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(Cracked)   Remember the Sega Saturn? It is among The 5 Worst Marketing Failures in the History of Video Games   (cracked.com) divider line 92
    More: Interesting, Sega Saturn, SEGA, Saturn, John Romero, elementary education, Tinsel Town, PC gamers, Legend of Zelda  
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10491 clicks; posted to Geek » on 20 May 2012 at 4:00 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-20 02:15:18 PM
Wow, I never thought there would be a pseudo-celeb worthy of more derision than Andy Dick, but Jamie Kennedy has done it. Congratulations.
 
2012-05-20 02:49:07 PM
Why does the Ocean Marketing thing belong on that list? Seriously, that was a flash in the pan, ask me or anyone else in 5 years if we remember that whole thing. Hell I only vaguely remember it now.
 
2012-05-20 03:05:33 PM
I never heard of the Ocean Marketing thing but it sure managed to kill 15 minutes reading about it. Good times.
 
2012-05-20 03:32:15 PM
Hello, Ocean Marketing. I'd like to order two dozen 1 1/2 lb lobsters to be delivered.
Wait. You do what?

Oh...
 
2012-05-20 03:46:01 PM

Confabulat: I never heard of the Ocean Marketing thing but it sure managed to kill 15 minutes reading about it. Good times.


If you liked that, I highly recommend that you kill another 2:16 watching the parody video
 
2012-05-20 03:50:03 PM
 
2012-05-20 03:50:27 PM
List is useless without ET.

/But well done otherwise.
 
2012-05-20 03:53:51 PM

Lor M. Ipsum: Confabulat: I never heard of the Ocean Marketing thing but it sure managed to kill 15 minutes reading about it. Good times.

If you liked that, I highly recommend that you kill another 2:16 watching the parody video


Ha, already watched during my 15 minute investigation. Funny stuff, wonder how i missed that first time around.

So this guy thought he had a talent for marketing, am I getting this right?
 
MBK [TotalFark]
2012-05-20 03:57:26 PM

Confabulat: So this guy thought he had a talent for marketing, am I getting this right?


The best part:

During PAX East, the douchebag claimed he somehow still got in. He even posted pics and was saying he was "under cover". Problem was, the pics were from other people who took the pics for their own blogs or websites. It took the PA guys about 10 minutes to call his bullshiat hoax out.
 
2012-05-20 03:58:44 PM

Confabulat: So this guy thought he had a talent for marketing, am I getting this right?


I'm not sure what he was thinking, but it did get out of hand fairly quickly, up to and including death threats to his wife and their infant son.
 
2012-05-20 04:09:24 PM

eltejon: List is useless without ET.

/But well done otherwise.


Except that E.T. wasn't a failure in marketing so much as it was a failure of a game. It is considered the worst game of all time due to how bad it is, not just how poorly it sold. There's even the urban legend about how most copies of the game ended up buried in cement so that people would never see how terrible of a game it really is.
 
2012-05-20 04:10:33 PM

MBK: Confabulat: So this guy thought he had a talent for marketing, am I getting this right?

The best part:

During PAX East, the douchebag claimed he somehow still got in. He even posted pics and was saying he was "under cover". Problem was, the pics were from other people who took the pics for their own blogs or websites. It took the PA guys about 10 minutes to call his bullshiat hoax out.


The PA guys were the ones who sent him the pics as a prank, hoping he would retweet them to "prove" he was at PAX East. Link
 
2012-05-20 04:31:59 PM

PillsHere: There's even the urban legend about how most copies of the game ended up buried in cement so that people would never see how terrible of a game it really is.


It was actually for the tax writeoff. In order to write off the value of the carts, they had to ensure they wouldn't get sold out the back door of the warehouse.
 
2012-05-20 04:34:24 PM
My Sega Saturn is still hooked up, next to the Genesis. Therefore I win at being an old fuddy duddy who needs to throw out old crap.
 
