How To “Pull A Sega”

How do piss off everyone all at once? You pull a Sega, that’s how. First develop a system that’s main focus is 2D gaming when the world is going 3D. Then slap in a second GPU chipset at the last minute after realising what a horrendous mistake you made. Then, knowing the machine is a developer nightmare, make sure the tools are unfinished just to make things that little bit more challenging than it already is. 

Now you need to royally upset all the retailers you can at the same time. This can be tricky but it’s doable. You need to lure them all into your new shiny system with a set release date that’s months away from happening so they’re all onboard and putting in those orders. Now, you need to sit and wait until roughly five months before the release date and make a public statement that the console is actually available right now. The internet has somewhat spoiled the idea of news being slow to spread, but it won’t be a huge issue as if you have planned things right, most retailers won’t have any stock. It’s important to make sure the largest and therefore most important retailers are the ones you upset for maximum effect. They all should now turn their backs on you and refuse to support you. 

You are half way there now. Publishers are just as easy to upset because they can’t bring forward games that are in active development by five months so the surprise release should be enough to ensure none get games out on time, plus make them so angry, many will refuse to release games on your machine. If, for some reason, they still feel the need to embrace your console with their presence, then enact a sudden new clause that only allows certain games to release in the west. This should focus on RPGs, 2D titles and shoot ‘em ups. Don’t worry, the fact your system uses primarily a 2D based architecture won’t be an issue. Make sure whatever happens, you stick to this rule. Even if your competition releases a massively successful game in one of those genres that catapults sales of the console, do not budge. It’ll work out for you. 

There’s bound to be some massive first party franchises your fans love and are expecting to make the jump into a 3D realm on this new console. They may even be so big that they can sell consoles with minimum effort. Don’t let this happen. Sabotage development as much as you can. Cancel that beat ‘em up on the basis that you have never heard of it and thus can’t possibly see a success in it. Yes, that number 4 in the title means nothing. Lots of none selling games see multiple releases. That big mascot franchise you have needs to never see the light of day either. Just release hints and teasers but keep it in the dungeons so long, it’s too late to bother finishing for the console. 

Okay now there’s just one group to piss off and this is the easiest one. You already did most the work, you just have to make sure you are so bad at marketing your new shiny machine, they’ll never know it exists and do everything in your power to undermine its future at every possible moment. Then, when they’re weak and weary, BAM! You announce that the system you have been pushing to these idiots is not your future and that you have something new and better in the works. This is the perfect time to cancel support entirely in the west and only release seven more games over a long time period. The lack of anything on the market for the next year or more will be enough to see nobody trust you again and your life savings disappear and you become nearly broke by the time you get whatever successor out the door. 

Making great hardware and great libraries of games is incredibly hard work and expensive. But it’s easier when everyone expects big things from you and therefore will blindly go along with you. However, it’s even harder to destroy everything you spent five years building up by your own stupidity. That’s why it’s called pulling a Sega. 

Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have all attempted this but none have ever managed to properly pull it off, leading to a huge success with the follow up consoles that not just keep them alive in the market, but actually catapult them into the lead. Sega truly are the masters at this and for that, we applaud them. 

Don’t worry about your employees, one of them will destroy his own reputation in a couple of decades through releasing a shocking bad game and then getting arrested for illegal crap. So you’re fine, it’s easy to just let things run their course. Just sit back and watch. 

In the future, there’ll be people who praise the few first party games you do let slip through the net for your console. These games will often review well upon release too. You can’t help this. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes a few games just happen to get past your scrutiny and make it to store shelves. The only way you can combat this problem is to never release them at any point in the future, pretend they never existed but tease their existence on social media. Just focus on that same 30 games you can re-release thousands of times through compilations every five years. These should all be from that small window when you were on top. Every other period needs to vanish from your history. 

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