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Sega Saturn Replacement Cases and the story behind them...


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Hey, I was thinking about how Limited Run Games and also some other guy were going to make some Sega Saturn replacement cases and there was some kind of mini feud going on about it. Does anyone there have the full scoop on what happened? Is this still an ongoing issue? I can find a 10 pack of replacement cases on Amazon for $59.99, which seems high, and idk if that is LRG, or the other guy, or what's going on with it all. Does anyone have the skinny on this?

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The other guy (don't remember name) had the idea and got his out the door without lrg ever mentioning they were working on it, and lrg seemed to take great offense to being beat to market and talked all sorts of shit about him.

IIRC he had some quality issues in the first batches but it got sorted out pretty fast. Idk how lrg's efforts turned out but personally I'd avoid them on principle.

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5 minutes ago, Lincoln said:

The other guy (don't remember name) had the idea and got his out the door without lrg ever mentioning they were working on it, and lrg seemed to take great offense to being beat to market and talked all sorts of shit about him.

IIRC he had some quality issues in the first batches but it got sorted out pretty fast. Idk how lrg's efforts turned out but personally I'd avoid them on principle.

That's really interesting. $60 for a 10 pack seems steep but then, that is only $6 a piece, looking at it that way, it's not terrible but I don't know if I can bring myself to drop that much considering I need quite a few, haha.

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The quality problems of the original ones made it sound like they were going to cause more problems than solutions. IIRC the black insert was falling out and it just didn't fit together as nicely as a real case. And I think the guy had to order something like $10,000-$100,000 worth of cases for his original order, then had to slash prices on Amazon to get rid of the stock once people started complaining about quality. So now instead of fixing tons of Sega cases out there, there will be tons of shitty third party cases out there.

Edited by DefaultGen
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The actual story is that both groups were developing their own cases at the same time without the knowledge of the other doing it.  One of the groups was an individual and his hit the market first.  LRG's cases were second to the market.  The individual's cases were first to the market and cost less than LRG.  However, they were also a lower quality and they were produced in China.  LRG's cases were made in America, and had a much better build quality, but also, obviously cost more.  

LRG never talked shit about the other individual simply because he was first to the market.  However, LRG did discuss issues with the fact that the other cases were made in China.  The issue with producing cases in China is that there is nothing that protects the owner from having their molds and tooling stolen and reproduced by another competitor.  If another competitor uses the tooling, they can produce their own cases much cheaper because they don't have any of the development costs to recoup.  If this happens, both the individual and LRG end up losing their shirts because they will never be able to recoup their development costs.  To the best of my knowledge, this hasn't happened yet, but it's still a valid concern.  

At the end of the day, if either or both groups had been open about the development of these cases, they could have worked together and developed one case for half the cost of what both groups spent.  Both groups probably kept it secret because at the time, secrecy seemed like a good idea, but I would be willing to bet both groups regret it now.

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27 minutes ago, DefaultGen said:

The quality problems of the original ones made it sound like they were going to cause more problems than solutions. IIRC the black insert was falling out and it just didn't fit together as nicely as a real case. And I think the guy had to order something like $10,000-$100,000 worth of cases for his original order, then had to slash prices on Amazon to get rid of the stock once people started complaining about quality. So now instead of fixing tons of Sega cases out there, there will be tons of shitty third party cases out there.

This seems exaggerated from what I remember. There were issues with some cases, but many we're fine. $10k sounds about right but $100k definitely doesn't.

6 minutes ago, TDIRunner said:

The actual story is that both groups were developing their own cases at the same time without the knowledge of the other doing it.  One of the groups was an individual and his hit the market first.  LRG's cases were second to the market.  The individual's cases were first to the market and cost less than LRG.  However, they were also a lower quality and they were produced in China.  LRG's cases were made in America, and had a much better build quality, but also, obviously cost more.  

LRG never talked shit about the other individual simply because he was first to the market.  However, LRG did discuss issues with the fact that the other cases were made in China.  The issue with producing cases in China is that there is nothing that protects the owner from having their molds and tooling stolen and reproduced by another competitor.  If another competitor uses the tooling, they can produce their own cases much cheaper because they don't have any of the development costs to recoup.  If this happens, both the individual and LRG end up losing their shirts because they will never be able to recoup their development costs.  To the best of my knowledge, this hasn't happened yet, but it's still a valid concern.  

At the end of the day, if either or both groups had been open about the development of these cases, they could have worked together and developed one case for half the cost of what both groups spent.  Both groups probably kept it secret because at the time, secrecy seemed like a good idea, but I would be willing to bet both groups regret it now.

If someone in China decides it worth their time to steal someone's design its gonna happen sooner or later. Manufacturing in America can delay that but it's not a permanent solution.

All lrg's comments at that time were very negative and came across as them being salty about someone stealing their thunder.

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19 minutes ago, Lincoln said:

All lrg's comments at that time were very negative and came across as them being salty about someone stealing their thunder.

I don't disagree that he was angry, but he wasn't angry for the reasons you stated.  Besides, if you were out tens of thousands of dollars, you would be pissed too, even if no body was technically at fault.  

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Are you referring to lrg being angry? Did they give up on it altogether after the other guy released his? That's the only way they're gonna have a total loss on this.

And I might be mad if a competitor beat me but I have no right to take it out on him, which lrg totally did in my mind. They were acting like they were entitled to corner that market.

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1 hour ago, Lincoln said:

Are you referring to lrg being angry? Did they give up on it altogether after the other guy released his? That's the only way they're gonna have a total loss on this.

