Sega development studios

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Privately held, subsidiary
Industry Computer and video games
Key people
Toshihiro Nagoshi, Yuji Naka, Rikiya Nakagawa, Noriyoshi Oba, Hisao Oguchi, Yu Suzuki
Products Video games
Parent Sega

Sega Studios

Sega has had in-house studios and subsidiary studios from 1983 to date. See also List of Sega software development studios


Development division

The development division was largely restricted to arcade development. The only exception was Sword of Vermilion which was designed from the ground up for the Sega Mega Drive home console.

Department Headed By Titles
Sega DD #1 Sega's original Japanese development studio, spun off in 1990.
Sega DD #2 Yu Suzuki
Sega DD #3 Rikiya Nakagawa

Consumer development division

Shinobu Toyoda was the leader of Sega CD later known as AM8, and eventually Sonic Team. Under Toyoda's leadership, project designer Naoto Ohshima and lead programmer Yuji Naka pitched the idea of Sonic the Hedgehog as company mascot to Sega CEO, Hayao Nakayama. Yuji Naka became Studio head afterwards.[1]

Department Headed By Titles
Sega CD #1
Sega CD #2 Shinobu Toyoda[1]
Sega CD #3 Noriyoshi Ohba same as DD#3


Sega reorganized and expanded upon their R&D studios, and the Consumer Divisions and Development Divisions were all now renamed to Sega-AM Teams (Amusement Machine Research & Development Teams).

The name "Sonic Team" has been used for AM8 since the inception of Sonic the Hedgehog in 1991. NiGHTS Into Dreams... was the first game to have the Sonic Team logo on the boxart, officially separating it from the Amusement Machine Research & Development teams.

The expanded AM4 studio, spun off of AM2, and was led by Toshihiro Nagoshi. AM5 had many former Namco employees that worked on Ridge Racer.

Outside of Fighters Megamix and Digital Dance Mix, the focus of Sega AM-1 to AM5 was restricted to arcade development.

Team list

Department Members From Headed By Titles
Sega AM1 R&D Sega DD #3 Rikiya Nakagawa
Sega AM2 R&D Sega DD#2 Yu Suzuki
Sega AM3 R&D New Studio Hisao Oguchi
Sega AM4 R&D New Studio Toshihiro Nagoshi
Sega AM5 R&D New Studio Tetsuya Mizuguchi
Sega CS1 R&D Sega CD #1 Yukio Futatsugi
Sega CS2 R&D Sega CD #3 Noriyoshi Oba
Sonic Team (CS3 R&D) Sega CD #2 Yuji Naka


In 1999, the original character designer of Sonic the Hedgehog, Naoto Ohshima left Sega along with other employees due to disagreements with Yuji Naka to where the future of the franchise is headed. Artoon was founded by Naoto Ohshima and has many former Sonic Team employees. Around the same time, Team Andromeda dissolved along with its lead Yukio Futatsugi leaving the company. Former Team Andromeda employees have since then worked at Artoon, AQ Interactive, Microsoft Studios Japan, Grounding Co. and Land Ho.

In 2000, Sega converted all their in-house studios into 2nd Party Studios, for more independency and a bigger focus on the consumer market by former arcade focused studios. Former AM5 head Tetsuya Mizuguchi formed his own studio by the name of United Game Artists. Several Team Andromeda members have joined Smilebit and United Game Artists.

In 2003, due to management disagreements, UGA-led Tetsuya Mizuguchi and the Rez team left Sega to found Q Entertainment. The rest of the UGA team consisted of Space Channel 5 developers was folded back into Sonic Team.

Also in 2003, the action game side of Overworks spun off in to WOW Entertainment, which after Nightshade and Blood Will Tell, solely focused on content for arcades.

Hisao Oguchi became appointed to CEO in 2001, and Mie Kumagai replaced him as the studio head of Hitmaker.

Hirokazu Yasuhara who was the lead designer and director of the original Sonic the Hedgehog games, left Sega in 2002 and joined Naughty Dog, with the last position being designer of Visual Concepts Floigan Bros..

Due to decline of revenue of traditional Arcades, more focus went on Networked trading card games; which is a genre of arcade games that Sega essentially invented.

