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Sega development studios

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Title: Sega development studios  
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Subject: Sega, Sonic Team, Sega Direct, DcVD, Sega Vision
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Sega development studios

Type Privately held, Subsidiary
Industry Computer and video games
Headquarters Japan, U.S., Europe
Key people Yu Suzuki, Yuji Naka, Toshihiro Nagoshi, Mie Kumagai, Makoto Uchida, Rieko Kodama
Products Video games
Parent Sega

Sega has had in-house studios and subsidiary studios from 1983 to date.

Sega Studios construct

In an interview with Sega-16, Mark Cerny explained the working construct of Sega Studios Japan during the pre- and post-Sega Master System days.

"They had one room with about forty people in it, and it was trying to make, in this one room, essentially all games that would be needed to launch and support the Master System. A typical project was one or two programmers, three months. And the pressure was very, very high.

But at the same time, we did some great work. And there were some very talented people, both Rieko Kodama and Yuji Naka were in this room, and Yu Suzuki was only two floors away, in the same building, reinventing arcade games."[1]

It can be assumed that until 1998 a rigid team structure was not followed, therefore members were not restricted to work only on their own studio's game. Hence, several different teams contributed in the development of a game whereas only the dominant studio was credited. For example, Sega Technical Institute collaborated with studios such as Sonic Team and AM1 and produced multiple Sega games uncredited, such as the Sonic the Hedgehog games on the Mega Drive, and Die Hard Arcade on the Sega Saturn.


Development division

It appears that the development division was largely restricted to arcade development. However, there were some exceptions such as Sword of Vermilion which was designed from the ground up by DD #2 for Sega Mega Drive a home console.

Department Headed By Titles
Sega DD #1 Sega's original Japanese development studio, spun off in 1990.
Sega DD #2 Yu Suzuki Hang-On (1985) Space Harrier (1986), After Burner (1987), Fantasy Zone (1986), OutRun (1986), Sega System 1/2/16/X/Y/18/24/32 games
Sega DD #3 Rikiya Nakagawa Shinobi (1987), The Revenge of Shinobi (1988), Shadow Dancer (1989) Altered Beast, (1988), Golden Axe (1989), Sega System 1/2/16/X/Y/18/24/32 games

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 Ōshima 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 [2]

Department Headed By Notable Titles
Sega CD #1
Sega CD #2 Shinobu Toyoda[2] Alex Kidd series, Michael Jackson's Moonwalker (1990), Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (1990), QuackShot (1991) Phantasy Star (1987), Phantasy Star II (1989) SG-1000 games, List of Sega Master System games
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 AM structure wasn't adamantly followed, often games were developed by game titled teams such as Team Shinobi (AM7) and Sonic Team (AM8), while several members were from other internal and external studios.

The name "Sonic Team" has been used for AM8 since the inception of Sonic the Hedgehog in 1991, but the team internally continued as AM8/STI until 1995, when they officially changed their name to Sonic Team.[3] 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.[4]

Outside of Fighters Megamix and Digital Dance Mix, the focus of AM1 to AM5 was restricted to Arcade development

