What happened to Sega-AM2?

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What happened to Sega-AM2?

Postby asdfguy » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:01 pm

I don't know where to post this so I'm posting this here. So, what happened to SEGA- AM2? They haven't made a game in ages. I know they are the only ones to survive SEGA's massive shutdown of children companies. Thoughts?
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Re: What happened to Sega-AM2?

Postby Ceej » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:07 pm

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Re: What happened to Sega-AM2?

Postby Spaghetti » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:28 pm

AM2 actually have a game coming out in the near future; Border Break. No idea if it's coming to the West, though.

For the most part they've still been making arcade games, but not a lot of them leave Japan, if they get home console releases at all.
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Re: What happened to Sega-AM2?

Postby KidMarine » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:07 pm

Anime tie-ins and arcade games that never leave Japan.
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Re: What happened to Sega-AM2?

Postby Henry Spencer » Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:12 pm

KidMarine wrote: Anime tie-ins and arcade games that never leave Japan.


This. Their games are stuck in Japan. Border Break looks like a cool mecha action game and Soul Reverse (a fantasy action game) is releasing across arcades in Japan which also looks pretty cool. Hopefully we get them released over here.

And who knows? Virtua Fighter placed in the top 5 for Japan's most wanted SEGA game revivals.

Between the ones who left to join the likes of YsNet and Neilo or join other divisions (Nagoshi and pretty sure AM2 and AM3 [nowadays known as the Yakuza Team/Ryu Ga Gotoku Team] staff members were pretty much rotating between both divisions), SEGA Japan are wanting to explore their back catalogue more, hence why the likes of Sakura Taisen is getting a revival (yay for SRPGs with 90s anime art styles), Daytona and House of the Dead are both getting new entries in arcades (yay!) and seeing some of those extremely exciting IPs place so high up the list from fans in Japan like Skies of Arcadia, Jet Set Radio and Panzer Dragoon, we may see more revivals yet. Hopefully. The new CEO said he's wanting to see more IP revivals. Exciting times for SEGA fans, for sure.

I'm hoping this optimism ekes over to AM2 and we get a new Virtua Fighter!

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Re: What happened to Sega-AM2?

Postby Truck_1_0_1_ » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:35 am

I believe Ryu ga Gotoku Team was formerly AM4, not AM3, as AM3 was Hitmaker still, when the first Yakuza titles came out.

But of course, being that Nagoshi's been the head, it is made up of some AM2 employees.
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Re: What happened to Sega-AM2?

Postby Henry Spencer » Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:22 pm

My bad, you're correct, I got AM3 and AM4 (CS1) mixed up. Yeah Nagoshi pretty much pinched some of AM2 off to join his team, some of whom did work on Shenmue and the various other AM2 titles as well. I think the AM divisions did use to rotate staff around a fair bit as and when required like Atlus does or From Software does, the only constants being the project leads (Directors, Lead programmers, writers, lead designers, artists etc).
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Re: What happened to Sega-AM2?

Postby Spaghetti » Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:43 pm

The only AM2 staff Nagoshi appeared to have taken with him when forming AM11 were from the Virtua Fighter 3 team, judging from the named examples you can find on SEGA Retro. I'd be surprised if the Yakuza team had to pull any staff from AM2 after that considering the absorption of both Hitmaker and Smilebit.

Not directly what we're talking about but it links into the subject matter; the "Shenmue devs went on to make Yakuza" stuff is an urban myth. Impossible to know where every single Shenmue staff member went, but looking at the list of named New Entertainment R&D Dept developers on SEGA Retro the links to Shenmue are very tentative and only through R&D#4's support work for supervising and some programming.

A more accurate statement would be "Jet Set Radio devs went on to make Yakuza", because apparently a shitload did.
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Re: What happened to Sega-AM2?

