Sixty years ago on June 3 1960, Nihon Goraku Bussan, a distributor of Rock-Ola jukeboxes, was established. The company was one of two created as a successor to Service Games, Japan, and was run by American salesman Richard Stewart. Service Games itself was established by Stewart as a distribution arm for the company he was a salesman for, Service Games, Hawaii, which was a company that specialized in selling coin operated amusement devices on US military bases. Nihon Goraku Bussan would acquire Service Games, Japan’s other successor, Nihon Kikai Seizo, four years later, before merging with Rosen Enterprises in 1965 and formerly becoming SEGA Enterprises.
SEGA’s would continue to be involved in the coin-op entertainment industry, producing slot machines and mechanical arcade games, before eventually becoming involved with video arcade games in the 1970s, and eventually consoles in the 1980s starting with the SG-1000. SEGA would become known for its arcade successes in the 80s, through games like After Burner, Hang-On, Zaxxon, Space Harrier and Outrun. The company’s would become a household name in the 90s, with the success of Sonic the Hedgehog and the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive in the US and Europe. The company would leave the console market in 2001 with the discontinuation of the Dreamcast, before merging with Pachislot manufacturer Sammy Corp in 2004, after Sammy bought a controlling share of the company.
The rest, as they say, is history. Here’s to sixty more years!
If you’d like a lengthier cliff notes version of SEGA’s history, be sure to check SEGA’s history page on their 60th anniversary website! If you’d like an even more in-depth look at SEGA’s history, check out SEGA Retro, which I used for the Service Games Hawaii info!
We have a special SEGA 60th anniversary roundtable coming up later today, so be sure to check it out!