Team list

Department Members From Headed By Titles
Sega AM1 R&D Sega DD #3 Rikiya Nakagawa Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder (1993), Golden Axe: The Duel (1994), Cool Riders (1994), Indy 500 (1995) Sky Target (1996), Wave Runner (1996) Dynamite Baseball (1996) Die Hard Arcade (1996) The House of the Dead (1997), Sega Ski Super G (1997), Sega Water Ski (1997), Harley Davidson and LA Riders (1998), Dynamite Cop (1998,) Sega Bass Fishing (1998), Ocean Hunter (1998)
Sega AM2 R&D Sega DD#2 Yu Suzuki Virtua Racing (1993), Virtua Fighter (1993), Virtua Cop (1993), Desert Tank (1993), Virtua Fighter 2 (1993),Daytona USA (1994) Virtua Cop 2 (1994), Virtua Striker (1995) Fighting Vipers (1995), Virtua Fighter Kids (1994), Fighters Megamix (1996), Sonic the Fighters (1996), Virtua Fighter 3 (1996), Scud Race (1996), Digital Dance Mix (1997), Virtua Fighter 3TB (1997),Virtua Striker 2 (1997), Fighting Vipers 2 (1998), Daytona USA 2 (1998)
Sega AM3 R&D New Studio Hisao Oguchi Jurassic Park (1992), Star Wars Arcade (1994), Virtual On (1995), Gunblade New York (1995), Manx TT SuperBike (1996), DecAthlete (1996), Last Bronx (1996), Winter Heat (1997), The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), Motor Raid (1997), Top Skater (1997), Le Mans 24 (1997), Star Wars Trilogy Arcade (1998), Dirt Devils (1998) Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram (1998), Magical Truck Adventure (1998), LA Machine Guns (1998), Emergency Call Ambulance (1999)
Sega AM4 R&D New Studio Toshihiro Nagoshi SpikeOut (1998)
Sega AM5 R&D New Studio Tetsuya Mizuguchi Sega Rally Championship (1995), Sega Touring Car Championship (1996), Sega Rally 2 (1998)
Sega AM6 R&D Sega CD #1 Yukio Futatsugi Panzer Dragoon (1994), Panzer Dragoon Zwei (1996), Panzer Dragoon Saga (1998) Sega Worldwide Soccer, Let's make a series
Sega AM7 R&D Sega CD #3 Noriyoshi Ohba Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom (1990), Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium (1993), Streets of Rage (1991), Streets of Rage 2 (1992), Streets of Rage 3 (1994), Golden Axe II (1991), Golden Axe III (1993), Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (1993), Clockwork Knight (1994), Clockwork Knight 2 (1995), Astal (1995), Shinobi Legions (1995), Magic Knight Rayearth (1995), Sakura Taisen (1996) (with RED), Dragon Force (1996), Sakura Taisen II (1998) (with RED), Dragon Force II (1998)
Sonic Team (AM8) Sega CD #2 Yuji Naka Sonic the Hedgehog (1991), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992), Sonic CD' (1993), Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994), Sonic & Knuckles (1994) Ristar (1995). Knuckles' Chaotix (1995) Sonic 3D Blast (1996) (with Traveller's Tales), Nights into Dreams... (1996), Sonic R (1997) (with Traveller's Tales), Burning Rangers (1998)


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

In 2000, Sega converted all their in-house studios into 2nd Party Studios, for more independence 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 (UGA). 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 composed of Space Channel 5 developers was folded back into Sonic Team.

Hisao Oguchi was appointed to CEO in 2001, and Mie Kumagai replaced him as the studio head of Hitmaker/AM3

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 arcades overseas during the 2000s, more focus went on medal games, redemption games, and trading card games, rather than traditional video games.

Studio list

Department Members from Headed by Titles
WOW Entertainment Sega AM1 R&D Rikiya Nakagawa The House of the Dead 2 (1999), Brave Fire Fighters (1999), Zombie Revenge (1999), The Typing of the Dead (2000), Sega GT (2000), Sega Marine Fishing (2000), Lupin the 3rd: The Shooting (2001), Wave Runner GP (2001), Vampire Night (2001), Virtua Golf (2001), Alien Front (2001), Wild Riders (2001), Sega GT 2002 (2002), Lupin the 3rd: The Typing (2002), The Pinball of the Dead (2002) The House of the Dead III (2003)
Sega AM2 same as before Yu Suzuki Shenmue (1999), Ferrari F355 Challenge (2000), Outtrigger (2000), 18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker (2000), Shenmue II (2001), Beach Spikers (2001), Virtua Fighter 4 (2001), Propeller Arena (2001), Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution (2002), The King of Route 66 (2002), Virtua Cop 3 (2003), OutRun 2 (2003), Virtua Quest (2004), Virtua Fighter 4: Final Tuned (2004), Ghost Squad (2004)
Hitmaker Sega AM3 R&D Mie Kumagai Crazy Taxi (1999), Jambo! Safari (1999), Virtua Tennis (1999), Crackin' DJ (2000), Confidential Mission (2001), Airtrix (2001), Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Force (2001), Crazy Taxi 2 (2001) Virtua Tennis 2 (2001), Segagaga (2001), The Maze of the Kings (2002), Club Kart (2001), Virtua Athlete (2002), Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller (2003)
Amusement Vision Sega AM4 R&D Toshihiro Nagoshi Super Monkey Ball series, Virtua NBA (2000), SlashOut (2000), Planet Harriers (2001), Daytona USA 2001 (2001), Virtua Striker 3 (2001), Spikers Battle (2001), F-Zero GX (2003), Ollie King (2004)
Sega Rosso Sega AM5 R&D Kenji Sasaki Star Wars Racer (2000), NASCAR Arcade (2000), Cosmic Smash (2001), Initial D Arcade Stage (2002), Soul Surfer (2002), Initial D Arcade Stage 2 (2003), Initial D Arcade Stage 3 (2004)
Smilebit Sega AM6 R&D Shun Arai Jet Set Radio (2000), Hundred Swords (2001), Jet Set Radio Future (2002), GunValkyrie (2002),Panzer Dragoon Orta (2002), Sega Worldwide Soccer, Let's make a series
Overworks Sega AM7 R&D Noriyoshi Oba Skies of Arcadia (2000), Sakura Taisen III (2001) (with RED), Sakura Taisen IV (2002) (with RED), Shinobi (2002 video game) (2002), Nightshade (2003), Sakura Taisen I Remake version (2003) (with RED)
Sonic Team same as before Yuji Naka Sonic Adventure (1998) ChuChu Rocket! (2000), Samba de Amigo (2000), Phantasy Star Online (2001), Sonic Adventure 2 (2001), Sonic Advance 1 (with Dimps) (2001), Sonic Advance 2 (with Dimps) (2002), Sonic Pinball Party (2003), Sonic Battle (2003), Sonic Heroes (2003), Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg (2003), Sonic Advance 3 (with Dimps) (2004) Puyo Pop series
United Game Artists AM5 + AM6 + AM8 Tetsuya Mizuguchi Space Channel 5 (2000), Rez (2001), Space Channel 5: Part 2 (2002),


