Gameindustry.biz has posted an interview with Tom Kalinske in which the former CEO of Sega of America placed some blame for the companies’ downfall on the decision not to partner with Sony.
The relevant snippet from the article is below.
Kalinske spoke with GamesIndustry.biz earlier this month at the DICE Summit, just days after Sega announced staff reductions and the relocation of its San Francisco offices. Though Kalinske said he doesn’t keep especially close tabs on the mainstream gaming space these days, he was shocked to hear his old company was pulling out of San Francisco. And while it might have seemed a foregone conclusion that Sega couldn’t compete in the gaming industry once giants like Sony and Microsoft got involved, Kalinske dismissed the notion.
“It was not inevitable,” Kalinske said. “It could have been avoided if they had made the right decisions going back literally 20 years ago. But they seem to have made the wrong decisions for 20 years.”
Regardless of Sega’s ability to best the deep-pocketed intruders, Kalinske said it could have joined them had the right decisions been made.
“One of the key reasons why I left Sega is when we had the opportunity to work with Sony, when [Sony Interactive CEO] Olaf Olafsson, [Sony Corporation of America president and CEO] Mickey Schulhof and I had agreed we were going to do one platform, share the development cost of it, share the probable loss for a couple years on it, but each benefit from the software we could bring to that platform. Of course, in those days, we were much better at software than they were, so I saw this as a huge win. We went to Sony and they agreed, ‘Great idea.’ Whether we called it Sega-Sony or Sony-Sega, who cared? We go to Sega and the board turned it down, which I thought was the stupidest decision ever made in the history of business. And from that moment on, I didn’t feel they were capable of making the correct decisions in Japan any longer.”
The rest of the article deals with saving tarnished brands and Kalinske’s view on what Nintendo should do in the future.
Is it just me or do you guys think Darrell Hammond from SNL could do a great Tom Kalinske impression?