Sega Talks Strategy With Re-Releasing Retro Games

Very few companies take advantage of working with their game library like Sega does. Over the past year, the company has capitalized on reintroducing fans to classic games, thanks to its Sega Genesis Classics compilation, as well as its Sega Ages line-up for Nintendo Switch.

But there’s actually a strategy behind this, which may explain why it’s not re-releasing everything that fans are requesting of them, like popular favorites such as Jet Set Radio.

While speaking with GamesIndustry International, Sega Europe senior vice president of commercial publishing John Clark explained that there’s a unique strategy put into play with re-releases, like introducing the right audience to the right type of game. “It’s looking for viable routes to service the community and really trying to figure out the best way to bring the right content at the right time on the right platform,” he said. “There is a thought process that goes behind it. At times, it can be opportunistic as well as strategic. Sometimes it’s joined up and sometimes it’s less joined up.”

But as strategic as things can be, Clark also notes that Sega is “diverse and open” when it comes to new initiatives. For instance, when the company announced Virtua Racing for Nintendo Switch, which not a lot of fans were expecting.

“When you see the patterns, the different variety of ways our retro content is released, it’s as much a grand strategy as it is localized initiatives,” he continued. “It’s incredible working with an organization that supports both.”

So the real question is what’s next? Well, Sega Genesis Classics will debut on Switch later this year after a successful run on Xbox One and PlayStation 4; and the Sega Ages line will continue with games like Alex Kidd In Miracle World, Space Harrier and Phantasy Star among others. As for what 2019 will bring, it’s too soon to tell just yet, but it sounds like Sega’s retro party won’t be ending anytime soon.

And, yes, that means fans can remain hopeful about the resurgence of Jet Set Radio, if it happens.

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We’ll see what the company announces in the months ahead. In the meantime, check out Sonic the Hedgehog and Thunder Force IV (aka Lightening Force) on Switch now; and Sega Genesis Classics for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC now.

(Hat tip to GamesIndustry International for the scoop!)