Interview from 1993 with SEGA of Japan’s development team resurfaces

Video games have a long and complex history. It is hard to pinpoint exactly when games became a go-to in entertainment, but we can decipher when they gained popularity. The boom of the 1980’s and 1990’s led to what we now refer to as the “console wars.” Today, we mostly talk about PlayStation and Xbox as they compete for the most units sold, overtake in development studios and exclusives for their consoles.

But back in the day, it was Nintendo and SEGA leading the fray. Sonic the Hedgehog, Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda were synonymous with gaming. Ironically, the fantastical worlds we played in seemed to be created by mythical developers. Nintendo did allow their development teams to talk about their projects. SEGA on the other hand, kept a lid on theirs.

Gaining insight into SEGA’s past

Now, an old interview with Yu Suzuki, Kan Naito and Yuji Naka, part of SEGA’s creation team, has resurfaced. Originally printed in the January 1993 issue of Beep! Mega Drive, a Japanese magazine, the newly translated interview is on Mega Drive Shock’s website. As far as we know, this is the first time “SEGA allowed its developers to be named and pictured.”

From a historical perspective, the interview is full of interesting tidbits about their current projects of the time, in particular Sonic 2. Questions about where the franchise was going both story wise and the addition of female characters are products of the time. Each member’s insight into the creative process and their own take on the rivalry between Nintendo and SEGA shines a light on how both franchises got to where they are now. “There was definitely a sense of “defeat Mario.”” Naka said. “We were aiming for a character like Mario—even though it’s different from Mario—to become Sega’s character.”

They certainly succeeded.

So, if you’re curious about gaming history, check out the full interview. And we would love to hear your thoughts on it. Drop us a comment below.

Alicia Graves

A bit nerdy, a bit punk rock princess, and a whole lot of mom, I'm constantly in motion. I have an enthusiasm for gaming and the cultural complexities of entertainment, both past and present. I don’t believe in limiting myself to one kind of genre in books, comics, manga, anime, music or movies. I prefer to seek out hidden gems in panned pieces, uniqueness in the mundane and new outlooks on nuances.
Back to top button