In its heyday, Sega was home to classic game franchises like the Sonic and Jet Set Radio series. Soon, new versions of games from Sega’s back catalog could be headed to current-generation devices or smartphones. In a presentation titled Road To 2020 from Sega parent company Sega Sammy, Sega detailed plans for its upcoming release calendar.
The document has few concrete details on specific titles or franchises the company wants to bring back, but Sega says the company wants to do a “revival of major IPs” within the retail game field. The initiative will also occur alongside a push to develop new properties and focus on multi-platform development for PCs, consoles and smartphones.
Sega Sammy also noted in the report that its sales and profits were on a slight upswing for the year and the company expects the trend to continue for the upcoming fiscal year.
For Sega, the company has no shortage of options it could pull from its library of franchises. While Sonic remains a major part of Sega’s lineup — Sonic Forces is the latest upcoming release for the series and is slated to come out in late 2017 — other major titles that haven’t seen recent updates include series like Virtua Fighter, Super Monkey Ball and Shenmue. Retro titles that could be in for a similar reboot include the Golden Axe and Virtual On series.
As a company, Sega has focused on third-party development in recent years, backing away from the console and arcade roots where the company had its peak years. With original consoles like the Dreamcast and Genesis, Sega went head-to-head with market leaders like Sony and Nintendo throughout the early to mid-90s.
However, creative and financial problems eventually led Sega to back out of the home console market. In an interview with Glixel from April, former games industry executive Peter Moore recalled an incident from his time at Sega. Previously, Moore had run a focus group where Sega had performed poorly and was ready to present the results to executives:
So we make a huge presentation in Japan, and I said, ‘We need to be incredibly aware of the challenges we face as a brand at Sega,’ you know, and so I play the video. Yuji Naka, Naka-san, maker of Sonic, is in the room. Now, he and I have a love/hate relationship on a good day. And we show him this, and it’s subtitled in Japanese, and when it comes to that piece he just [slams his hand on the table], ‘This is ridiculous. You have made them say this. Sega is the great brand, nobody would ever say this, you have falsified!’
He just gets in my face. So I said to the translator, ‘Tell him to [f—] off.’ And the poor guy looks at me and says, ‘There’s no expression in Japanese.’ I said, ‘I know there is.’ And that was it. That was the last time I ever set foot in there.