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  1. #1
    Epic! Zombina's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Where the wild things are

    Why did Sega Dreamcast die off?

    Just something that intrigued me, Sega was always a really decent franchise [at least in my eyes], anyone with some broad knowledge of what caused it to slip away?

  2. #2
    The PS2

    lack of primary developer support, like EA.

    Extremely easy to pirate.

    They spent a ton of money on Shenmue and it failed.

    Also, it was stuck in between generations.

  3. #3
    Mostly a lack of developer support and the fact that the PS2 came with a DVD player. But to be honest, the Dreamcast had already lost before the PS2. It was a little too ahead of its time when It came out (online gaming etc), but at the same time no DVD player, instead using special 1gb CD disks.

    I own Dreamcast and I loved it, along with the N64 it is still my favourite console. I had the game Shenmue and it was an amazing game, a masterpiece even. Infact the Dreamcast had a vast array of really good games when it was new, really good graphics and online gaming that worked, sadly when developers werent making the games and Sega was losing money they had to put the console to bed, way before its time.

    If it had come slightly later, had a DVD player and more developers onboard it could have lasted as long as the PS2, as it was graphically similar. Sega's own games were great. Thinking of some of the great games (not all sega)

    Sonic Adventure
    Sega Rally 2
    Metropolis Street Racer
    Crazy Taxi
    Soul Calibur
    Ferrari 355 Challenge
    Phantasy Star Online
    Sega Bass fishing
    Virtua Tennis
    Jet Set Radio
    Virtua Fighter 3
    Ready 2 Rumble Boxing

    It had a really strong set of titles, but it didnt have enough outside titles, most of those happen to be Sega developed games.

  4. #4
    Stood in the Fire Lannden's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Boston, Mass
    On top of the reasons others have stated, mismanagement. Sega was still trying to support the Game Gear, the Saturn, and the Genesis. Funds were spread far too thin to fully support the Dreamcast.

    It was a great console and very forward thinking but, sadly, was doomed from the start.
    Last edited by Lannden; 2012-07-07 at 06:54 PM.

  5. #5
    Dreamcast was excellent, but PS2 stole a lot of its thunder right before launch. DVD, Backwards Compatibility, etc. were a big deal. I picked up both the Saturn and Dreamcast at launch, but both consoles seemed doomed from the start.

  6. #6
    The biggest problem the Dreamcast faced was hype for the unreleased PS2. Normally being first to the market is an advantage but in Sega's case it worked against them as gamers kept their money in their pockets whilst they waited for Sony's new console. Ironically had the PS2 not be delayed Sega might have fared better as it would have shown gamers that the Dreamcast was more than match for the PS2. By the time the PS2 was released the writing was on the wall; Sega were in a financial crisis and third party developer support was almost non-existent.

  7. #7
    Brewmaster Newbryn's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    It was ahead of it's time and we know what happens to things that are ahead of their time, in short the world was not ready.
    Claymore is Epic again, eat it priscilla fanboys.

  8. #8
    Stood in the Fire Halabash's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Sega saw they were losing and switched to just software, microsoft had essentially unlimited funds to make the xbox successful and targetted at 30+ market, nintendo specialized and became purpose built for children, so that left sony and sega to compete for the 18-24, so pretty much all the publisher went with sony b/c the ps1 was already clearly established as the best game system so its successor was already given that title. Sega actually lost the race with the saturn (rip), the dreamcast was the last system i bought after that, i swore off buying consoles.

  9. #9
    Actually the biggest thing that killed the dreamcast was probably Piracy. It was easy as shit to pirate dreamcast games. Did you have a cd burner? Congratulations, just take this readily available iso for a boot disc, then burn these isos and *poof* games for the price of a blank cd. Quite a few good games for the dreamcast, especially imports.

  10. #10
    Dreadlord Kankuri's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    United States
    Everyone forgets to mention that ATI fucked over SEGA with the first shipment of Dreamcasts. The video cards were poorly manufactured, and easily died due to overheating or mishandling. With the PS2 right around the corner, no one wanted to deal with it.
    I mostly play fighting games these days.

  11. #11
    Stood in the Fire Lannden's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Boston, Mass
    It seems like the Dreamcast was really setup to fail from no fault of its own.

  12. #12
    The Lightbringer Aqua's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    Under your bed
    Bad timing and support. It had the makings of a great machine, but the market simply wasn't ready for it...
    Alot of developers turned from it also. But the PR at Sega was getting a bit... cranky around that time and burnt off some ties with productions in the West.
    A reeeeally silly mistake on their part.

