From slot machines to Sonic

Service Games supplied slot machines to military bases.

In 1940, Martin Bromley, Irving Bromberg, and James Humpert founded Standard Games — later renamed Service Games — in Honolulu, Hawaii. It provided coin-operated machines, including slots, to US military bases.

A magnifying glass hovers over the Sega logo against a purple background.

In the 1950s, amid a crackdown on slot machines in the US, Service Games established a presence in Japan. In 1960, Bromley formed two new Japanese companies to assume Service Games’ business, officially shortening its name to Sega.

While Bromley became the subject of a series of investigations into alleged illegal activity (which you can read about here), Sega expanded its roster of machines to include jukeboxes and arcade games, then made its own submarine simulator game, “Periscope,” in 1966.

Sega continued to manufacture arcade games through the 1970s before moving into gaming consoles in the ‘80s, peaking with the Sega Genesis, which sold an estimated 30m-40m units.

Its most popular franchise, “Sonic the Hedgehog,” was the answer to rival Nintendo’s Mario, and the character remains the company’s mascot to this day.

New call-to-action

Get the 5-minute news brief keeping 2.5M+ innovators in the loop. Always free. 100% fresh. No bullsh*t.