If you were on Steam last week at all, you no doubt saw announcements for SEGA’s 60th Anniversary. That’s right… Mario may be celebrating turning 35, but SEGA is 60. During the week of October 9th – 18th Steam had lots of great sales. They even had some free games from the SEGA collections to celebrate. Even though that part has ended, the party continues! SEGA is honoring its history with a new focus every week from now until the middle of December.
Weekly Content Drops For SEGA's 60th
If you check out the website sega60th.com you can see they have lots planned. Each week until mid-December, SEGA will be releasing special celebratory content for the world to enjoy. They don’t give a lot of details about what the content will be however, so they really want you to keep an eye on it!
Starting October 21st, SEGA says the content will be something to do with Amplitude Studios, the makers of games such as Endless Space, Endless Legend, and Dungeon of the Endless. The week of October 28th will be content from Two Point Studios, creators of one of my personal favorite games: Two Point Hospital. Speaking of, Two Point Hospital also has free in-game content that is SEGA related right now!
The weekly content trend then continues with each week having a different focus. Finally, on December 2nd, the content will have something to do with Sonic The Hedgehog!
Wait… SEGA Is HOW OLD???
I won’t lie, when I first heard the number “60” I had to mentally pause and think how old I am. Most of us think of SEGA starting with the home console market in the '80s. However, the company has actually been around a lot longer than that.
In 1960, SEGA was created after the company “Service Games” dissolved. As you can probably guess, SEGA is an abbreviation of that name. At the time, SEGA manufactured slot machines. In 1965, they started transitioning to “coin-operated amusement machines.” These included jukeboxes and pinball after a very beneficial merger with David Rosen (who later became CEO and managing director for SEGA).
By 1970, they were starting to open full arcade “family fun centers” as well as placing arcade machines in malls and department stores. If you are curious- SEGA’s submarine simulator game named Periscope was the first arcade game that cost 25 cents per play. By 1981, SEGA was continuing to succeed and grow when they licensed the highly successful game Frogger.
Soon after that is when the home console market boomed and the SEGA that we all think of hit the markets. In fact, the same day that Nintendo released the Famicom in Japan, SEGA was right there releasing their own SG-1000 home video game console. The SG-1000 II and finally SEGA Master System followed, but both struggled in comparison with Nintendo’s sales. Prior to the release of the new SEGA Genesis and marketing campaigns such as “Genesis does what Nintendon’t,” a shiny new mascot for the company appeared.
Sonic The Hedgehog
Nowadays, nobody can think of SEGA without picturing the iconic blue hedgehog, Sonic. SEGA’s answer to Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog first ran (at supersonic speeds) onto the scene in 1991.
Originally named “Needlemouse,” Sonic’s whole gimmick was to exude an idea of cool to fit with the attitude of the United States at the time. His personality is rumored to be based on President Bill Clinton’s famous “Get it done” slogan in the 1992 presidential campaign. The blue of his fur matches the blue in the SEGA logo. He has a design that was supposed to be easy for children to draw. He also had a rebellious streak, and was about as cool as you can expect a hedgehog to be. He even tapped his foot impatiently if you stopped playing for a moment.
Why I Love Sonic
Let me get personal here for a moment. As a young girl when Sonic debuted, I was sold. My older brother was the king of Nintendo (and I loved Nintendo too naturally), but I wanted to be different. I guess I was a little rebellious just like Sonic, so I got my own SEGA Genesis and it was MINE. I played the heck out of games like Berenstain Bears Camping Adventure (which I still own FYI), Fantasia, World of Illusion, and – of course – Sonic.
I still have a soft spot in my heart for that weird little blue hedgehog. The game music of Green Hill Zone will never fully leave my brain. No matter how much I may want it to. Even as I type this, I have a Sonic the Hedgehog statue sitting next to me in his permanent home on my desk, holding my controller for me. Thankfully, he's not tapping his foot impatiently. If he did that, I would scream.
Time to Party!
SEGA has had quite the 60-year history! I've barely touched on any of it here. In other words, they deserve to party! Luckily, they are letting all of us party with them. So, check out some of the deals going on for the rest of the year. And maybe play a Sonic game while you're at it!