IGN Interview with Miyoshi (Sega Office Tour)

Interview Data:

  • Interview Date: 12 September 2005
  • Interview Topics: Photographic tour of Sega's offices
  • Interview Source: IGN external.png

[Page 3]

Sega may be one of the biggest game companies in the world (especially now that it's a part of Sammy), but you wouldn't know that given the location of its headquarters. Square Enix has its headquarters on the upper floors of a building in the center of Tokyo's crowded Shinjuku ward, a few minutes walk from the city's skyscraper district. Konami has its headquarters in one of Japan's most famous and chic buildings, the Mori Tower building in Roppongi Hills, next to rich investment banking firms.

Sega, in contrast, is located near the airport. Not the airport as in Narita (that would be really bad, considering how far Narita is from Tokyo), but near Haneda, Tokyo's domestic airport. Located a few minutes from Otori Station off the Keikyuu train line, Sega's headquarters is a bit out of the way for most visiting Tokyo on business or pleasure. You'd likely find yourself in Roppongi or Shinjuku. But Otori? Never.

Still, the size of Sega's headquarters is worthy of the house that built Sonic and Shenmue. Sega has also packed its lobby and exterior with related merchandise, making a trip to Sega always a delight.

For the readers out there who don't have the privilege of being invited to Sonic Team for an interview with the creators of Phantasy Star Universe , let's take a look at some of what's to be found in Sega's Japanese headquarters.

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Leaving Otori station, be on the lookout for displays like this.

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Sonic, Tales and Chao pop out from that box!

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Sega has multiple buildings, but this is the main one.

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The Sammy presence is felt at the front desk.

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Sonic is at the center of the reception area.

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The only arcade game on display is Initial D.

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This wall has playable games for Xbox, Mac and PS2.

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Puyo Puyo is the main character of Sega's lobby.

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According to that placard, Sega has officially turned 2/4/2005 into Puyo Day… seriously!

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But the real fun started when we entered Sonic Team's lair. Turn the page for that.

[page 4]

Sonic Team was one of the few teams to retain its formation and name (although the official name is "Global Entertainment Software R&D Dept. #3" following Sega's buyout by Sammy. The team occupies space on two floors of Sega's building, with the main development center located on the fourth floor.

You may be able to get into the Sega building and play a game of Initial D (we're not sure if Sega is okay with this or not, so don't try it), but you'll never get into Sonic Team's main office without an appointment. First off, there's a guard blocking the elevator. He's old and frail, though, so you could probably knock him out. But even if you were brash enough to do that, you'd have to deal with the locked door that prevents access to the Sonic Team room. The door is so tricky that Sega of America's staff had trouble opening it from the inside!

Inside, you'll find a surprisingly colorful office. Sega brought in colorful dividers to split up the floor into Sonic Team's work space. Sadly, the dividers are so tall that we couldn't see anything as we walked to the conference room for our interview. Sonic Team, like most developers, keeps its work private.

When you first enter Sonic Team's lab, you're greeted with a cool display highlighting the team's massive collection of past works, from Sonic to Billy Hatcher and everything in between. Pictures inside the actual development studio were a no-no, of course, but we were allowed to snap away in the entrance area. Here's what we saw.

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