to full Sega studios like the CAPACOM thread.
     
  13. Birdseye

    Birdseye
    Member

    Which one is making Shenmue HD?
     
  14. Ingueferroque

    Ingueferroque
    Member

    I am rooting for Sega’s comeback. Scarlet Dawn, Border Break, Virtual On(ish)...

    Let’s go!
     
  15. Timmit

    Timmit
    Member

    This is making a whole lot of assumptions that aren't necessarily true.

    While yeah, Shun Nakamura being a producer on Forces is a bit weird when you think his only credit is being director and lead designer on Sonic 2006, you might want to actually look at what his work has been since Sonic 2006 before saying he's "still a producer". Cause the only Sonic game he had any major involvement in since 2006 was Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. Otherwise he was only really involved as supervisor or "project support", mostly with spin-off games. There's also that aside from Sonic 2006 and Forces, the games he had a major role in have generally been pretty good. Mainly Samba de Amigo, Billy Hatchet (arguably), and Rhythm Thief. All of which he was director on.

    As for Takashi Iizuka: he's not actually at Sonic Team in Japan anymore, he's been at Sega America since March 2016. Kinda doubtful he's to blame for everything bad about Sonic Forces. If anything I wouldn't be surprised if he was more involved with Sonic Mania.

    Anyway, maybe don't try to armchair explain why Sonic games are bad actually. Cause truth is we don't really know shit and whatever the case it's probably more accurate to blame Sega than it is to blame the people they're getting to make the games.
     
  16. PachaelD

    PachaelD
    Member

    I'd also add Sega Networks to their primarily F2P efforts
    https://www.segaretro.org/Sega_Networks

    Would adding Atlus (100%) and f4samurai (65.8% per wiki) be useful as well?
    https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/セガゲームス

    On Atlus, someone should be able to differentiate the appropriate divisions (SMT, P, Zero)
    f4samurai have mostly been involved in Chain Chronicle, Hortensia Saga and Magia Record for Aniplex. No idea what is on next.
     
  17. oneida

    oneida
    Member

    Katagiri ❤️
     
  18. Phediuk

    Phediuk
    Member

    They're a fraction of the size they once were. Their output in the 90s was absolutely ludicrous. That period of Sega is probably the most prolific game company that has ever existed; we're talking like 50 games a year.
     
  19. ILikeFeet

    ILikeFeet
    Member

    I guess this is more proof that Sonic will be produced out of Sega of America now. will be interesting to see the direction the franchise takes now
     
  20. seiki

    seiki
    Permanently banned for usage of an alt-account. Member

    Sega AM2 made them so probably them it is their masterpiece.

    It is unfortunate to see the downfall of these legendary divisions at Sega. In the 80s and 90s they were the best and most influential in the industry with the majority of their arcade titles but especially near the late 90s there were still so many amazing projects aswell as those that never saw the light of day. It's amazing there's still projects being produced even today like Sega AM2 creating Border Break but the huge mess up within the early 2000s and departure from hardware development obviously account for this. There is no such fierce competition for Sega to do so well anymore but instead provide content like the publisher they are now.
     
  21. bionic77

    bionic77
    Member

    Man I wish they could spend that money and time on something other than Sonic.

    Give me another Soccer Slam and some new IPs.

    But that is probably horrible from a business point of view so I understand the need for more Sonic games...
     
  22. Eolz

    Eolz
    Member

    I thought that AM2 (the classic one) had been closed and that most of their devs went to CS1 and 3? Am I misremembering or is that just some new arcade team they renamed?
     
  23. oneida

    oneida
    Member

    You are misremembering.
     
  24. wapplew

    wapplew
    Banned Member

    AM2, once top tier dev in the world.
     
  25. Dooble

    Dooble
    Member OP

    Surprised to see some "only Sonic now", "everyone good is gone now".

    Here is notable people at Sega still (there is bunch more, but some of my faves), again for exhaustive credits and lists, visit Sega Retro!

