Another WD/Sega Editorial


Before I start I think it’s time for everyone to calm down on the WD/SoA issue. And I will tell you why…

First off, this issue seems to be a business one. Sure, it has all the earmarks of personal problems at play, but still, these are two companies. I think their final decisions may already have been in the works and this is perhaps the final straw, for both of them.

Sega of America has made what seem to us to be some bad decisions. But they might have something up their sleeve. The Saturn, I’d guess, is still making money. This Dural/BlackBelt business is probably just a tactic to provide another avenue and a way to save face for when the Saturn ceases to bring in the bucks. SoA is not a stupid company. The market always changes, remember. No one expected Sony to take off like this. For all we know it could have been luck alone that formed the corporate landscape as it is. If Sony now has an advantage they owe it to PSX fans to push their advantage. Sega has many great Sega titles in the works, and there are many 3rd party games also planned. Remember that. Working Designs is not the *only* good thing to happen to the Saturn. Eidos was good for a while, Sega is still tops, and there are many other developers bringing out great games, among them Capcom (one of my all-time favorites). Sega hasn’t abandoned the platform, they’ve just openly announced that they have a back-up plan and that if the Saturn dies Sega hasn’t.

I will concede here that I prefer the Japanese game market. But remember, the Japanese view video games differently than our culture does. I understand at least part of it, but I have much to learn. I think our market has flourished too. We’re seeing an unprecedented amount of US games coming to the console. All of a sudden the console market has split…. But enough on that.

On to Working Designs. I have a TG 16 once. I traded my whole setup for a Saturn setup. I was a collector but it was getting too expensive to keep up. I can’t afford $100 for Macross 2036 just because I want to play it. I wanted a NexGen system. Finally I got it. Working Designs was just one of the factors. I have enjoyed Working Designs games for years. I have followed their company’s progress from afar. I like what I see. But there’s one thing to keep in mind. Working Designs has to survive. They’ve spent their entire game-translating career on lesser (popularity-wise) systems. They’ve tasted defeat too many times. If they want to expand they have to get into the spot-light, one that everyone can appreciate. Their devoted Turbo-owning fans could hardly reward them enough for their efforts. There weren’t enough of us. With Sega admitting they might have to have a back-up plan, WD has to cover their butts. These are things the way I see it.

Sega and WD have had an odd relationship, if you think about it. In many cases Sega and WD *are* the Saturn’s RPG market. They’re in direct competition. WD brought over some SoJ titles! I think SoA *did* handle things poorly with WD at E3, but that’s now in the past. Since this is a corporate issue, things may not be so easy as petitions. However, I do think SoA should make a formal apology and both companies should work hard on their respective remaining titles. I would very much like to see WD stay with the Saturn, but I cannot blame them for wanting to move on. And I can understand how SoA might be spiteful at the presence of a PSX title from WD (Raystorm). Working Designs, is this issue cannot be resolved I will miss your presence in the Saturn market. I don’t have the money to keep moving from one system to the next. Why do you think I jumped from the TG 16 to the Saturn and skipped all the steps in-between? >From a faithful fan, please stay with us. Finish your scheduled titles and at least consider translating a couple more. You know that you have the support you need if you decide to do just that.

Please, all of you who are writing editorials and writing petitions, watch your language, watch your message, and watch your emotions. These are just video games. And remember to try and take a close look at both sides of the story. Inflammation won’t make any progress. You have to be orderly, considerate, understanding, and resolute. Don’t jump the Saturn ship just because SoA *appears* to be making stupid decisions. Try and think to yourself “Why might they?” And don’t jump the WD ship just because they might do some cross-platform work or even switch totally. If you have a Sony PSX, support WD. The quality of their translations will probably not drop. They will still be very fickle and translate fun games we all want to play.

Thanks for reading on this far. I’m a new Saturn owner, a new Sega fan, and an *old* Working Designs fan. All this recent news is a little disconcerting, but I have faith I didn’t make the *wrong* choice. I bought a system I’ve enjoyed so far. I probably will continue to for some time. There are probably many fans out there like me: moderate but proud.

Feedback is appreciated. If anyone knows any E-mail addresses at SoA or WD through which this might actually be read or noticed, please pass it on. Any comments and feedback are appreciate. No flames please. I prefer intelligent rebuttals and comments.

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