March 11, 1999

SEGA OZISOFT INTERVIEW


Well, the most interesting and detailed interview with an employee at Sega Ozisoft in Sydney has finally taken place. And there is lots of interesting news, including a release date that hasn't been mentioned anywhere else previously.

A QUICK NOTE FROM SEGA-OZISOFT

I would like to thank your readers for the carefully considered and informative questions. Sega-Ozisoft listens to its customers and takes comments, suggestions and ideas into consideration.

I hope you all are as excited about the Dreamcast as I am and all of us can look forward to an awesome gaming future.

THE COMPANY

Sega-Ozisoft really did a poor job with the Saturn's marketing in Australia (surely sponsoring a racing car would have been an expensive exercise). How has the company changed in the last 3 years?
We have been through many changes over the last three years. We have many new staff members in various departments since the Saturn was released. Their skills have been recently applied to launch such titles as Tomb Raider 3, Shane Warne Cricket 99 and TOCA Touring Cars 2. All of these titles are hugely successful and were supported by an extensive TV, Radio and Print campaign. A much larger marketing budget has been allocated to the Dreamcast and that will be reflected in the marketing campaign.

Recently Sega-Ozisoft was partially taken over by Infogrames. How does this change the company and will it affect the Dreamcast's release and distribution here at all?
Recently, Infogrames acquired a 62% share in Ozisoft stock. This will not have any affect on the normal operations of our company. We are very excited about Infogrames coming on board and that we will now be distributing all of their products in Australia and New Zealand. We remain dedicated to the Dreamcast success in Australia and New Zealand. The Dreamcast launch will proceed as planned.

Will Sega-Ozisoft undergo a name change at all after the takeover?
No.

Roughly how much money be spent on marketing in Australia. I'd assume a large print and TV campaign is in the pipeline?
A marketing budget of $100 million has been allocated to each territory, the Australian and New Zealand markets are part of the European territory and will be receiving a significant share.

Who will be making the ads for the Dreamcast in Australia?
Our Marketing Department is currently negotiating this at the moment. Several proposals by external companies have been presented so far.

Who do you think will be your main target audience for the system?
The games industry has gained a more mainstream appeal over the last couple of years and the demographic of the average game player has changed considerably. The Dreamcast is designed to appeal to a wide range of users, the marketing campaign will be varied to take this into consideration.

How will Sega-Ozisoft cope with distributing the Dreamcast in Australia, when you are also publishing/distributing games for PSX and PC. Won't there be a clash of interest?
We have distributed games in the past with enormous sell-through numbers, we have an established distribution network and we have the facilities the move a large amount of stock in a short amount of time. We have several large warehouses in Sydney allowing us to keep in stock an extensive range of product. The Dreamcast will not present any problems in this area.

There is no conflict between our PC/PSX/N64/Colour Gboy distribution and our Sega operations. The Sega and Ozisoft divisions operate independently of each other. Our Sega staff are currently working, sleeping, thinking and dreaming Dreamcast, they are totally dedicated.

How many Dreamcast unit will Sega Ozisoft be hoping to at sell in the first year in Australia?
As many as we can get our hand on. I cannot release specific numbers yet.

THE LAUNCH

OK the number one question one everybody's lips. What is the magical date?
We are currently looking at either 9 September or 23 September 1999.

Recently at the Toy Show in Germany it was stated that the system would be released for less then 500DM (Just Over $400). Is this you target pricepoint?
Any information regarding Dreamcast price points in Australia and New Zealand can not be released at the moment. I can assure you the price will be very competitive.

The Playstation has recently dropped in price in Japan is it is rumoured another price drop will occur in Australia later in the year ($149 perhaps). Would this force a late rethink on prices for the Dreamcast?
This has already been taken into consideration in respect to the Dreamcast price point.

Can you give any rough pricepoints for the games, VMS, Puru Puru (Rumble Pack) and system yet?
No prices for Dreamcast peripherals have been established yet.

What type of casing will the games come in?
Dreamcast titles will be released in standard CD cases. This allows for easy storage (eg. CD towers, holders, etc) and efficient use of resources.

