Sega Celebrates Sonic
With Amazing Stable of New Product
Sega’s got its swagger back. The company that brought the coin-op industry some great products in its 60-odd year history has its R&D and production engines burning the midnight oil these days to offer operators and FEC buyers a very generous plate of brand new games.
Originally founded as a route operation called “Service Games” back in Japan and soon after jumping into machine manufacture, Sega’s U.S. legacy really began with a seminal arcade game called Periscope back in the late ’60s, early ’70s. It was one of the very first to demand 25-cent play and made plenty of money for operators over a long period of time. Then over the years, with other hot games like OutRun, the House of the Dead franchise and the Key Master auto-prize redemption game, they’ve continued earning their stripes.
The coin-op games business in general has been enjoying some exciting times recently, thanks largely to the growth in the family entertainment sector, and Sega’s been doing its part to fan the flames by delivering some compelling product backed by a pipeline the company claims is loaded with outstanding games into the foreseeable future.
“Every three weeks, we have a new product development meeting via conference call between the team in the U.K. and the team in the U.S.,” said Sega CEO Paul Williams. “During a very recent call, our conversation covered 32 new games. When I step back and take that in, I’m honestly astounded by the sheer volume, pace and creativity that’s being brought to life by this team.
“Sega’s been around well over half a century and throughout that history, we’ve consistently raised the bar for what’s possible in an amusement game by applying the latest technology to creative game play resulting in product that’s compelling, engaging and inspiring,” Williams added.
But while the company continues to focus on product development as a core value, they’re not about to forget their legacy. A huge part of Sega’s can be identified by one character – Sonic the Hedgehog.
“The value of Sonic as a brand cannot be overstated,” continued Williams. “He’s been an incredible ambassador for the company promoting our form of entertainment arguably better than any other.” Sonic turns 25 this year, and Sega intends to celebrate!
So how will Sega be celebrating Sonic’s birthday? With other famous coin-op characters like Mario, Luigi, Wario, Knuckles, Peach, Tails and Shadow who will all be joining him as they head off to the Rio Olympic Games via the new Mario and Sonic at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games – Arcade Edition (pictured below).
“The history of video amusement games is replete with memorable characters, but it would be hard to find two bigger than Mario and Sonic,” stated Sega Sales Manager Vince Moreno. “Mario and Sonic have been responsible for some of the biggest selling video titles of all time, and while they’ve both been seen in a number of coin-op games, they’ve never been seen in the same one until now. This 2016 Rio Olympic Games – Arcade Edition game is the first to be officially licensed by the International Olympic Committee, by the way.
“This coin-op attraction takes these two iconic characters and friends to Rio to compete on the world stage of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games coin-op style. Bringing together these globally recognized figures at what is arguably the world’s biggest sporting event is a formula all but guaranteed to succeed!” Vince stated.
The action takes place in the Rio Olympic Stadium where players will challenge each other in nine different Olympic events including the 100m Sprint, 4x100m Relay, Hammer Throw, Javelin Throw, Rhythmic Gymnastics, 100m Freestyle Swimming, Trampoline, Long Jump and Archery. Players manipulate the action with a unique set of controllers that includes a motion detecting pedestal and a pair of giant joysticks with thumb activated “action” buttons.
“The level of competition hits a new high for an amusement game,” continued Paul Williams. “The incredible interaction the game creates results in a truly unique gameplay experience you’re not going to find anywhere else in the arcade,” he declared.
Keeping with the Sonic Theme, Sega has several other products starting the famous hedge hog on the coin-op market, starting with Sonic Dash. This piece takes players on a high-speed track filled with dangerous obstacles and more than a few valuable rings to collect. Avoid the obstacles and collect as many rings as possible before reaching the goal. Once there, battle with the evil Dr. Eggman in an attempt to win the jackpot bonus.
The graphics are practically life-sized thanks to a 55” HD monitor. Players control the action using an oversized version of a home console directional pad – an interface that is immediately familiar to today’s players. They explore three different worlds of Grass, Beach and Temple, each with three different difficulty levels that add to the challenge and excitement. Pick your favorite characters to run the course including Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Shadow, Cream, Rouge, Silver, Blaze and of course, Sonic himself.
