Sega apologise for promotion of Golden Axe game created “under crunch conditions” for Steam event

Platforms: PC
Sega apologise for promotion of  Golden Axe game created “under crunch conditions” for Steam event

Yesterday Sega promoted their 60th-anniversary event with a series of Steam sales including some bonus content, including a Golden Axe revival called Golden Axed.

The title Golden Axed was a joke on the fact this title was originally known as Golden Axe: Reborn before being cancelled during the prototype stage. That decision has come under fire from one of Reborn’s developers, Tim Dawson, formerly of Sega Studios Australia.

Dawson stated on Twitter that he “woke up to the surprising news that Sega is releasing the Golden Axe prototype I coded in 2012 under crunch conditions.”

Dawson mentioned that he and other Sega developers (several of whom went on to form Witch Beam together) were working 14 hour days on the Golden Axe project.

"This project was my personal nexus of nightmare hours, inept management, industry realisations and heroics achieved with a small team under unreasonable conditions,” Dawson added, “so it's an odd feeling to see it surface eight years later without context, credits and with a joke title sequence."

Sega has since apologised for their decision, in a statement shared with GamesIndustry.biz, Sega said: "We wanted to bring the work of the developers at the time to light and celebrate it as a part of our history. Something we didn't get the chance to do first time around. We certainly didn't mean to dredge up painful memories for Mr Dawson and his former colleagues or appear disrespectful."

The publisher has since edited the copy on the Steam listing to remove any comments that might appear insulting to the developers, including use of the words “janky” and “buggy.”

Dawson did not want to dissuade people from playing, “If you're excited to play an old prototype, that's fine! Bunch of people including me worked hard on it. And obviously Sega owns it and any work I did, it's just a bit weird they're saying they reached out to the original team.”

Sega echoed that sentiment, saying “We're hoping lots of fans play the prototype and can appreciate the work he and his colleagues put into this developing this prototype.”

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