Blog:SIMS: What's the Real Story?
New information about SIMS was revealed in a recent Hardcore Gaming 101 feature about localization. The following is from an interview with former Working Designs head Victor Ireland included with the feature:
JS: Please tell me a little about this "sister sonic" rumour I keep reading about regarding the US release. Is it true Sega wanted to remake the game as a Sonic spin-off?
VI: I believe it is true because that is what I was told by the head of the Consumer Soft division at SEGA of Japan. We were working on Vay at the time, and the company that was doing that title (SIMS, an acronym for the last names of the company partners) was part-owned by him. He was in the building, and we got along quite well, so he decided to show me some games in-progress. Popful Mail had just been rejected as Sister Sonic at that point, according to him. He offered it to us. That deal led directly to Dragon Force and Iron Storm.
The man Ireland is talking about is Mamoru Shigeta (重田守). After having worked at Irem, Shigeta was named the president of Sanritsu Denki in 1989. He was the original president of SIMS and was the director of consumer software at Sega Enterprises. Going by what Ireland is saying, one of the Ss in SIMS must stand for "Shigeta." All this doesn't quite jive with what I had gleamed from SIT Developer Table:
I am born as Sanritsu Electric side and a co-funding company with Sega in June, 1991.
Of course, this is an online translation, but I had assumed it was basically saying that SIMS was some sort of joint venture between Sanritsu and Sega. The site doesn't mention anything about four partners or co-owners. SIT Developer Table also says SIMS stands for "Soft development Innovation Multi Success."
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