Whodunnit? Peter Moore killed the Dreamcast

moore dreamcastThose of us who still own our Dreamcast machines still regret the day when Sega pulled the plug on making any more of them. And now, we know who was behind the smoking gun–none other than Peter Moore, who was chief operating officer and president of Sega at the time.

Moore is now the head of EA Sports, but he recounted how he made his decision to kill the Dreamcast in 2001.

"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 we had to make x hundreds of millions of dollars by the holiday season and shift x millions of units of hardware, otherwise we just couldn’t sustain the business.

"So on January 31st 2001 we said Sega is leaving hardware. 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. Somehow I got to make that call, not the Japanese. I had to fire a lot of people; it was not a pleasant day.

"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."

Ironically, EA (Moore’s present boss) had a pivotal role in killing the Dreamcast. During that time, Electronic Arts had to make a decision on which consoles to support. There was the GameCube, PS2, Xbox, and Dreamcast. There were just too many in the running, and EA had to make its best guess as to which consoles would really be successful in the long run. So the decision came from on high…drop support for the Dreamcast.

Moore mused, "The parent company (in Japan) was in dire financial straits, Electronic Arts had decided to not publish for the platform – bless them – and US boss Bernie Stolar left the company a month before launch. Oh yeah, and we had to figure out how to work multi-player games through a 56k modem.

"Somehow we pulled it all together for the agreed date of 9.9.99, and for the next year and a half gave everything we had to take on the PS2 juggernaut. I still take pride on behalf of the team that I have yet to meet anyone who regretted buying a Dreamcast. I’ve still got mine."

Do you still have yours?

[via MCV]


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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