Sega also has a brand new mechanical ticket redemption game for the trade. Called Sonic Blast Ball, game play starts with a ball racing around the perimeter of a vertical playfield pushed on a cushion of air. Players use a large “Blast Ball” button to open a series of gates at the top of the playfield. If timed correctly, the ball will drop through a side-to-side moving hoop which starts the Jackpot Wheel spinning.
Players then hit the button again to get the wheel to stop on the Jackpot Bonus. “The game creates an ‘I know I can do it’ attitude in players that’s so important in generating repeat play,” declared Vince Moreno. “Game play is intuitive and fast paced resulting in an exhilarating experience that’s easily understood yet tantalizingly difficult to master,” he observed.
Over six years ago, Sega introduced its Sonic Arcade Sports line of games. Now, Sonic Basketball and Sonic 4 Player Air Hockey just had their graphics updated making them even more attractive. “Our Sonic Sports games have reached the point where they’re in the mix of must-have games for new room sets,” said Sega’s Latin American Sales Manager, Carlos Laguardia. “There aren’t too many games that get to that level. It shows what happens when you combine a great brand with great game play.”
What happens when three of the biggest names in video game history join forces to develop a new game? Luigi’s Mansion –Arcade Edition, that’s what. Yes, for the first time, Nintendo, Capcom and Sega joined forces to create a new game. “The fact that these titans of the entertainment industry came together to create an amusement game for our industry needs to be acknowledged and championed,” enthused Williams. “It’s the first time it’s ever happened and I certainly hope it’s the start of a trend. The entire industry will benefit from this kind of cooperation.”
Graphics, sound and game play are incredibly detailed delivering an immersive experience unlike any other, Williams advised. As you go through the mansion, you’ll uncover many hidden bonuses that add to the game play. To get from one room to the next, you have to find keys to locked doors. Often, these are held by ghosts you have to capture. The keys are also hidden in invisible places you have to find with your Poltergust 2000 – a combo strobe light/vacuum that freezes ghosts and then sucks them into a containment cell.
You move Luigi from room to room to clear the house of ghosts and reclaim the secret power jewels.
“To capture a ghost, you have to first stun them with the strobe light and then suck them in with the vacuum,” continued Williams. “To get the stronger ghosts, you have to move the controller back and forth or they’ll pull away and continue to create havoc for you. The controller itself is truly unique and features a vibrating motor to simulate the vacuum effect and an internal solenoid that, when fired, delivers the sensation of the vacuumed up objects hitting the inside of the controller.”
Sega’s brimming stable of new games includes another new mechanical ticket game called Magician’s Wheel. As soon as the game is coined up, the giant 40” diameter wheel starts to spin. Using a single, large button, players drop a mechanical flapper into the path of the spinning wheel. The flapper slowly brings the wheel to a stop and if the player timed the drop right, they win the bonus ticket value.
“The game has so many things going for it,” said Williams. “The carnival theme and sounds, its impressive size, attractive LED lighting effects, mechanical action and intuitive game play add up to a terrific game play experience.” (In addition to the Bonus Value, players can win the Magic Ticket Value which is not revealed until it’s actually won.)
On the Market
Sega execs say they want to make it as easy as possible for operators to set their new games before the playing public, so they arranged with Firestone Financial to launch the Fantastic 5 Finance Program back at the recent Amusement Expo. The five titles are all brand new games including Mario and Sonic at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games – Arcade Edition, Luigi’s Mansion – Arcade Edition, Sonic Dash, Sonic Blast Ball and Magician’s Wheel.
Three different programs are available, and the offer ends June 30, 2016:
• $0 down, 0% for 18 Months – 1st payment due 30 days after funding.
• $0 down, 2.99% for 24 Months – 1st payment due 90 days after funding.
• $0 down, 5.99% for 36 Months – 1st payment due 180 days after funding.
Rounding out Sega’s lineup (a number of them shown on this page) are their Transformers Theatre Action Adventure Game, Hello Kitty Air Hockey, Show Down Demolition Derby and Storm Racers G driving games, Storm Riders motorcycle racer, Let’s Go Safari edu-tainment piece, Drop It, Win It! and Key Master high value merchandisers, the Plants vs Zombies video ticket game and more.
“Did I mention there are another 32 games in development?” Williams asked. “ Operators should be very, very happy to hear this. Competitors? Not so much,” he added.
Visit Sega online at www.segaarcade.com.