 

That's false.  I've already explained one other scenario where they could get screwed over this.  Again, it's not a guarantee, but it was a valid concern on their part.  There was nothing wrong or unprofessional in their response to the situation.  At the end of the day, it was a combination of bad luck and bad timing and it's unfortunate because both parties will most likely lose money off the situation where either one could have made a nice profit if they worked together.

And to answer your other question, they clearly didn't give up on it all together since they are now selling Sega CD games.  

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I bought the Amazon cases back in the day and read the interviews with limited Run as this was unfolding.. Here’s what happened:

Limited Run and the guy from Alaska were independently doing it at the same time without knowledge of each other. The guy in Alaska came to market first with a made in China product. Limited Run found out and was very upset because they just spent like $100k on precision tooling for a near perfect mold from an American company. 

LR wanted to price them at a premium, but they felt that they couldn’t do it anymore because this guy had already established  the market price. But apparently his quality was very poor, the cases didn’t lock close or even hold together (I would know, bought them).

They ultimately ditched the idea of selling the cases, but since they had already paid for tooling they are using them for some special editions. There are a handful of LR special collectors edition that have a Saturn style case. These are typically games that were envisioned as Saturn style retro games

Edited by phart010
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2 hours ago, TDIRunner said:

That's false.  I've already explained one other scenario where they could get screwed over this.  Again, it's not a guarantee, but it was a valid concern on their part.  There was nothing wrong or unprofessional in their response to the situation.  At the end of the day, it was a combination of bad luck and bad timing and it's unfortunate because both parties will most likely lose money off the situation where either one could have made a nice profit if they worked together.

And to answer your other question, they clearly didn't give up on it all together since they are now selling Sega CD games.  

No you really haven't. Just because someone else is selling the same thing doesn't prevent them from also selling it. It makes it harder for them, but if they have a better product there will be a market for it. They'll be kept in check though.

If they can't compete at all with someone selling a good quality product that's entirely on them. 

And nothing was made clear here since nobody said they were using those cases in a release when I posted. I tend not to follow along with them anymore so that's news to me.

I remember then talking down on the guy and that being unprofessional but I don't have a source handy so I cant say anymore on it.

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37 minutes ago, Lincoln said:

@phart010do you have a source on the $100k figure? That is an absurd amount to dump into something like this. You're talking like 10s of thousands of units sold to break even

There was an article where they interviewed the owner of Limited Run. If you search for it you should find it.

Just as an FYI if turns out that it was 50k assume I had a brain fart

 

Edit: It was actually $150k. Here’s the Kotaku article

https://www.google.com/amp/s/kotaku.com/two-guys-making-new-sega-cd-jewel-cases-are-in-an-accid-1825364528/amp

Edited by phart010
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1 hour ago, Lincoln said:

No you really haven't. Just because someone else is selling the same thing doesn't prevent them from also selling it. It makes it harder for them, but if they have a better product there will be a market for it. They'll be kept in check though.

If they can't compete at all with someone selling a good quality product that's entirely on them. 

Not at all what I said.  Try again.

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1 hour ago, Lincoln said:

I remember then talking down on the guy and that being unprofessional but I don't have a source handy so I cant say anymore on it.

That's ok.  People tend to remember what they want to remember.  I came here to site my source, but someone already beat me to it just above.

https://kotaku.com/two-guys-making-new-sega-cd-jewel-cases-are-in-an-accid-1825364528

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3 hours ago, phart010 said:

There was an article where they interviewed the owner of Limited Run. If you search for it you should find it.

Just as an FYI if turns out that it was 50k assume I had a brain fart

 

Edit: It was actually $150k. Here’s the Kotaku article

https://www.google.com/amp/s/kotaku.com/two-guys-making-new-sega-cd-jewel-cases-are-in-an-accid-1825364528/amp

that is bonkers. no pity for lrg on that. how could you possibly think that's going to be profitable at they scale they do business.

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1 hour ago, Lincoln said:

that is bonkers. no pity for lrg on that. how could you possibly think that's going to be profitable at they scale they do business.

I think this is one of those cases where they wanted to do it no matter what but then tried to build a business case after the fact just to self justify the decision.

My brother bought a Tesla Model 3 with the pretext that he’d rent it out and it would pay for itself. We ran the numbers beforehand on a spreadsheet and the math didn’t add up. Even assuming the most optimistic set of conditions would perpetually recur month after month, we calculated that he would narrowly miss earning enough to make the monthly payment+insurance. The math hurt his head so much that he just went ahead and just ordered the car. 

If I’m not mistaken, the guy who owns LR is also a collector (With a lot of money, apparently).

Edited by phart010
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9 hours ago, Lincoln said:

i don't know what you're talking about then. please point me to it.

 

You said the following:

16 hours ago, Lincoln said:

Did they give up on it altogether after the other guy released his? That's the only way they're gonna have a total loss on this.

Prior to this post I had already provided one other example.  You can't possibly think that the only way they could take a total loss.  When I pointed out that your claim was false you came back talking about competing business keeping them in check.  I was never talking about legitimate competition.  I was specifically talking about stolen intellectual property.  

The only negative thing that LRG ever said about the individual selling these cases was their concern about stolen intellectual property.  That is an extremely valid concern.  I get it, you want LRG to be the bad guy here and your memory supports your bias.  But that doesn't change what actually happened.  Sorry.

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20 hours ago, epiclotus said:

They have two Sega CD releases up for pre-order this Friday.  It will be interesting to see what those come in.  Sega CD used the same ones as Saturn, I believe. 

Kind of. There are differences between original Sega CD cases and Saturn cases. For example, the nubs on the hinges used to keep the case together are smaller on the Sega CD than on the Saturn, for the most part. There are also some games that use slightly different case components, like the disc tray in Darius Gaiden.

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