2012-05-20 04:45:41 PM
The shark did what to my lawn?
 
2012-05-20 04:51:38 PM

PillsHere: eltejon: List is useless without ET.

/But well done otherwise.

Except that E.T. wasn't a failure in marketing so much as it was a failure of a game. It is considered the worst game of all time due to how bad it is, not just how poorly it sold. There's even the urban legend about how most copies of the game ended up buried in cement so that people would never see how terrible of a game it really is.


Hmm, I still have this cartridge (never got past the part where ET fell in some damn hole) Wonder if I can ebay it...
 
2012-05-20 04:55:06 PM
That Jamie Kennedy guy would fight right in here on Fark.
 
2012-05-20 04:57:55 PM

fritton: PillsHere: eltejon: List is useless without ET.

/But well done otherwise.

Except that E.T. wasn't a failure in marketing so much as it was a failure of a game. It is considered the worst game of all time due to how bad it is, not just how poorly it sold. There's even the urban legend about how most copies of the game ended up buried in cement so that people would never see how terrible of a game it really is.

Hmm, I still have this cartridge (never got past the part where ET fell in some damn hole) Wonder if I can ebay it...


You could, but don't expect more than the cost of shipping. ET sold very well, it just wasn't the unprecedented hit that Atari had expected the licence to bring. They didn't bury the cartridges to hide the poor quality of the game. They did it to clear warehouse space.

Besides, it isn't really the worst game of all time. It isn't the worst game on the Atari 2600. It's only the choice of lazy journalists who can't be arsed to do proper research.
 
2012-05-20 05:00:11 PM
The real marketing failure in ET was that Mars Candy didn't let them use M&M's in the movie. So, they had to go with the less popular Reeses Pieces.
 
2012-05-20 05:01:19 PM

Farker Soze: That Jamie Kennedy guy would fight right in here on Fark.


fit
 
2012-05-20 05:01:58 PM
Yes subby I remember the Sega Saturn.

I install modchips into them as well as swap out the BIOS to make it region-free.

/in fact I just got one from a client in the mail to do the above with
 
2012-05-20 05:03:28 PM
You've got to love twitter for its ability to prevent PR people from filtering out all the douche.
 
2012-05-20 05:03:50 PM
Sega of Japan was quite good at that "advanced audio/video technology" thing; Virtua Racing, Virtua Fighter and Daytona USA were kindof a big deal in arcades - back when arcades still had some relevance.

Sega of America had a lot of success with the Genesis, however, and that led to lots of infighting and a couple of add-ons nobody wanted - which eventually leads to zenith of disfunction that was the Saturn's launch.

Still, Panzer Dragoon was very cool.
 
2012-05-20 05:06:35 PM

APE992: Yes subby I remember the Sega Saturn.

I install modchips into them as well as swap out the BIOS to make it region-free.

/in fact I just got one from a client in the mail to do the above with


I'm curious as to what this means. Please explain further.
 
2012-05-20 05:07:22 PM

PillsHere: eltejon: List is useless without ET.

/But well done otherwise.

Except that E.T. wasn't a failure in marketing so much as it was a failure of a game. It is considered the worst game of all time due to how bad it is, not just how poorly it sold. There's even the urban legend about how most copies of the game ended up buried in cement so that people would never see how terrible of a game it really is.


Not that, it was known from the time it hit the stores how sucktacular it was, it's just they cranked out so many (along with the 2600 version of Pac-Man) that the store returns were disheartening.
 
2012-05-20 05:19:58 PM
Good article even though I already knew all of it. No surprise it was written by Seanbaby rather than one of their generally awful writers.
 
2012-05-20 05:21:18 PM

DubyaHater: APE992: Yes subby I remember the Sega Saturn.

I install modchips into them as well as swap out the BIOS to make it region-free.

/in fact I just got one from a client in the mail to do the above with

I'm curious as to what this means. Please explain further.


