The Guardian’s Keith Stuart has posted two parts of a fascinating and candid interview with Peter Moore: head of Sega of America during the Dreamcast years, head of Microsoft’s Xbox division and current president of EA Sports.
The whole thing is entertaining reading for gamers, but Moore’s explanation of the Dreamcast’s death gets me misty-eyed with pining nostalgia for that pristine little console that first gave me Ikaruga:
We had a tremendous 18 months. Dreamcast was on fire – we really thought that we could do it. But then we had a target from Japan that said – and I can’t remember the exact figures – but we had to make N hundreds of millions of dollars by the holiday season and shift N millions of units of hardware, otherwise we just couldn’t sustain the business…
We were selling 50,000 units a day, then 60,000, then 100,000, but it was just not going to be enough to get the critical mass to take on the launch of PS2. It was a big stakes game. Sega had the option of pouring in more money and going bankrupt and they decided they wanted to live to fight another day. So we licked our wounds, ate some humble pie and went to Sony and Nintendo to ask for dev kits.
Other interesting comments from Moore include his appraisal of Sony (incredible PR bullshitters whose marketing department has mastered defusing competitor’s upcoming announcements with impossible-to-deliver “seeds of doubt” like the “Emotion Engine” and Killzone) and Microsoft’s obsession with killing Sony (“Nintendo wasn’t even on our radar.”)