Games are available on a host of different devices these days, while the titles themselves take in a fair share of styles and genres too. However, while so much choice can often be a good thing, sometimes you simply cannot beat the classics. With that in mind, it is worth noting that one of the most iconic names in the gaming world is celebrating a very special milestone at the moment.
The Japanese gaming giant Sega is celebrating its 60th anniversary and chose to mark the event with a range of different releases and some special promotions on Steam.
A press release published on Gamasutra explained how the brand’s plans included the launch of some free-to-own mini-games inspired by various retro titles. Streets of Kamurocho featured Kiryu and Majima from the Yakuza series, while Golden Axed offered an exclusive glimpse into an aborted project known as Golden Axe: Reborn. The Endless Zone also brought together the Endless universe and Fantasy Zone for some side-scrolling action, while Armor of Heroes is a multiplayer tank title for up to four players.
A Famous Name
All in all, it is undoubtedly impressive that a company like Sega is still going strong so many years after it was established.
As the official Sega 60th anniversary website details, the company was initially launched as Nihon Goraku Bussan Co and first created jukeboxes. It then took on the more famous name of Sega in 1965 and began to specialise in arcade-based experiences. As the years went by, it, of course, entered the realm of consumer games consoles, with the very first Mega Drive being launched in 1988. Sonic the Hedgehog then appeared in the early 1990s, with the franchise becoming one of the most lucrative in video gaming. According to Sega, the original title in the series sold more than four million copies.
Sega is not the only iconic gaming brand which is enjoying an anniversary in 2020 however, as Pac-Man also turned 40 this year. The arcade classic was originally ‘born’ in May 1980 and Bandai Namco has marked the moment by debuting a new theme song composed by a Japanese techno artist.
Still Going Strong
The fact that such names are being celebrated by fans could be viewed as a sign of how many continue to have a fascination with old-school forms of gaming. Iconic brands and characters from yesteryear are still going strong, with the aforementioned Sonic the Hedgehog being an example of that.
As well as starring in his very own big-screen adventure, the famous blue hedgehog has been in an array of mobile games in recent years including Sonic Dash and Sonic Forces. It has been a similar story with his great rival, Nintendo’s Mario. The plumber has been reborn in a range of mobile titles including Mario Kart Tour and Super Mario Run. Other major franchises which have been around for years are still doing well too, with Super Smash Bros being a success and a remake of Final Fantasy VII also proving to be a hit.
Such trends suggest that, rather than killing off these classic icons, fresh developments in the gaming world have breathed new life into them. This idea has arguably been seen in other areas as well, such as the board game world. Gizmodo recently reported on a new board game table which allows people to play digital versions of famous titles including Monopoly on a touchscreen. Elsewhere, online video has brought a new dimension to the online casino experience in recent years, with Betway featuring a host of live casino titles based on classic pastimes like blackjack and roulette. The games feature a real-life dealer and are played across a high definition video link. In many ways, these classic games have shown great versatility and stayed within popular culture for hundreds of years, outliving their console counterparts.
Finally, developments in TV have also brought a new lease of life to some classics, with the Star Trek franchise being reinvigorated by its involvement with the CBS All Access platform. Discovery is now into its third season on the service, while other titles including Star Trek: Picard and Lower Decks have launched.
So, while technology in the gaming world and other areas continues to evolve, it seems that there are plenty of people who simply can’t get enough of going old-school.
Sega remains a hugely important name in video gaming and its 60th anniversary is undoubtedly one worth celebrating. At this point, it would be hard to bet against the brand enjoying a few more in the future too.