Remember that laughable old tidbit that was rumored ages ago that everyone scoffed at? You know - the one that said Sega and Nintendo were thinking about a joint RPG together? Well it may not be so laughable anymore...Sega is playing chums with Nintendo and the impact could be significant. An RPG is a good start, eh?
At one time it would be too far-fetched to imagine Nintendo and Sega walking hand-in-hand, smiling happily together as they slap competitors in the face. Since Sega's recent departure from the hardware industry, however, the vision of these former "enemies" has become all too real. Sega has willingly admitted to its support for both Game Boy Advance and GameCube. It even admits to having GameCube development hardware since as early as last November. (Shock! Horror! Hehehehehe - WB) What everyone wants to know, though, is exactly what Sega is working on for GameCube.
Well, you may want to sit down for this one, because the plot has thickened greatly. Last year there were reports that Sega and Nintendo had talks about doing an RPG together. Whether the supposed title uses Sega and Nintendo-branded characters or not is unknown, but the thought of the two most talented developers on earth teaming up for an RPG is unbelievably delicious. Since then Nintendo's Peter Main has smirked at the possibility, and just recently in a GameWeek interview Sega of America's Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications, Charles Bellfield, confirmed the existence (in a roundabout way) of the RPG and praised Nintendo. Here is the excerpt from the interview courtesy IGN....
GameWeek: Let me get right to it: was there any truth to the reports Nintendo was looking to buy?
Charles Bellfield: (long pause) Yeah. So were Microsoft, so were Sony.
GW: Can you expand on that?
CB: Sure. The truth is, if we didn't think we would be successful with our new strategy, something might have happened. In 2000, we were the sixth largest publisher in North America. That was with a 2-3 million Dreamcast install base. Imagine the potential for us when we get to PSX, GameCube, Xbox, and Game Boy Advance. There's only one way for us to go and that's up. That's the reality of it.
GW: Theoretically, Sega could be a difference maker in the upcoming console wars, depending on what franchises are delivered to each particular platform. Any thoughts?
CB: Let me turn the tables a bit. What do you know about GameCube?
GW: You probably know a lot more than we do; Nintendo is the most quiet company we've ever dealt with. It's scary.
CB: Four words: don't write off Nintendo. A lot of companies have, but Nintendo's got a five billion dollar war chest and a lot of great, original franchises.
GW: Yes, they have the one key ingredient that Sega has: content. They really are self-sufficient.
GW: Charles, can you confirm or deny the existence of this so-called "top-secret RPG" being worked on by Sega and Nintendo?
CB: (long pause) I'm trying to recall… Tetsu Kayama talked about a number of things last week and I would normally refer back to what he said, but... Let's put it this way: whatever he said, the answer is "yes."
GW: You know, Peter Main had the same suspicious grin when I asked him this question two and a half months ago...
CB: Did he really? Yes. (another long pause) We've got a great content line ahead. (smiles)
The comments are even surprising to IGNcube, who is all too aware of Sega's support for GameCube. It seems that Sega and Nintendo have banded together to show the industry how it's done. Consider the above comment again. When Charles was asked if he thought Sega could make a difference in the upcoming console wars, the first thing that came to his mind was GameCube. The interviewer didn't ask this Sega head figure if he liked GameCube, he willingly touted Nintendo. We're not sure what Nintendo and Sega are up to, but this is just short of an official confirmation that there is a Sega/Nintendo RPG underway. We ask that you do keep in mind that the quote could be taken a few ways. Nontheless, what a truly astounding possibility this is. If Sega is backing Nintendo's GameCube so much, how should we view the exclusive Virtua Fighter 4 on the PS2? You can't straddle the fence too much, and it seems that Sega is definitely leaning towards Nintendo. The PS2 may be getting VF4, but it now seems obvious that Nintendo and Sega have far bigger plans for GameCube. As each day goes by, Sega's withdrawal from the hardware business gets sweeter and sweeter. Life is good.
Source: IGN Gamecube