The Extraordinary Saga of Sega: 7 Unusual Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

Born amidst the sun-kissed shores of Hawaii as an American enterprise, Sega initially served as a key distributor of coin-operated jukeboxes, games, and slot machines to military installations. The company made an unexpected move to Japan following the US government’s decision to outlaw slot machines in 1952, marking a new chapter in its corporate narrative.

Long before the era of Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus, Sega was already setting the pace. In an impressive display of foresight, the company rolled out an online gaming subscription service in 1994, years ahead of industry giants Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.

The compassionate side of Sega was revealed when Kenji Eno, a renowned video game designer, discovered that his creations were admired even by blind fans who played them with extraordinary dedication. Touched by their efforts, he created “Real Sound: Kaze no Regret“, a unique blank-screen game designed solely for visually impaired players. In a noble gesture, Sega distributed a thousand consoles, pre-loaded with the game, to blind individuals. The game remains a favored choice among visually impaired players today.

The New Jersey–based video-game developer Imagineering created a peculiar game in the ’90s, ‘Desert Bus.’ Players undertake an 8-hour real-time journey from Tucson, Arizona, to Las Vegas, Nevada, and earn just a single point for each completed trip. Despite its seemingly dull objective, the game’s quirky charm has attracted a cult following.

The iconic Sonic the Hedgehog 3 game harbors a unique secret; the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson, was involved in its music production. His involvement was short-lived due to the contemporaneous child molestation scandal or his dissatisfaction with the sound quality of the Sega Genesis. Nonetheless, some samples of his songs still remain in the game, though.

Sega produced an RPG named Segagaga for the Dreamcast. The game’s objective mirrors the real-life struggle of the company: to ensure Sega’s survival in the fiercely competitive console market.

The tale of Sega’s resilience climaxed in 2002 when the company’s president made an extraordinary sacrifice. To rescue Sega from bankruptcy following the Dreamcast’s failure, he gave up his entire company stock worth $695 million. Tragically, his heroic effort was followed by his untimely demise after a fierce fight with cancer.

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