    Kinda like the tablet a few years ago. People didn't see the leap being made. And now!? Suddenly, everywhere.
    Looking like greasy fingered, glowing placemats in everyones hands.
    I have eaten all the popcorn, I left none for anyone else.

  13. #13
    In my humble opinion and as an xbox, dreamcast and ps3 and pc owner dreamcast had way better games during it's short lifespan than the other 3 combined during that time. And the titles were truly excellent.

    Also the controllers were great and in my opnion many of the modern controllers are dreamcast ripoffs.

  14. #14
    High Overlord Willard_fatman's Avatar
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    May 2009
    That One Place, TX
    2 very simple reasons that killed it.
    1. Its discs were very easy to copy, and therefor pirate.
    2. PS2 came out and played DvDs as well as music CDs and PS1 games.

    These 2 points ended up being a huge part in the death of the system. For one, people could pirate games and go to flea markets and buy 20 games for $40 and that was not too rare. And with the PS2 coming out doing all sorts of things that the Dreamcast could not, people would lean towards just getting there kids that system.

    It still makes me sad to this day to think that it died for such simple reasons even with all of the things it did that we did not have on other systems at the time.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Sheffield, UK
    People might not remember, or even know this, but in 2002, in the era of the Dreamcast, Infogrames, a french publisher, decided to back out of the UK.

    Many studios were closed, or simply lacked any direction. One such studio that closed was Gremlin Interactive, which was turned into "Infogrames Sheffield" when it was acquired in 1999. The people from IG Sheffield/Gremlin became Sumo Digital when IG backed out, which produce several of the Sonic games (which as you know, is one of Sega's main character).

    The gaming industry suffered a massive hit due to the back out, and it took a few years to recover.

    JS Full Stack Developer: MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS V1 (MVC), Nodejs, ES5, ES6, Electron, JQuery, Socket.IO

  16. #16
    Actually the biggest thing that killed the dreamcast was probably Piracy. It was easy as shit to pirate dreamcast games. Did you have a cd burner? Congratulations, just take this readily available iso for a boot disc, then burn these isos and *poof* games for the price of a blank cd. Quite a few good games for the dreamcast, especially imports.
    Wish i had known this i may have kept my dreamcast for a bit longer. One thing i really did think was nice about the dc was the controller memory card setup

  17. #17
    I am Murloc! Roose's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    I think one of the main things to kill it was the failure of Sega Saturn. That thing was garbage and was Sega's last system before. That goes in line with the whole poor timing thing. Sega always seemed to be the one testing the waters for everyone else. They were pioneers.

    Playstation and Nintendo had already snagged a lot of the market. PS2 was the main killer, and Xbox came out shortly after.

    Long story short, bad marketing. The system and games were legit.
    Last edited by Roose; 2012-07-07 at 08:33 PM.
    I like sandwiches

  18. #18
    Epic! Zombina's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Where the wild things are
    What rubbish reasons for a great console line to end! It defo looks like the next gen of consoles stole their momentum after they did really well putting out a good console for it's time.

  19. #19
    Sega made a lot of bad consoles in a row.
    Sega 32x was a huge failure, Saturn put them in even deeper debt and Dreamcast never really had a chance, most of the games were never localized and made by third party developers. Retailers were not interested in stocking their shelves with another Saturn or 32x type of failure.

    Even if they wanted to, they didn't market it properly either, I don't even know if they thought Dreamcast could survive.

  20. #20
    All too true about the console being ahead of its time. Online support out of the box, running on a modified Windows OS and PC-friendly hardware. These are some signature features of the 360, which is a major reason why Microsoft gained such a major lead in the console industry as the dominance shifted from Japanese to Western formerly PC-centered developers.

    The PS2 hype train killing off the DC is kind of sad, since the PS2 had a notoriously bad launch lineup of games, and most first generation PS2 games even looked worse than first generation DC titles because it was so difficult to program for. But hey, you could watch The Matrix on the PS2, d00dz!

    And then we had EA who wouldn't support Sega because they didn't like the thought of getting competition from Sega's own sports franchises. There's also rumors that EA were pissed over Sega backing out of a 3DFX deal for the GPU since EA owned some stock for 3DFX. Nice way of showing gratitude, since Sega were the ones who helped EA find initial success in the console market (with unlicensed games from reverse-engineered devkits no less) in the first place.

    Sega's troubles prior to the DC has a lot to do with the petty infighting between the American and Japanese divisions.

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