Why SEGA stopped making consoles

It's all Peter Moore's fault, says Peter Moore.

Long before he was the boss of EA Sports, and even before he was the boss of Xbox, Peter Moore used to be a big deal at SEGA. Now he's admitted it was he decided the company should stop making games machines and just make games instead.

Speaking to the Guardian, Moore got all misty-eyed when talking about SEGA's final foray into the hardware market.

"Dreamcast was a phenomenal 18 months of pain, heartache, euphoria... We thought we had it," he said.

"But then PlayStation came out... And of course, EA didn't publish which left a big hole, not only in sports but in other genres. We ended up that Christmas period not being able to get to where we needed to be - we weren't far short, we just couldn't get that critical mass."

In other words, Moore explained, SEGA Japan set a target that just couldn't be reached. "I can't remember the exact figures - but we had to make N hundreds of millions of dollars by the holiday season, and shift N millions of units of hardware, otherwise we just couldn't sustain the business.

"So on January 31st 2001 we said SEGA is leaving hardware - somehow I got to make that call, not the Japanese. I had to fire a lot of people, it was not a pleasant day."

According to Moore, there was no way the Dreamcast could compete with PS2 by this stage - so a tough decision had to be made. "SEGA had the option of pouring in more money and going bankrupt and they decided they wanted to live to fight another day," he stated. "So we licked our wounds, ate some humble pie and went to Sony and Nintendo to ask for dev kits."

Moore's philosophical about it all, however. "In the end, it didn't work out," he observed. "It was tough, but those were great days and I've never met anybody who regretted buying a Dreamcast."

Read the full interview for more from Moore.

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About the author

Ellie Gibson

Ellie Gibson

Contributor  |  elliegibson

Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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