Will the Dreamcast logo be blue like in Europe?
Yes.

When will the DC likely be seen in public in Australia for the first time?
June 1999

Will there be public showings/unveilings at shopping centers and public places?
Yes, there will be travelling road shows visiting shopping centres, malls, game retailers and other locations showing Dreamcast machines, playable machines, answering questions and promoting the Dreamcast. I just hope I am not in the Sonic suit. :)

Will there be any Games or Demo CD's packed in with the Dreamcast and if so can you give any specific titles or details.
At this time there are no plans for this, but it may change.

Are there any plans for Sega to release demo CD's on magazines similar to those found on the Australian/UK Playstation Magazine?
Yes.

There is still some speculation that the PAL Dreamcast will not be shipped with the modem built in. Is it still going to be included with the system?
Yes, although there is a very small chance it may be released separately.

What speed will the modem be. The 33.6k modem may be fine in Japan, but 56k is almost the standard in Australia/UK now for PC's?
We are still making a decision between the two speeds, it will be able to be upgraded.

Will the Dreamcast be able to be connected to out own ISP or will be forced into using an ISP picked by Sega.
We are currently working on Dreamcast servers, why would you want to use any others for your Dreamcast? :)

Will the Dreamcast in Australia be release with an RF adapter in the package or the A/V video (Video, L-R audio)?
It will definitely be released with an AV cable.

The VGA Box has been recieving a lot of great press from Japan where it makes the games look so much better on a PC monitor. Will the unit be released here in Australia and at what price?
Yes, it will be released here, no peripheral prices have been confirmed yet.

What peripherals will be released with the system on day one?
Controllers, VMS, Arcade Stick, various cables & adaptors, Light Gun and Racing Wheel.

THE GAMES

With the successful release of Final Fantsy 7, a very Japanese styles RPG, the Australian market has warmed to RPG's. Will RPG tites such as Climax Landers, Evolution, Grandia 2, and Sengoku Turb ever make it out here in Australia?
The RPG market has expanded considerably in Australia recently with a few RPG titles selling in substantial numbers, however, they still constitute a small number of total units of games software sold. At the same time we realise that consumers want a wide variety of titles and there will be RPG's released for Dreamcast in Australia. It is too early to commit to specific titles.

One major problem in Australia is a lack of games. While Europe get's all the PAL releases Australia usually misses out on more of the obscure games that the hard core gamers generally like. Will we be seeing all the games here in Australia?
I cannot guarantee that all titles released in Europe will be released Australia. The Australian market is quite different to Europe, however, we will be releasing a broad range of titles, including titles that appeal to the hard-core market.

Will PAL games be optimised both to reduce borders and speed loss over their US counterparts?
Yes.

Sony has recently released several relatively obscure titles that would never have been released in the 16 bit days. Titles such as Pa Rappa, Devil Dice, Music and Bust A Groove have shown the public, and major companies, that there are titles that can succeed without being a game in the strict sense of the word. Will Sega-Ozisoft be looking at similar games such as Konami's Pop N' Music (Due in Feb in Japan) and Real Sound 2 (March) for release in Australia?
Yes, we are considering such titles for release.

Sega's Get Bass has been a fairly successful game in the arcades in Australia. Sega of Germany have indicated that the fishing controller won't appear outside Japan. Is this true? If so, why?
There are no plans for release of this in Australia. This may change after the Dreamcast launch.

Will Sega Ozisoft ever be able to go to Japan or America and have some say in what games you want converted to PAL or will the decisions be made in Sega Europe?
We already speak to Sega Japan independently. The problem arises in actual unit sales numbers. Usually, we have to collaborate with Sega Europe to achieve stock numbers necessary for a titles conversion to PAL. With Dreamcast, we are anticipating the Australian market to have a larger number of units installed and allow us to be less reliant on Europe.

Thank you very much for you time....
David Warner ~ Dreamcast Australia


Well I hope you enjoyed reading this interview as much as I did in conducting it. If you have any comments or questions E-mail me at : phantom@winshop.com.au