Studio list

Department Members From Headed By Titles
WOW Entertainment Sega AM1 R&D Rikiya Nakagawa
Sega AM2 same as before Yu Suzuki
Hitmaker Sega AM3 R&D Mie Kumagai
Amusement Vision Sega AM4 R&D Toshihiro Nagoshi
Sega Rosso Sega AM5 R&D Kenji Sasaki
Smilebit Sega AM6 R&D Shun Arai
Overworks Sega AM7 R&D Noriyoshi Oba
Sonic Team same as before Yuji Naka
United Game Artists AM5 + AM6 + AM8 Tetsuya Mizuguchi


General Entertainment R&D Division which is was formed by the merger of Sonic Team, United Game Artists, and Overworks. The two departments were led by Sonic Team and Overworks producers, such as Yuji Naka and Akira Nishino. In 2006, Yuji Naka went independent to form Prope. Akinori Nishiyama and then Takashi Iizuka replaced him as the Producer.

Department Members From Titles
GE1 R&D Sonic Team + United Game Artists
GE2 R&D Overworks

New Entertainment R&D Division is essentially the AM6 or Smilebit of before with sports titles. However, Toshihiro Nagoshi and his team were integrated due to moving outside the arcade division, and gaining large control in this division. Takayuki Kawagoe continues to have a Producer and Executive role as he had before in the AM6/Smilebit division.

Department Members From Titles
NE R&D Amusement Vision + Smilebit
Sports R&D Amusement Vision + Smilebit

Amusement Software R&D Division which focuses on the development of games for arcade. The division is headed by Yu Suzuki, Hiroshi Kataoka, Atsushi Seimiya and Mie Kumagai. Networked arcade games that get continuously updated with users being able to save their file on ID cards, started to become a huge increase of focus, beginning with Virtua Fighter 4 in 2001.

Department Members From Titles
AM R&D WOW Entertainment + Sega-AM2 + Hitmaker + Sega Rosso


General Entertainment R&D Division changed its name to Consumer R&D Division, and New Entertainment R&D Division merged with Consumer R&D Division.

Department Members From Titles
CS1 R&D same as before
CS2 R&D same as before
CS3 R&D same as before
Sports R&D same as before

Amusement R&D Division which focuses on the development of games for arcade. Yu Suzuki stepped down and is now solely responsible for YS.NET

Department Members From Titles
AM R&D same as before
  • Wonderland Wars (2015) [36]

Sega Networks focuses on development for smartphones and tablets.

Department Year of purchase/founding Members from Headed by Titles
Sega Networks [37] 2012 Consumer R&D Division Haruki Satomi

Acquired studios

Department Division Year of purchase/founding Notable titles
The Creative Assembly Sega Europe 2005
Sports Interactive Sega Europe 2006
Three Rings Design Sega of America 2011
Hardlight Studio Sega Europe 2012
Relic Entertainment Sega of America 2013
Index (Atlus) Sega of Japan 2013
Demiurge Studios Sega of America 2015
Ignited Artists Sega of America 2014

Affiliated studios

Sega began contracting subsidiary studios in 1983.


Studio Titles
Westone Bit Entertainment
Sonic! Software Planning
System Sacom
Arc System Works
Vic Tokai
Aspect Co.
Game Freak
J Force
Climax Entertainment
RED Entertainment
Vivarium Inc.
French Bread
From Software
D3 Publisher
Tabot Inc.
Alfa System
Crypton Future Media
Platinum Games
Studio Forefront
Syn Sophia


Studio Titles
Appaloosa Interactive
ToeJam & Earl Productions
BlueSky Software
Big Red Button Entertainment
Realtime Associates
Gearbox Software
Traveller's Tales
Visual Concepts
No Cliché
Zono Incorporated
Sanzaru Games
EA Black Box
Access Games
Pseudo Interactive
Petroglyph Games
Bizarre Creations
Backbone Entertainment
Creative Assembly
Shiny Entertainment
Planet Moon Studios
Sumo Digital
Monolith Productions
Sega Studios San Francisco
Totally Games
Kuju Entertainment
Griptonite Games
Arkedo Studio
Double Fine Productions
Avalanche Studios
Obsidian Entertainment


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