• Legends of 16-Bit Game Development

Michael Jackson Visits Sega in Japan, December 1992

The following is a translation of a short article in Sega’s staff newsletter, published in February 1993, about Michael Jackson’s visit to Sega’s headquarters in Tokyo in December 1992. The article featured several photos that have never before been seen publicly of Michael meeting with Sega’s leadership. Enjoy!

Michael Jackson with Sega president Hayao Nakayama and Sonic.

Michael Jackson, who was in Japan for his Dangerous World Tour, met with Sega president Hayao Nakayama on December 15th and 21st [1992] during breaks from performing concerts in order to discuss a new game.

Wearing a black shirt and black pants along with a Sonic jacket, Michael arrived at Sega headquarters, where he greeted president Nakayama with a smile and a handshake. A Sonic mascot presented a bouquet of roses to Michael, who received them with a big grin on his face and then friendly patted Sonic. After that, there was a 30-minute conference between Michael and Sega. Building off of the successful joint development of Moonwalker games for the arcade and home two years ago, there was an open sharing of ideas from both sides on the development of a new game that would appeal to all audiences. This time, the focus was on an arcade game making full use of high quality CG in a virtual reality system, as well as an innovative home console game. Both sides hit it off very well.

At the end of the conference, president Nakayama presented Michael with a new Megalo 50 arcade cabinet loaded with Puyo Puyo and Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder as a sign of friendship, which Michael was very happy to receive. A few days before on December 10th, Michael had visited the Roppongi GIGO game center, where the Megalo 50 was the arcade machine that had most captured his interest.

After the conference, Michael enjoyed playing the newly released Sonic 2 as well as some CD-ROM games. In addition, Michael said he would love to see Sega’s cutting-edge development room, so president Nakayama himself provided him with a tour of the latest VR technology. Within the Yasuda warehouse, Michael gave the new AS-1 a test ride. His shouts of excitement could be heard as the machine shook about in all directions. In the end, Michael achieved the high score and was selected as the top player, which caused the staff in attendance to send up a magnificent applause. In the blink of an eye, the scheduled one and a half hours had passed, and Michael left the headquarters showing a great sense of satisfaction.

Michael Jackson shaking hands with Sega chairman Isao Okawa.

Michael Jackson with Sega front desk receptionist Ms. Sugio.

Michael Jackson playing on a Sega Megalo 50 arcade cabinet.

Michael Jackson with Sega R&D head Hisashi Suzuki.

Michael Jackson with Sega R&D head Hisashi Suzuki.

Michael Jackson and Hisashi Suzuki getting off of the Sega AS-1.

Michael Jackson playing Sonic 2.

Michael Jackson playing Virtua Racing.

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