These days Sega is the mid-sized publisher of Sonic, Yakuza, and not much else, and it’s been more than a decade since the company was once a serious competitor to Sony or Nintendo. Today it might seem like Sega’s downfall was inevitable, but it was actually the result of enough poor decisions, mismanagement, and simple bad luck that you’d need a whole book to recount it all. This is that book.
Service Games takes readers from the birth of the company through the launch of the Genesis, onto Sonic the Hedgehog becoming a huge hit and Sega’s arcade dominance. Then mistakes, such as the 32X, the botched Saturn launch, and too many other bad calls, are detailed to the point that the reasoning behind the company’s choice to exit the console race is the only option left. This kind of objective perspective is more useful than ever when console gaming is on the verge of another (potentially tumultuous) transition.