    CS1
    Tetsuya Kaku (programmer at Sega since Virtua Fighter 1)
    Masayoshi Yokoyama (since Jet Set Radio, script writer then for Yakuza series)
    Masayoshi Kikuchi (director of Jet Set Radio)

    CS2
    Kazuyuki Hoshino (artist since Sonic CD, or art director for Sonic Adventure)
    Sachiko Kawamura (artist since Sonic 3D Blast, creator of Chao, art director for ChuChu Rocket, art director since Sonic Unleashed)
    Shinkichi Tanahashi (character animator for Space Channel 5, then switched to the Sonic series since Unleashed)
    Tetsu Katano (programmer since Clockwork Knights, then lead programmer for Sonic Adventure)
    Takumi Yoshinaga (game design lead for Space Channel 5, Feel the Magic)

    CS3
    Akira Nishino (director of Ristar)
    Hirotaka Kanezawa (artist for Skies of Arcadia)
    Rieko Kodama (Phantasy Star)

    AM1
    Kenji Arai (Initial D)
    Takashi Oda (House of the Dead)
    Atsushi Seimiya (Streets of Rage)

    AM2
    Daichi Katagiri (Virtua Fighter)
    Hiroshi Kataoka (Fighting Vipers)
    Makoto Osaki (Virtua Fighter Kids)
    Shinichi Yoshino (Shenmue)

    Online R&D
    Akinori Nishiyama (Phantasy Star)
    Shuntaro Tanaka (Skies of Arcadia)

    And the best gaming musician of all time.

    Again I got less detailed over time in credits. But yeah. Don't feel like listing everything.

    Sega is still promoting a breath of talent of younger people and seniors through their Iwata Asks esque Sega Interactive (arcade division) Interviews. https://sega-interactive.co.jp/special/#interview
    If you browse Sega's Japanese websites (or follow their JP Twitter), you get the feeling that they are aware of their legacy and want to live up to it.
    The trouble is, Sega arcade ports and localization was the norm for Sega games back in the day. Today it is the exception.
     
  26. fiendcode

    fiendcode
    Member

    Sega Studio China did all the Dreamcast Collection ports on 360/PS3/PC and were rumored to be doing another round including Shenmue and Skies of Arcadia but they shut down years ago. Now I have no idea, maybe they’d be outsourced.

    Genki might be good given they were involved in the games originally, have (had?) ex-AM2 staff and did Yakuza 1&2 HD for CS1 several years ago.
     
  27. IronicSonic

    IronicSonic
    Member

    How many AM teams had Sega in Dreamcast era? 6 at least?

    Bluepoint (I hope)

    I love your post, specially the Mitsuyoshi bit <3.
    CS2 and Sonic Team are the same? Still they have a lot of veterans in the artistic side but visually Sonic games are consistently good
     
  28. SharpX68K

    SharpX68K
    Member

    Are we ever going to get HD releases of Scud Race / Sega Super GT and Daytona USA 2 Battle On The Edge / Power Edition on modern consoles?



     
  29. Dooble

    Dooble
    Member OP

    Sega had 9 studios during the dreamcast era. The best thing was:
    Every game released internaionally (95%)
    Arcade AND console projects

    And yeah Sonic Team has great artists. No clue where the level designers went (poor Forces).

    For Sega fans: https://twitter.com/okunari is a good follow (producer on Sega Ages 2500, 3D Classics etc.)
     
  30. SharpX68K

    SharpX68K
    Member

    It would also be great to have the Dreamcast Daytona USA 2001 remake in HD.



    As well as the recent Daytona Championship USA (already on PC, kind of, lol!)

     
  31. Trago

    Trago
    Member

    Hang on, Border Break is coming to PS4? Since when??
     
