Sega Multimedia Studio

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Sega Multimedia Studio was a development division created by Sega of America in response to the multimedia revolution of the early 90’s, featuring advanced audio video creation facilities and a state-of-the-art recording studio. Established in 1992 as a continuation of the audio management capabilities of the Product Development Team, it worked on nearly two-dozen titles and produced two of their own before being broken up around 1994.[2]


A 1992 promotional photograph of the studio's dedicated recording facilities.

In late 1991[3], Ken Balthaser established Sega Multimedia Studio in an attempt by management to refocus the company's internal development capabilities around the CD-ROM and the upcoming Sega CD. Soon after in early 1992[2], the Product Development Team had its audio department officially migrated to Sega Multimedia Studio.

Largely managed by Ken Balthaser, David Javelosa, and others, the group specialized in the field of "multimedia"; that is, the combination of different types of interactive media that the new storage format of compact discs offered. Now seen as a speculation-fueled bubble that grossly overestimated consumer interest, Sega of America was allowed to join in as well, thanks to its overwhelming success with the Genesis. The studio would assist in the development of media-based games for the Sega CD, such as the platform's FMV titles. Additionally, it's support bolstered the cutting-edge, "better than Nintendo" corporate image Sega of America had created for the United States market at the time. Al Nilsen recalls that even famed Sega collaborator Michael Jackson visited the studio on a number of occasions.

According to Javelosa, the studio worked on a number of titles which were left unreleased. Most notable among these was a SETI-themed game featuring the endorsement of celebrity astronomer Fiorella Terenzi.[2]

Around 1994[2], the audio department was spun-off into Sega Music Group[4], Creative Support[4], and Developer Technical Support[2], with many staff moving to Gametek as a result.[5] Some staff appeared to have remained at Multimedia Studio after the split, with this team dedicated to supporting first-party developers (where Creative Support worked with third-party developers instead).[2] It is unknown how long this team remained before the studio's total closure around or following 1994.


List of staff


Main article: Photos of Sega Multimedia Studio


  1. K Horowitz (2016). Playing at the Next Level: A History of American Sega Games
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Interview: David Javelosa (2023-12-09) by Alexander Rojas
  3. K Horowitz (2016). Playing at the Next Level: A History of American Sega Games
  4. 4.0 4.1 Interview: David Javelosa (2008-07-02) by Sega-16
  5. Interview: Doug Lanford (2011-03-01) by Sega-16

Timeline of Sega of America research and development divisions