Sunday, May 19, 2024

Nintendo & Sega Seals of Quality

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, below is the third page from the September 1990 issue of Video Games & Computer Entertainment magazine's "Story of a Nintendo Licensee" article. It discusses what Nintendo's Seal of Quality meant and primarily focuses on the financial aspect of it. There are some things in the article that I thought were fact, at least now but perhaps not in 1990. For example, the writer is unsure if Nintendo enforces a quota on the number of annual releases from a publisher. I'm fairly certain Nintendo did which is why Konami created the subsidiary Ultra Software Corporation. It also states that Sega hadn't allowed third-party licensees until recently, however, that had to do with Nintendo having most of the third parties under contract, plus it did have a few third-party publishers on the Master System. Perhaps things were more secretive at the time and the press were unaware of what was going on. 

The second scan, about Sega's Seal of Quality, is from the April/May 1993 issue of Sega Visions. Whereas Nintendo's quality seal revolved around control of the manufacturing and distribution of third-party titles, Sega's seal did actually apply to the quality of a third-party publisher's game. Sega of America had a quality assurance department that played in-development games from other companies and rated them across ten categories, and sometimes a publisher would have to make changes before Sega would approve the games for release. I'd guess Sega wasn't too strict because there are plenty of poor quality games available on Sega platforms. Today Sega doesn't have a seal since it no longer makes consoles while Nintendo eventually dropped the word "quality" from its seal, with game boxes now displaying "Official Nintendo Seal."

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