Welcome to -- RETRO GAME DAISUKI ! -- a blog about the wonderful world of Japanese retro video games (ARCADE / PC-88 / X68K / MEGA DRIVE / SATURN / PlayStation / PC-ENGINE). Re-live the strangest games from the 80's and 90's. Retro games were our youth!
Author : HERZOG
-- Playing video games since the 80's ! --
Still trying to translate all the posts from my old blog. Please see this post for more info.
Also, please excuse any grammar and any other related errors you may find on this blog, as English is not my first language.
In the wake of the MEGA DRIVE lauch the SEGA developing staff came together to form one of the coolest fan clubs of the 16-bit generation.
The 「SEGA PLAYERS ENJOY CLUB」 or「SPEC」 for short, was a fan club created by SEGA in 1988 prior to the release of the MEGA DRIVE mostly to support their incoming line of next generation stuff.
SPEC members were given their very own membership card which no doubt made them the envy of everyone else in the block and school.
Among other benefits SPEC members were also to receive by mail a mega exclusive SPEC magazine/newsletter whenever a new issue became available.
Unfortunately the SEGA consumer division wasn't very successful in Japan, so the release of these magazines was very few and far between to say the least. In fact within a time span of 5 years only 8 issues of SPEC were ever released.
The SPEC magazines were pretty awsome because they were written by the actual SEGA staff members that were involved in game developing.
The magazines themselves were printed in the doujinshi (fan-made) tradition, as that seems to have been the concept behind it : A SEGA fanzine made by hardcore fans for the hardcore fans.
SPEC issues came packed in special custom envelopes like the one above. It goes without saying that they've become quite the collector's item.
In more recent years the SPEC magazines have gained notoriety, mostly among 「PHANTASY STAR」 series fans, thanks to the prolific amount of content related to the series that was featured inside.
The issues 7, 7.5, and 8 of SPEC seem to be the more popular issues around the internet (probably because someone scanned them). You can find them all on this site.
There's no denying that SEGA tried very hard to make the MEGA DRIVE succeed in Japan, but really they just had the worst of luck.
In the end the SEGA consumer division never came close to emulating the success of their parent arcade division (for reference SEGA is the most successful arcade game company in history).
This was very unfortunate because success in Japan would have translated into more third party support for the various SEGA game systems. At that point in time Japanese game companies dominated the video game industry, so performing well in the Japanese market was crucial.
In any case, those lucky enough to have counted themselves among the MEGA DRIVER community of the time ought to know how awesome it was to own the system with the big golden 16-Bit logo.