Sega Corporation (also referred to and stylized as SEGA) is a Japanese video game developer and publisher, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Starting as an arcade-focused company, SEGA moved into the game console market in the early 1980s with the SG-1000, later releasing platforms such as the Sega Genesis (known as the Mega Drive in Japan and European regions) and Sega Saturn. After a string of primarily-Western commercial failures and profit losses in the later half of the 1990s, SEGA quit the home console business in 2001, moving on to become a software developer. SEGA is most known for their mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog, who debuted in 1991. The company is currently a subsidiary of Sega Sammy Holdings.
During SEGA's time in the console business, during the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, the company usually mocked Nintendo's properties in their games. In addition, marketing from the era usually portrayed SEGA's platforms as superior to Nintendo's, even going as far to mention the company by name. An early mockery toward Nintendo can be found in the final game of the Alex Kidd series, Alex Kidd in Shinobi World, where the first boss was originally going to be named Mari-Oh, a parody of Mario. However, it was later changed to Kabuto. In the British Sonic the Comic series from Fleetway, characters known as the "Marxio Brothers" appeared, a trio of electricians who were parodies of both the Mario Bros. and the Marx Brothers.
To counter these mockeries of Mario, Rare had Sonic make a "cameo appearance" in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. His shoes, as well as a weapon from a fellow platforming mascot rival, Earthworm Jim's blaster, are seen next to a trash can during Cranky Kong's contest labeled "No Hopers."
Move to third party game development
The production of Sega's last console, the Dreamcast, was discontinued in 2001 as part of a big restructuring strategy and also because of Sega not having enough resources to compete due to multiple system failures (Sega CD, 32X, and Sega Saturn).
ChuChu Rocket! marked the first SEGA-published game on a Nintendo system, specifically the Game Boy Advance. Since then, both SEGA and Nintendo have collaborated on several projects. Their first effort resulted in F-Zero GX and AX. The two companies later teamed up to create a crossover game featuring both Mario and Sonic, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, which generated the Mario & Sonic series. Sonic also appeared as a playable character in the Super Smash Bros. series. He appeared with another fellow Sega character, Bayonetta who has appeared in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Joker, a character from Sega subsidiary Atlus, is also playable in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as DLC. Aside from the Mario & Sonic series and the Super Smash Bros. series, Sonic has made cameo appearances in the Mario universe. By using a Sonic amiibo, players can unlock an outfit based on Sonic in Yoshi's Woolly World and Mario Kart 8 (and their respective ports), as well as in Super Mario Maker. Yoshi's Island Zone is a downloadable level in the Wii U version of Sonic Lost World which features Sonic in Yoshi's Island.
As a third party developer, Sega currently makes games for a variety of devices, ranging from video game consoles to smartphones.
Mario games developed by Sega
Mario games published by Sega