SEGA is doing what companies such as Nintendo should have done years ago. Marvel took itself from bankruptcy to the pinnacle of Hollywood by rewriting the rulebook and forming a film company out of their own enterprise. However, despite all their success, they are still feeling the burn of selling off the theatrical rights to many of their big characters such as Spider-Man and X-Men. A move that they have been trying to rectify ever since.
SEGA is making aggressive moves to build partnerships and to develop their own in-house film and TV productions based on their own library of games. They are aiming to use these various productions to reintroduce these properties into popular culture, in an effort to reinvigorate the SEGA brand from within.
Variety describes how the new venture will operate:
Tokyo-based Stories International, a joint venture of Japanese gamemaker Sega and Hakuhodo DY Group (the world’s seventh-largest advertising agency) that was launched to produce films, TV shows and entertainment for digital platforms in 2011.
Of the vast library of titles that Stories has the rights to adapt, it’s moving forward with “Altered Beast,” “Streets of Rage,” “Shinobi,” “Rise of Nightmares” and “Crazy Taxi” first as English-language live action and animated spinoffs. “Virtua Fighter” and “Golden Axe” also are part of the portfolio of properties.
Long-time gamers might remember when SEGA attempted to be a rival to the juggernaut Nintendo, in the early 90's. They came back onto the scene strong with hit arcade games and their new home console, the SEGA Genesis system. However they really didn't have a full-fledged shot until years later, when they created their mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog (who has his own feature film in development).
Initially the company attracted a slightly older gaming crowd with a more realistic violence and grittier graphics style. Titles such a Altered Beast and Golden Axe sported innovative game mechanics and visuals. SEGA also kept a focus on cooperative gaming and offered a more street-level tone, which drew a line in the sand from Mario and Luigi.
SEGA is not the only videogame company to try and get into the movie business. Ubisoft is in the process of building their own film department. They are producing an adaptation of their best-selling Assassin's Creed videogame series and have gotten fan-favorite Michael Fassbender on board to produce and star in the feature. However, despite having a foundation that good, they still have run into problems getting the film off the ground.
SEGA has a wealth of titles that are really non-descript and simple archetypes, not full stories in most cases. So they would be able to have the flexibility to tell whatever stories they would like, without complex backstories or mythologies weighing them down. There is an expanding viewer market and it's easy to imagine a Streets of Rage television show or a Shinobi animated project. SEGA's goal is to make these titles recognizable brands so that they can be profitable and more diversified for marketing. It sounds like a good way to make money, but it may not lead to quality entertainment.
We will make sure to bring you the latest on SEGA's newest film and TV projects. What SEGA games would you like to see in film or TV? Is this a good idea? Let us know on the comment boards!
Source: Point of Geeks