Global 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
Global Entertainment R&D Dept. Sonic Team + United Game Artists Astro Boy (2004 video game) (2004), Sega SuperStars (2004), Feel the Magic: XY/XX (2004), The Rub Rabbits! (2005), Shadow the Hedgehog (2005), Sonic Rush (2005) (with Dimps), Mind Quiz: Your Brain Coach (2006), Sonic Riders (2006), Phantasy Star Universe (2006), Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Sega Rally 2006 (2006), Nights: Journey of Dreams (2007), Sonic and the Secret Rings (2007), Sonic Rush Adventure (with Dimps), Kokoro Scan (2007), Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity (2008), Sonic Unleashed (2008), Puyo Pop series
Global Entertainment R&D Dept. 2 Overworks Altered Beast (2005 video game) (2005), Sakura Taisen V (2005) (with RED), Blood Will Tell (2004) (with RED), Valkyria Chronicles (2008)

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
New Entertainment R&D Dept. Amusement Vision + Smilebit Yakuza (2005), Yakuza 2 (2006), Yakuza Kenzan (2008) Super Monkey Ball series
Sports Design R&D Dept. Amusement Vision + Smilebit Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (2007) Virtua Pro Football (2006) Let's make a series

Amusement Software R&D Division which focuses on the development of games for arcade and slot machines. The division is headed by Hiroshi Kataoka, Atsushi Seimiya and Mie Kumagai.

Department Members From Titles
AM Software R&D Dept. 1 WOW Entertainment + Sega-AM2 + Hitmaker + Sega Rosso Medal, Redemption and Trading Card games
AM Software R&D Dept. 2 WOW Entertainment + Sega-AM2 + Hitmaker + Sega Rosso Virtua Striker 4 (2005), Psy-Phi (2006), Sega Race TV (2008) The House of the Dead 4 (2005), 2 Spicy (2006), After Burner Climax (2006), Sega Golf Club (2006), Let's Go Jungle!: Lost on the Island of Spice (2006), Initial D Arcade Stage 4 (2007), Initial D Arcade Stage 5 (2008) RAMBO (2008) R-Tuned : Ultimate Street Racing (2008)

Loving Deads: The House of the Dead EX (2008) Virtua Fighter 5 (2006), Virtua Fighter 5 R (2008), Virtua Tennis 3 (2006) Hummer Extreme Edition (2009), Primeval Hunt (2008), Harley Davidson: King of the Road (2009)