Postby Henry Spencer » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:25 pm

If you look at the bottom of this MobyGames list (http://www.mobygames.com/game/dreamcast/shenmue/credits) it actually gives us the answer to this, albeit not descriptive who does what but I recall looking into it a few years back and seeing some links between the developers, the staff within SEGA Japan do move around a lot (there's been so many division merges and renames it becomes really confusing trying to keep up with it all). I think that ultimately, it all comes down to the project leads that matter since there's so much shuffling around, so I agree that the link between Yakuza and Shenmue isn't as big as it's made out to be, just shares some of the same staff (Nagoshi supposedly when in the pre-production stages went around SEGA divisions showing off the Yakuza concept to all staff and whoever showed interest joined him to make it).

The other thing I found when looking into Shenmue's credits through MobyGames was that a lot of the staff just frankly disappeared from game development without a trace. So either they went freelance/contracting after this and went to work at somewhere like TOSE (a company renowned for never getting credit despite helping create some of the most popular Japanese video games of all time and having really talented staff) or they just left game development entirely. Always found that aspect of the development kinda fascinating.
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Re: What happened to Sega-AM2?

Postby James Brown » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:04 pm

Also another Arcade game not long been released in Japan - Soul Reverse.

Managed to snag a couple of these instruction manuals for the game at a Sega arcade in Akihabara and was pleased to see the AM2 logo on the back :)

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Re: What happened to Sega-AM2?

Postby Haruto » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:31 pm

Boarder Break is pretty fun for a free to play game. Not the greatest but fun.
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Re: What happened to Sega-AM2?

Postby Spaghetti » Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:58 am

Henry Spencer wrote: If you look at the bottom of this MobyGames list (http://www.mobygames.com/game/dreamcast/shenmue/credits) it actually gives us the answer to this, albeit not descriptive who does what but I recall looking into it a few years back and seeing some links between the developers, the staff within SEGA Japan do move around a lot (there's been so many division merges and renames it becomes really confusing trying to keep up with it all). I think that ultimately, it all comes down to the project leads that matter since there's so much shuffling around, so I agree that the link between Yakuza and Shenmue isn't as big as it's made out to be, just shares some of the same staff (Nagoshi supposedly when in the pre-production stages went around SEGA divisions showing off the Yakuza concept to all staff and whoever showed interest joined him to make it).

The other thing I found when looking into Shenmue's credits through MobyGames was that a lot of the staff just frankly disappeared from game development without a trace. So either they went freelance/contracting after this and went to work at somewhere like TOSE (a company renowned for never getting credit despite helping create some of the most popular Japanese video games of all time and having really talented staff) or they just left game development entirely. Always found that aspect of the development kinda fascinating.

Can't believe I was nuts enough to do it, but I've basically sat and gone through the credits for most of the staffers on Shenmue II.

You're right that a lot of developers just disappeared after these games, moved to a different division of SEGA (a lot appear to have worked on Sonic stuff), or just stayed at AM2 (surprising amount have worked on Miku games). Although others seem to have moved to Nintendo, Namco, Capcom, Sony, Konami, Square Enix, Mistwalker, Koei-Tecmo, etc.

That is, if they're actually the same person and not another developer that shares the same name. Yu Suzuki, for example, is weirdly credited on Mobygames as a designer on a Kingdom Hearts game from 2016 when we know that obviously wasn't the case.

Potential inaccuracies aside, the Yakuza links are still pretty tentative from what I can see. A few animators, sound designers, 3D artists, and support staff of various disciplines. They also seem to mainly be contributors from the PS3-era games onward, although some have dropped in and out over the years.

Myth busted, I guess?

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Re: What happened to Sega-AM2?

Postby Sonoshee » Wed May 02, 2018 3:38 am

It's upsetting to see a legendary developer reduced to making arcade games that never leave Japan. I'm sure they aren't without their merits, but when you look at their development history across the Saturn and Dreamcast, you can't help but get all depressed that they aren't at the cutting edge of innovation anymore :cry: .

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Re: What happened to Sega-AM2?

Postby Yokosuka » Wed May 02, 2018 8:05 am

Console games are not really part of their core history. Sega-AM2 has always focused on arcade games, with some exceptions (Rent a hero, Shenmue, VF Quest) plus the conversions. Since arcade is not a thing anymore outside Japan, their budget have naturally been cut and I believe they've been pushed to do some outsourcing or basic researching.
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