Video game systems, like DVD players, lock out discs based on where they were meant to be sold. This means you can't buy a copy of Iron Man in Britain and expect it to play in your DVD player back in the States.

In much the same way, you weren't supposed to be able to play video games made only for the Japanese market (the actual Final Fantasy 3 for example) in the US. He unlocks Sega Saturns so they can play games you buy anywhere.
 
2012-05-20 05:25:49 PM

Farker Soze: Farker Soze: That Jamie Kennedy guy would fight right in here on Fark.

fit


Nah, I seem plenty of farkers that are actually funny.
 
2012-05-20 05:35:03 PM

eltejon: List is useless without ET.

/But well done otherwise.


THIS. I can't stand that little Reeses peanut eating bastard.
 
2012-05-20 05:40:22 PM

lemurs: Sega of Japan was quite good at that "advanced audio/video technology" thing; Virtua Racing, Virtua Fighter and Daytona USA were kindof a big deal in arcades - back when arcades still had some relevance.

Sega of America had a lot of success with the Genesis, however, and that led to lots of infighting and a couple of add-ons nobody wanted - which eventually leads to zenith of disfunction that was the Saturn's launch.

Still, Panzer Dragoon was very cool.


Didn't help that the Saturn's hardware was particularly complex, the processors and memory chips of a rather esoteric architecture, and that the devkit libraries were pretty bad until late in the console's life. So it required developers to either (a) spend a lot of time and money building customized assembly code that was only good for the Saturn, or (b) spend slightly less time and money using the standard libraries and release games that looked and ran like crap. IIRC, it wasn't until the last year of the system's life that they had actual transparency effects figured out - up until then, they just put a weird white mesh where they wanted "glass" to be.

Also, as regards mod chips, most Saturn hardware versions didn't even need them - just solder a few jumper wires and a switch between certain points on the PCB and you were in business.
 
2012-05-20 05:54:25 PM
Just finished the related Ocean article, and holy crap, that was incredible. You could have entire college courses in psychology and marketing using this as a prime example on how not to treat people.
 
2012-05-20 05:57:57 PM
The Saturn was on shaky ground from the start. SEGA tainted their brand with the SEGA CD, Activator and 32X, which made retailers and gamers reluctant to drop money on another piece of flash-in-the-pan crap. When Sony released the PlayStation at the same time with a larger array of launch titles and a price tag difference of $100, the console wars were over before the first shot was fired. Sh*t, the N64 showed up a year late and still beat the Saturn like an ugly redheaded stepchild.
 
2012-05-20 06:06:37 PM

lemurs: Sega of Japan was quite good at that "advanced audio/video technology" thing; Virtua Racing, Virtua Fighter and Daytona USA were kindof a big deal in arcades - back when arcades still had some relevance.

Sega of America had a lot of success with the Genesis, however, and that led to lots of infighting and a couple of add-ons nobody wanted - which eventually leads to zenith of disfunction that was the Saturn's launch.

Still, Panzer Dragoon was very cool.


There were quite a few good or great games on the Saturn, both original titles and arcade conversions. I think the problem was the eye-watering launch price of £399 combined with anticipation of the Playstation. Few people were willing to gamble that much on a new console before seeing how things were with a substantially cheaper console with better 3D capabilities.
 
2012-05-20 06:10:37 PM

PillsHere: eltejon: List is useless without ET.

/But well done otherwise.

Except that E.T. wasn't a failure in marketing so much as it was a failure of a game. It is considered the worst game of all time due to how bad it is, not just how poorly it sold. There's even the urban legend about how most copies of the game ended up buried in cement so that people would never see how terrible of a game it really is.


As far as Atari 2600 games go ET was far from the worst of them; it wasn't even that bad really.
 
2012-05-20 06:14:46 PM
www.atariage.com
 
2012-05-20 06:43:39 PM

Gordon Bennett: There were quite a few good or great games on the Saturn, both original titles and arcade conversions. I think the problem was the eye-watering launch price of £399 combined with anticipation of the Playstation.


