Case | HBS Case Collection | September 1999

Project Dreamcast: Serious Play at Sega Enterprises Ltd. (A)

by Stefan H. Thomke and Andrew Robertson

Abstract

Focuses on the ongoing competitive battles in the global home video game market that is estimated to exceed $15 billion by 1999 in the United States and Japan alone. Describes how Sega Enterprises has redesigned its development processes to create a revolutionary 128-bit video game console (named Dreamcast). Having lost its leading position in an accelerating market to Sony's Playstation console, Sega is trying to reclaim its former position through an aggressive entry strategy in the Japanese market. Integral to this strategy is the ability to bring its Dreamcast console to market rapidly and to manage its relationships with independent game developers. Focuses on: 1) hardware and game software development, 2) the role of market share in an environment of increasing economic returns, and 3) the dynamics of market entry strategies as a function of development capabilities and competitive responses.

Keywords: Games, Gaming, and Gambling; Competitive Strategy; Technological Innovation; Growth and Development Strategy; Partners and Partnerships; Product Development; Business Growth and Maturation; Market Entry and Exit; Sales; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; Computer Industry;

Citation:

Thomke, Stefan H., and Andrew Robertson. "Project Dreamcast: Serious Play at Sega Enterprises Ltd. (A)." Harvard Business School Case 600-028, September 1999.