daytona usa debut header

The beloved Sega racing game Daytona USA debuted at the August 1993 Amusement Machine Show in Tokyo.

Hit the jump to read about Daytona‘s development, debut at the Amusement Machine Show 1993, and see actual footage of the trade show and an interview with a young Tetsuya Mizguchi! Also – Michael Jackson in Scramble Training!

Daytona USA Debut

daytona usa screenshotDaytona USA saw its public unveiling at the Amusement Machine Show 1993 and location testing began immediately afterwards. The trade show went down in Makuhari Messe, Tokyo and roughly 40,000 people attended. Other Sega games of note featured at the show included Michael Jackson in Scramble Training, Star Wars Arcade, and Virtua Fighter.

The wide release for the Daytona didn’t occur until the following March, when the game hit Japan and American arcades. European gamers finally saw the game reach local arcades in May.

Personnel & Development

Daytona is a solid arcade racer that was developed by some of Sega’s best talent. Yu Suzuki served as Producer, then rising star Toshihiro Nagoshi was the Chief Designer, Director, and also credited as a Producer. Everyone should, of course, know that Takenobu Mitsuyoshi composed music for the game and sung the title theme, “Let’s Go Away!”

DAYTONA USA - Let's Go Away- Versión alternativa.

Daytona‘s development was inspired by a trip Nagoshi made to the United States. While there, he attended a NASCAR race and returned home with an urge to recreate the experience in the arcades. Work on the game began in May of 1993 and just a handful of months later, it was ready to be shown to the world!

The 1993 version of the game is reported to be nearly identical to the final 1994 arcade release, with just some AI tweaks to make the opponents more realistic. Amazing that they were able to turn out such a beloved, ground-breaking game in such a short time!

Amusement Machine Show 1993 Video!

The video below is a very neat treat! It’s a vintage French documentary on the Amusement Machine Show 1993, with footage of Sega games and some staff. There’s even some short shots of Sega’s internal studios.

A much younger Tetsuya Mizguchi gives a decent length interview and we also meet Osaburo Sakurai, who was the director of international affairs for the company at the time.

Reportage sur le AMShow '93 et la AS3 de SEGA.

Unfortunately, it is in French audio and Youtube’s auto-translation of closed captioning fails hard here. Still, there’s plenty to see in the video!

Michael Jackson in Scramble Training?!?

If you’ve hadn’t heard of Michael Jackson in Scramble Training previously, then you’re in luck. The French program above features footage of the very rare game, which was quietly pulled following the singer’s public relations issues during the time.

Michael Jackson in Scramble Training screenshot 01

Closing Remarks

Here’s to 23 years of Daytona USA. May we see it remain a staple in arcades for decades to come!

daytona usa arcade linked cabinets