Global 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
Consumer R&D Dept. 1 same as before Yakuza 3 (2009), Yakuza 4 (2010),Yakuza: Black Panther (2010) (with syn Sophia), Yakuza: Dead Souls (2011), Yakuza: Black Panther 2 (with syn Sophia) (2012), Binary Domain (2012), Yakuza 5 (2012), Hero Bank (2013), Super Monkey Ball series
Consumer R&D Dept. 2 same as before Sonic and the Black Knight (2009), Pole's Big Adventure (2009), Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I (with Dimps) (2010), Sonic Colors (2010), Sonic Free Riders (2010), Sonic Generations (2011), Phantasy Star Online 2 (2012), Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II (with Dimps) (2012), Rhythm Thief & the Emperor’s Treasure (2012) (with Xeen), Sonic Lost World (2013), Puyo Pop series, Project DIVA series
Consumer R&D Dept. 3 same as before Valkyria Chronicles II (2010), Valkyria Chronicles III (with Media.Vision) (2011), Rise of Nightmares (2011)
Sports Design R&D Dept. same as before Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (2009), Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (2011), Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games (2013), Let's make a series

Amusement R&D Division which focuses on the development of games for arcade and slot machines.

Department Members From Titles
AM Software R&D Dept. 1 same as before Medal, Redemption and Trading Card games
AM Software R&D 2 same as before Border Break (2009), Border Break: Air Burst (2010), Border Break: Union (2012), Shining Force Cross (2009), Shining Force Cross Raid (2010), Shining Force Cross: Elysion (2012), Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown (2010) Initial D Arcade Stage 6 AA (2011) Initial D Arcade Stage 7 AAX (2012) Let's Go Island!: Lost on the Island of Tropics (2010) maimai (2012), Operation G.H.O.S.T. (2012), Sega Racing Classic (2011), Virtua Tennis 4 (2011) Project DIVA series

Sega Networks focuses on development for smartphones and tablets.

Department Year of purchase/founding Members from Headed by Titles
Sega Networks [5] 2012 Consumer R&D Division Haruki Satomi

Acquired studios (2005–present)

Department Division Year of purchase/founding Notable titles
The Creative Assembly Sega Europe 2005 Total War series, Viking: Battle for Asgard (2008)
Sega Studios Australia Sega Australia 2005 London 2012, Medieval II: Total War
Sports Interactive Sega Europe 2006 Football Manager series
Three Rings Design Sega America 2011 Spiral Knights
Hardlight Studio Sega Europe 2012 Sonic Dash, Sonic Jump
Relic Entertainment Sega America 2013 Company of Heroes series
Atlus Sega Japan 2013 Shin Megami Tensei series

External studios

Department Titles
STI Kid Chameleon (1992), Sonic Spinball (1993), Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (1993), Comix Zone (1995), The Ooze (1995)
SegaSoft Eternal Champions (1993)
Visual Concepts NFL 2K series, NBA 2K series, Floigan Bros. (2001), Ooga Booga (2001)
No Cliché Toy Commander (1999), Toy Racer (1999)

Affiliated studios

Sega began contracting subsidiary studios in 1983.


