By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
One-time Nintendo rival Sega announced it would support the forthcoming Nintendo GameCube and other video game platforms with the expansion of the Sega Sports franchise.
Sega said the addition of GameCube means that from now on Sega Sports development will extend to all next-generation platforms. Sega will develop titles in every major sports category, in its redirected effort as a "platform-agnostic third-party publisher."
First up, the company said it would develop NBA 2K2 for GameCube this spring. "The launch of multiple Sega Sports titles across all four platforms is a testament to Sega's immersive content and winning gameplay," said Peter Moore, Sega of America president. "We've seen overwhelming support for our evolution from a hardware maker to a third-party publisher, and this acceptance by all platforms puts us clearly on the path to becoming the leading publisher in the industry. We are committed to making that goal a reality."
Meanwhile, Sega Sports announced it will sell Virtua Tennis sequel Tennis 2K2, for the PlayStation2. Sega Sports' NBA 2K2 and Tennis 2K2 will first launch on the 128-bit, Internet-ready Sega Dreamcast video game console this fall. The GameCube and Playstation2 versions will follow in the spring. They will be rated "E" and will carry $49.95 suggested retail prices.
Sega Sports plans to support its releases with a marketing and promotional campaign that will emphasize the Sega brand. The effort will employ "an expansive print and broadcast advertising campaign, promotions with key retailers, launch of a new Web site exclusively for Sega Sports and consumer promotions at major sporting events," the company said.
The effort will also include three television spots tied to the Sega Sports brand, while emphasizing the company's foray into multiplatform development. The spots are now running through the fourth quarter on many national networks.
Radio spots and product giveaways will also be part of the brand awareness effort.
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