  32. SharpX68K

    SharpX68K
    Member

  33. Trago

    Trago
    Member

  34. breakYODAy

    breakYODAy
    Member

    CS2 (Sonic Team) needs a management shakeup to get themselves back on track. I wouldn't be opposed to SoA taking over Sonic development from CS2. The American branch has always understood Sonic's appeal better than Sega Japan anyway.

    It would be nice to hear from Sega more often, as I'm usually interested buying their games despite their diminished output these days. A CS4 team, maybe tasked with creating a new IP would probably be good for them.
     
  35. Dooble

    Dooble
    Member OP

    Not needed tbh! Their teams are fine as they are. More localizations and arcade ports (also localized) is what is needed.
     
  36. fiendcode

    fiendcode
    Member

    I’d like to see CS3 and M2 go back to the PS2 era Sega Ages 2500 type retro collections on Switch/PS4/Xbox/Steam. A comprehensive approach with an emphasis on 1980s and 1990s sprite based console and arcade properties. They could include franchise Complete Collections like Fantasy Zone, Phantasy Star, Monster World, Golden Axe, Shinobi, Puyo Puyo, Sonic the Hedgehog, Streets of Rage, Thunderforce, Mickey & Donald and also developer focused collections like Treasure Box, Shining Climax, AM2 Megamix, etc.
     
  37. Dooble

    Dooble
    Member OP

    Okunaris new project should be announced anytime. When was the last 3D Classic Wave? 2016?
     
  38. fiendcode

    fiendcode
    Member

    Yes Final Stage was Dec 2016 so hopefully the next Ages project will be revealed soon.
     
  39. Dooble

    Dooble
    Member OP

    List of all external developers Sega ever worked with in Japan!

    Gremlin Industries
    Sanristu
    Coreland
    Vic Tokai
    Westone
    Sunsoft
    Aicom
    Compile
    Ancient
    SIMS
    Dempa
    Treasure
    MLP
    Technosoft
    Game Freak
    Nextech
    Minato Giken
    Camelot
    Aspect
    M2
    CRI
    Givro
    Scarab
    JAMP
    Tose
    Red Entertainment
    Chime
    Vivarium
    Quartet
    Climax
    Zoom
    Neverland
    Nex Entertainment
    AQ Interactive
    cavia
    Chunsoft
    Sumo Digital
    Tantalus Interactive
    Genki
    Platinum Games
    Anchor
    Thunder Stone
    Rutobo Games
    System Sacom
    Micro Cabin
    Land Ho!
    Media.Vision
    Access
    Studios Saizensen
    Imageepoch
    Gulti
    Ecole Software

    How many of them do exist today? Well obviously the newer companies, like Media.Vision M2, and Platinum Games. And then Camelot, Game Freak and Treasure...but mostly...

    Also I recommend the article series I did for Segabits:
    http://segabits.com/blog/2015/09/23/history-sega-japan-rd-part-1-origins-80s/
     
  40. I feel like most of the studios are performing as intended. If there’s anything that needs to change it’s a fundamental shakeup of CS2 and maybe more arcade ports. Hopefully Border Break performs well.
     
  41. Arguments and theories can be made until the cows come home about whether CS2/Sonic Team is properly managed or not (and whether it’s even fair to make assumptions about their management in the first place); but people have twenty years of products to look back on and judge for themselves on whether they have made consistently quality games or if they understand the Sonic series. (And going by recent and overall historical reviews and sales, the market has decided the studio for the most part have not for several years, and still do not for that matter.)

    Consumers may not be entitled to build theories on what CS2/Sonic Team’s day-to-day operations are, but by the same token consumers also aren’t entitled to buy their games or support their ownership of the series. As far as I’m concerned I’d rather see nearly anyone else’s effort with the IP than another “not broken”/“playable” CS2/Sonic Team Sonic game, and I’m sure I’m far from alone when I say this. The critical and commercial performance of TaxStealth and Friends’ Mania speaks for itself, especially so compared to the performance of CS2/Sonic Team’s Forces.
     