Sega Saturn did well in Japan. The problem was that Sega's in-house dev focused their efforts on the domestic (Japanese) market such that the games they came out with weren't localized. Having played some of them I honestly can't disagree with the decision -- these games were enjoyable but obviously not developed with the international market in mind. Unfortunately outside Japan the console was more or less left to sink or swim on its own, and it's kinda hard to sell a console with relatively few games. Imagine if Nintendo tried to push its next console out but arbitrarily decided its flagship franchises wouldn't sell internationally, so the console was left to wither. It's easy to say this was a bad business decision, but consider the alternatives:

1) If they localized the games and they didn't sell, the console might've failed harder.
2) If they focused on a wider variety of games, it's likely they would've been crushed by Sony & Nintendo.
3) If they didn't export the console at all, they might've lost the lucrative international market forever. As it turns out they did eventually implode with the Dreamcast, but at the time of the Saturn, Sega was considered a bona fide rival of Nintendo.

In hindsight I'd say Sega more or less acted conservatively -- they pushed with what they knew would work, even if the overseas market was underwhelmed.
 
2012-05-20 07:01:51 PM

Lunchlady: DubyaHater: APE992: Yes subby I remember the Sega Saturn.

I install modchips into them as well as swap out the BIOS to make it region-free.

/in fact I just got one from a client in the mail to do the above with

I'm curious as to what this means. Please explain further.

Video game systems, like DVD players, lock out discs based on where they were meant to be sold. This means you can't buy a copy of Iron Man in Britain and expect it to play in your DVD player back in the States.

In much the same way, you weren't supposed to be able to play video games made only for the Japanese market (the actual Final Fantasy 3 for example) in the US. He unlocks Sega Saturns so they can play games you "buy" anywhere.


There. Altered for truth.

The Saturn and Dreamcast were both dream-systems for software pirates.
 
2012-05-20 07:04:57 PM

PillsHere: Except that E.T. wasn't a failure in marketing so much as it was a failure of a game. It is considered the worst game of all time due to how bad it is, not just how poorly it sold. There's even the urban legend about how most copies of the game ended up buried in cement so that people would never see how terrible of a game it really is.


I played the crap out of that game. I didn't really know what was going on, but I could beat it just about every time. It was a fine game, for a 7 year old.
 
2012-05-20 07:14:51 PM
You know you fail at life when Cracked calls you unfunny.
 
2012-05-20 07:18:26 PM

dragonchild: Gordon Bennett: There were quite a few good or great games on the Saturn, both original titles and arcade conversions. I think the problem was the eye-watering launch price of £399 combined with anticipation of the Playstation.

Sega Saturn did well in Japan. The problem was that Sega's in-house dev focused their efforts on the domestic (Japanese) market such that the games they came out with weren't localized. Having played some of them I honestly can't disagree with the decision -- these games were enjoyable but obviously not developed with the international market in mind. Unfortunately outside Japan the console was more or less left to sink or swim on its own, and it's kinda hard to sell a console with relatively few games. Imagine if Nintendo tried to push its next console out but arbitrarily decided its flagship franchises wouldn't sell internationally, so the console was left to wither. It's easy to say this was a bad business decision, but consider the alternatives:

1) If they localized the games and they didn't sell, the console might've failed harder.
2) If they focused on a wider variety of games, it's likely they would've been crushed by Sony & Nintendo.
3) If they didn't export the console at all, they might've lost the lucrative international market forever. As it turns out they did eventually implode with the Dreamcast, but at the time of the Saturn, Sega was considered a bona fide rival of Nintendo.

In hindsight I'd say Sega more or less acted conservatively -- they pushed with what they knew would work, even if the overseas market was underwhelmed.


The launch of the Saturn though was another example of how Sega really lacked direction/leadership at that time and that is ultimately what led to their downfall. Sega also had the Sega CD and 32X released fairly close to that time. They were all over the map and trying to rush out first party games for all those platforms.