Studio Titles
Westone Bit Entertainment Wonder Boy (1985), Wonder Boy in Monster Land (1987), Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair (1988), Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap (1990), Wonder Boy V: Monster World III (1991), Monster World IV (1994), Wachenröder (1998)
Treasure Gunstar Heroes (1993), Dynamite Headdy (1994), Alien Soldier (1995), Light Crusader (1995), Guardian Heroes (1996), Astro Boy: Omega Factor (2004), Gunstar Super Heroes (2005), Bleach: The Blade of Fate (2006), Bleach: Dark Souls (2007)
Sonic! Software Planning Shining in the Darkness (1991), Shining Force (1992), Shining Force II (1993), Shining Force CD (1994), Shining Wisdom (1995), Shining the Holy Ark (1996), Shining Force III (1997)
System Sacom The Mansion of Hidden Souls (1994), Torico (1996), Rampo (1996), Deep Fear (1998)
Vic Tokai Psycho Fox (1989), DecapAttack (1990)
Megasoft Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (1993)
Compile Puyo Puyo series
Aspect Co. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992), Sonic & Tails (1993), Sonic & Tails 2 (1994), Tails Adventures (1995), Sonic Blast (1996), Virtua Fighter Mini (1996), Rent-A-Hero No.1 (2000)
Nextech Ranger-X (1993), Crusader of Centy (1994), Cyber Speedway (1995), Dream Studio (2000), Shining Soul (2002), Shining Soul II (2003), Shining Tears (2004), Shining Wind (2007)
Microcabin Mystaria: The Realms of Lore (1995), Riglordsaga 2 (1996)
J Force Dragon Force (1996) (Sega took over development)
Climax Entertainment Landstalker (1993), Dark Savior (1996), Time Stalkers (1999), Dinosaur King (video game) (2007), Ore no Dungeon (2006)
RED Entertainment Sakura Taisen series, Gungrave series
Tose Co., Ltd. Shinobi Legions (1995), Sega GT (2000), Virtua Quest (2004)
Vivarium Inc. Seaman (video game) (2000) Seaman 2 (2007)
Neverland Shining Force Neo (2005) Shining Force EXA (2007)
Dimps Sonic Advance (2001), Sonic Advance 2 (2002), Sonic Advance 3 (2004), Spikeout: Battle Street (2005), Sonic Rush (2005), Sonic Rush Adventure (2007), Sonic Colors (2010), , Sonic the Hedgehog 4, Super Monkey Ball 3D (2011), Sonic Generations (2011), Sonic Lost World (2013),
From Software Otogi: Myth of Demons (2003), Otogi 2: Immortal Warriors (2004), Chromehounds (2006)
D3 Publisher Sega Ages series
M2 (game developer) Sega Ages series, SEGA 3D Classics
Chunsoft 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de (2006), Imabikisō (2007), Shiren the Wanderer (2008), Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer (2006)
Tabot Inc. Wacky World of Sports (2008)
Alfa System Phantasy Star Portable (2009), Phantasy Star Portable 2 (2010), Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinity, (2011)
Imageepoch Sands of Destruction (2008), 7th Dragon (2009), 7th Dragon 2020 (2011), 7th Dragon 2020 2 (2013)
Crypton Future Media Project DIVA series
Flight-Plan Shining Force Feather (2009)
Tri-Ace Resonance of Fate (2010)
Prope Let's Tap (2008), Let's Catch (2009)
Platinum Games MadWorld (2009), Infinite Space (2009), Bayonetta (2009), Vanquish (2010), Anarchy Reigns (2012)
Studio Forefront Shining Hearts (2010)
Media.Vision Valkyria Chronicles III (2011), Shining Blade (2012), Shining Ark (2013),
syn Sophia Yakuza: Black Panther (2010), Yakuza: Black Panther 2 (2012)


Studio Titles
Appaloosa Interactive Ecco the Dolphin (1992), Ecco: The Tides of Time (1994), Ecco Jr. (1997), Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future (2000)
ToeJam & Earl Productions ToeJam & Earl (1991), Panic on Funkotron (1993), III: Mission to Earth (2003)
BlueSky Software Vectorman (1995), Vectorman 2 (1996)
Realtime Associates Bug! (1995), Bug Too! (1996)
Traveller's Tales Sonic 3D Blast (1997), Sonic R (1997), Super Monkey Ball Adventure (2006)
Amuze Headhunter (2001), Headhunter Redemption (2003)
EA Black Box Sega Soccer Slam (2002)
Access Games Spy Fiction (2003)
Pseudo Interactive Full Auto (2006), Full Auto 2: Battlelines (2007)
Petroglyph Games Universe at War (2007)
Bizarre Creations Metropolis Street Racer (2000), The Club (2008)
Sega Racing Studio Sega Rally Revo (2007)
Planet Moon Studios After Burner: Black Falcon (2007)
Sumo Digital OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast (2006), Sega Superstars Tennis (2008), Virtua Tennis 2009 (2009), Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (2010), SEGA Rally Online Arcade (2011), Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (2012)
Monolith Productions Condemned: Criminal Origins (2005), Condemned 2: Bloodshot (2008)
Sega Studios San Francisco Golden Axe: Beast Rider (2008)
Totally Games Alien Syndrome (2007 video game) (2007)
Kuju Entertainment Crush (2007), The House of the Dead: Overkill (2009), Crush 3D (2011),
Griptonite Games Shinobi 3D (2011)
Arkedo Studio Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit (2012)
Double Fine Productions The Cave (video game) (2012)
Avalanche Studios Renegade Ops (2011)
Obsidian Entertainment Alpha Protocol (2010)


  1. ^ "Sega Genesis Emulator". Ken. October 28, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ [3]
  5. ^ "Sega Networks". 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2013-05-23. 
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