Sega was founded in 1951 by David Rosen, an American living in Japan. Originally named Rosen Enterprises, the company focused on art export before moving into the distribution of coin-op machines and photo booths. In 1965, Rosen Enterprises merged with a jukebox manufacturer and changed its name to Service Games -- or short: SEGA. Over the years, Sega, which was eventually bought by Japanese investors, developed games for the early home consoles as well as arcades, and in 1986 entered the console business with the Sega Master System. As a direct competitor to Nintendo, Sega and the Big "N" battled it out with subsequent gaming machines, including Sega's successful Genesis (Mega Drive) and the handheld Game Gear. But Nintendo's head-start in console gaming, a string of unsuccessful add-ons (Sega CD, 32X) and a lack of focus caused Sega to lose market share in the post Genesis days. The next console, the Sega Saturn suffered a fate similar to the original Master System, in that it went up against an extremely powerful competitor -- this time Sony's PlayStation. After an attempt to revitalize the console publishing business with the release of the Sega Dreamcast in 1998, Sega called it quits in 2001 and shifted to become a platform-agnostic publisher.
Utilizing its now mostly re-named "AM" development studios, Sega develops games for all consoles, handhelds and PC.
Sega of America is the American arm of Tokyo, Japan-based Sega Corporation, responsible for the development, marketing and distribution of Sega videogame systems and videogames in the Americas.
Sega Corporation is a major player in interactive digital entertainment media, offering interactive entertainment experiences both inside and outside the home.
The Corporation has also merged with Sammy in 2004, giving that other massive Japanese corporation a large amount of control over the merged business. One of the perks of the merger is that Sammy intends to absorb Sega's outstanding debts while continuing to push classic franchises.