11/18 – Segagaga

Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.

Meta commentary about the gaming industry isn’t hugely uncommon in gaming. What is rare is for that commentary to be oddly prescient about the company it’s made by. Today’s game is one of the most unusual we have covered on this show. Today’s game is Segagaga, developed by Sega Hitmaker and released on the Sega Dreamcast in 2001.

Segagaga is a simulation RPG where players are put in charge of Project Segagaga. The year is 2025 and Sega owns only 3% of the console market whereas its competitor DOGMA owns 97%. Project Segagaga is Sega’s last chance to stop DOGMA from taking over the world. While managing development of Project Segagaga, Sega Taro, your main character, must save developers who are turning into mutants due to stress and overworking. Sega Taro defeats these mutants by insulting them until their will fails and they go back to work.

Sega Taro must also recruit developers for their development team which can increase various statistics for Project Segagaga. After three in-game years of development time, the game ends with multiple endings being available depending on how Project Segagaga turned out. Segagaga features cameos from many Sega characters including famous ones such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Alex Kidd down to the Bad Brothers from the Golden Axe and the F-14 Tomcat from After Burner. Many references are more subtle such as a late game reference to Sega’s early arcade hardware they used when they were starting out.

I don’t think I need to explain the meta joke here. The evil company DOGMA is a thinly-veiled jab at Sega’s biggest competitor at the time, Sony. When development of Segagaga started, the Playstation 2 was looming like a spectre over the Sega Dreamcast’s inferior hardware and graphical capabilities. After the colossal financial failure of the Sega Saturn, Sega was right to be worried about their future prospects. In fact, Segagaga, a game worried about the future of Sega’s console prospects, wound up releasing only 2 days before Sega announced that the Sega Dreamcast would be discontinued and Sega would be leaving the console market for good. Segagaga would be one of the last official games released for the console.

Segagaga sold decently well in Japan despite having an extremely low marketing budget of only $200 US Dollars. Still, due to Sega’s shift in structure, the extremely niche style of the game and the low development budget it was given to begin with, Segagaga was never localized anywhere outside of Japan. Despite several fan efforts, as of November 2019, no complete English localization patch has been released for Segagaga.

Thank you so much for listening! If you want to hear more about Segagaga, follow me on Twitter @vg_oftheday. Not everything can fit into one episode so any extra trivia bits I find interesting about the games talked about will go there! Also, archives and transcripts for every episode are on videogameoftheday.com. Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for another Video Game of the Day.

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Devin "Katosepe" Sloane is a long time gamer and host of the show Video Game of the Day. He firmly believes Darklands is the pinnacle of gaming achievement and this is a hill he will die upon. Where his nickname came from is a secret to everybody.