Had they simply stuck with the core genesis system and then moved to the Saturn things probably would have been different. Also in that time the console gaming crowd on average was much younger. They didn't have the money to shell out to support several different platforms and by the time the Saturn came out most gamers were exhausted from what were two pretty disappointing upgrades to the Genesis. At that point consumer confidence in Sega had bottomed out.
 
2012-05-20 07:19:44 PM

jbuist: The real marketing failure in ET was that Mars Candy didn't let them use M&M's in the movie. So, they had to go with the less popular Reeses Pieces.


Well hersheys paid to have it used in the film to get it more exposure for sales.
 
2012-05-20 07:21:10 PM

SN1987a goes boom: You know you fail at life when Cracked calls you unfunny.


I had been calling him unfunny for years but I had friends who loved him, I no longer speak to those people, same with people who found dane cook funny.
 
2012-05-20 07:33:18 PM
People always bring up the SegaCD and the 32x when they talk about the failure of the Saturn, and later the Dreamcast, and then Sega's hardware business.

I don't think the SegaCD and 32x had much to do with the failure of Sega. Nobody bought those things, anyway. I think the bigger problem Sega had was that the Saturn was designed as a 2D system, and just couldn't compete with the Playstation or N64 when it came to 3D games.

Now, the Dreamcast...that was a marketing fark-up of epic proporations. The Dreamcast was a fantastic system, and by all rights should've *easily* competed with the Playstation 2. But Sega screwed up, and didn't get enough developers on board, and, finally, killed it just as it was coming into its own.

Basically, Sega's problem, post-Genesis/Mega Drive, was that they simply didn't have enough games that people wanted to play. They had some GREAT games, but the other systems simply had more.
 
2012-05-20 07:33:30 PM
i half expected the Atari Jaguar to be on there. I guess it didnt have a horrible marketing campaign, just a mediocre one that couldnt keep up with gameboy's. i never saw it advertised anywhere except comic books and i used to watch a LOT of tv and listen to a LOT of radio.

/wanted one
 
2012-05-20 07:36:35 PM
My favorite is a game called "Limbo of the Lost", where the development team outright stole the art asserts from the following games and used them as their own:

Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004 (PC)
Konami's Silent Hill series
Lionhead's Black & White 2 (PC)
Blizzard's Diablo 2 (PC)
Troika's Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (PC)
Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (PC, Xbox)
The 1997 film Spawn

ArticleHere
 
2012-05-20 07:37:37 PM
Saturn Bomberman is still the best party game ever.
 
2012-05-20 07:40:22 PM

Tad_Waxpole: [www.atariage.com image 640x380]


It's about bad marketing campaigns, not bad games.
 
2012-05-20 07:42:56 PM

The Flexecutioner: i half expected the Atari Jaguar to be on there. I guess it didnt have a horrible marketing campaign, just a mediocre one that couldnt keep up with gameboy's. i never saw it advertised anywhere except comic books and i used to watch a LOT of tv and listen to a LOT of radio.

/wanted one


My father-in-law had one. It was okay. Screen looked good, but it was huge for a portable system and ate batteries like a Teabagger at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
 
2012-05-20 07:51:40 PM

Hand Banana: PillsHere: eltejon: List is useless without ET.

/But well done otherwise.

Except that E.T. wasn't a failure in marketing so much as it was a failure of a game. It is considered the worst game of all time due to how bad it is, not just how poorly it sold. There's even the urban legend about how most copies of the game ended up buried in cement so that people would never see how terrible of a game it really is.

As far as Atari 2600 games go ET was far from the worst of them; it wasn't even that bad really.


Swordquest.

/That game(s) sucked.
 
2012-05-20 07:55:22 PM
Sega blew it with the Saturn launch, but I still remember that day.
I ran to my local EB that afternoon and got one with Daytona.

Waste of time, but, it was a fun time of life.
 
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