  42. fiendcode

    fiendcode
    Member

    Taking a stab at it...

    Gremlin Industries: acquired by SOA
    Sanristu: aka Sims, still around
    Coreland: became Banpresto, absorbed into Bandai and became BB Studio
    Namco: merged with Bandai, still around and huge
    Vic Tokai: still around (Tokai Engineering) but not in gaming
    Westone: closed, IP transferred to LAT
    Sunsoft: still around (barely), mainly IP licensing
    Aicom: absorbed by Sammy
    Compile: shut down ;___; IP owned by D4 Enterprise, except Puyo Puyo which Sega got
    Ancient: still around! :D
    SIMS: still around
    Dempa: still around (Dempa Publications) but not in gaming
    Treasure: still around (barely), mainly IP licensing
    MLP: ??? Did you mean MNM?
    Technosoft: shut down, Sega bought their IP
    Game Freak: still around, ruling the world
    Nextech: aka Nex Entertainment, still around
    Minato Giken: shut down
    Camelot: still around
    Aspect: still around
    M2: still around, always awesome!
    CRI: Absorbed into Sega AM2
    Givro: shut down
    Scarab: became feelplus, absorbed into AQi, became Marvelous
    JAMP: no idea, probably shut down
    Tose: still around, still secretly developing everything
    Red Entertainment: still around, planning company again
    Chime: still around
    Vivarium: still around! and maybe working on a new Seaman according to twitter! :O
    Quartet: ??? You mean Quintet?
    Climax: shut down ;___;
    Zoom: still around (barely) mainly IP licensing
    Neverland: shut down, staff went to Marvelous
    Nex Entertainment: still around
    AQ Interactive: merged with Marvelous
    cavia: absorbed into AQi, became Marvelous, key staff left to form Orca
    Chunsoft: merged with Spike, still around
    Sumo Digital: still around
    Tantalus Interactive: still around
    Genki: still around
    Platinum Games: still around
    Anchor: still around but not in gaming
    Thunder Stone: who?!
    Rutobo Games: still around (barely), game staff left to form Gotch Technology
    System Sacom: still around (System Sacom Industry) but not in gaming
    Micro Cabin: still around (barely), mainly IP licensing, bought and sold repeatedly
    Land Ho!: still around
    Media.Vision: still around
    Access: still around
    Studios Saizensen: still around
    Imageepoch: RIP JRPG savior
    Gulti: still around
    Ecole Software: still around
     
  43. Dooble

    Dooble
    Member OP

    Hehe pretty good! And yeah, I meant Quietet and I just saw a MLP somewhere, who knows...and Thunder Stone actually developed Segagaga!

    But Sega worked with a lot of companies over the years.

    Access is co-developing the new Virtual On. M2 and Media.Vision are the only other Sega partners currently has. But you can't forget the many western partners over the years.

    And I totally forgot Dimps, which Sega also seemingly dropped for their Sonic games.
     
  44. MadeMan

    MadeMan
    Member

    I'm still an AM2 fan boy, would be interested in playing Border Break on PS4 eventually.
     
  45. Are people from Overworks still at Sega?
     
  46. Dooble

    Dooble
    Member OP

    It is pretty much CS3, tough some went to work on PSO2.

    If you mean the people that worked on Shinobi/Nightshade, most began to work on Sonic games, starting with 06 (Masahiro Kumono)
     
  47. Switch

    Switch
    Member

    SEGA had more in fact . It also had AM#2 and Visual concepts
     
  48. Dooble

    Dooble
    Member OP

    Well Visual Concepts was western. And with AM2, it was 9 studios. You can also say 11 studios, if you count the music studio (which made 3 games), and the arcade cab engineering department (Sega Mechatronics).
     
  49. Terrell

    Terrell
    Member

    This just reminds me of how painful it is to look at Sega when I remember what once was.
     
  50. Suzuki Yu

    Suzuki Yu
    Member

    sorry wrong thread.