Once a dominant force in the video game industry, Sega has seen its fair share of ups and downs over the years. From its rise to fame in the 1990s to its decline in the 2000s, this in-depth look at Sega’s history will explore what happened to the company and why it ultimately fell from grace. We’ll take a closer look at key moments in Sega’s history, including the release of iconic games like Sonic the Hedgehog and the Sega Genesis, as well as the company’s failed attempts to compete with the likes of Nintendo and Sony. Whether you’re a die-hard Sega fan or simply interested in the history of the video game industry, this article is sure to provide some fascinating insights into the rise and fall of one of the most beloved gaming brands of all time.
The Beginning of Sega: A Brief History
The Early Years of Sega
In the early 1960s, Sega was founded as Standard Games, a company that primarily manufactured coin-operated amusement machines in Japan. In 1965, the company changed its name to Sega, which stands for Service Games, and began expanding its product line to include video games. During this time, Sega was one of several companies that were instrumental in popularizing video games in Japan.
One of Sega’s earliest hits was the game “Periscope,” which was released in 1966. The game involved players using a periscope to shoot at enemy ships during World War II. This game was followed by several other successful titles, including “Pong-Tron” and “Golf.”
In 1969, Sega released “Missile,” a game that was based on the popular arcade game “Tic-Tac-Toe.” This game was the first video game to be produced in Japan, and it marked the beginning of Sega’s dominance in the Japanese video game market.
During the 1970s, Sega continued to produce popular video games, including “Space Fury,” “Gun Fight,” and “Congo Bongo.” These games helped to establish Sega as a major player in the video game industry, and they set the stage for the company’s future success.
Despite its early successes, Sega faced significant challenges during this time. The video game market was still in its infancy, and there were few established players. Additionally, Sega faced competition from other companies, including Nintendo, which was quickly becoming a major player in the industry. Despite these challenges, Sega remained committed to producing high-quality video games, and its early successes set the stage for its future growth.
The Rise of Sega in the Gaming Industry
In the early 1980s, Sega entered the gaming industry with its first video game console, the SG-1000. The console was a modest success, but it was the release of the Sega Master System in 1985 that marked the beginning of Sega’s rise to prominence in the gaming industry.
The Sega Master System was a technologically advanced console for its time, featuring better graphics and sound than its competitors. The console’s popularity was boosted by a series of successful game releases, including the classic arcade game, “Zaxxon.”
In 1989, Sega released the Sega Genesis, a console that would go on to become one of the most iconic video game consoles of all time. The Sega Genesis was the first console to feature a built-in analog joystick, which allowed for more precise control in games. The console also featured a robust library of games, including popular titles such as “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Golden Axe.”
Sega’s success continued with the release of the Sega Game Gear in 1990, a handheld console that could play games on the go. The console featured a larger screen than its competitors and was able to display a wider range of colors, making it a popular choice among gamers.
However, it was the release of the Sega Saturn in 1994 that marked the peak of Sega’s success in the gaming industry. The console featured advanced hardware, including a dual-CPU setup and built-in memory, which allowed for more sophisticated gameplay and graphics. The console also featured a number of high-profile game releases, including “Sonic the Hedgehog 3” and “Panzer Dragoon.”
Despite this success, Sega’s reign as a leader in the gaming industry was not to last. In the late 1990s, the company faced increasing competition from rival console manufacturers, such as Sony and Nintendo. Additionally, Sega’s focus on developing games for its own consoles led to a decline in the quality of its arcade games, which had once been a major source of revenue for the company.
The Golden Age of Sega: The 1990s
The Iconic Sega Genesis Console
The Birth of a Legend
In 1988, Sega released the Sega Genesis, a 16-bit home video game console that would become a legend in the gaming industry. The Genesis, known as the Mega Drive in other regions, was a technological marvel for its time, boasting superior graphics and sound compared to its competitors. This technological advantage allowed Sega to develop a range of critically acclaimed and commercially successful games, including the groundbreaking Sonic the Hedgehog series.
A New Era in Gaming
The Sega Genesis introduced several innovations that redefined gaming experiences. Its dual-button controller enabled players to enjoy more complex and nuanced gameplay, leading to a surge in popularity for action-adventure and platformer games. Additionally, the console’s impressive graphics and sound capabilities allowed developers to create immersive worlds and engaging stories, setting a new standard for video game quality.
Sega’s Strategic Moves
Sega’s marketing strategies played a crucial role in the Genesis’s success. The company’s iconic “Sega does what Nintendon’t” campaign targeted Nintendo’s market dominance, appealing to gamers who sought a more innovative and edgy experience. Furthermore, Sega partnered with renowned developers, such as AM7, a group of five developers led by the legendary Yuji Naka, to create some of the most beloved and influential games of the era, including Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, and Golden Axe.
The Genesis Legacy
The Sega Genesis’s impact on the gaming industry was immense. Its success not only established Sega as a major player in the video game market but also spurred the development of new technologies and innovations. The console’s popularity paved the way for the subsequent 16-bit consoles, such as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), and laid the foundation for the modern gaming industry as we know it today. Even after its discontinuation, the Sega Genesis remains a beloved classic among gamers and collectors alike, and its influence can still be felt in the contemporary gaming landscape.
Popular Sega Games of the 1990s
Sega was at the height of its popularity during the 1990s, releasing several iconic games that still hold a special place in the hearts of gamers today. Some of the most popular Sega games of the 1990s include:
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog was one of the most successful video game franchises of the 1990s, with the first game being released in 1991. The game follows the adventures of a blue hedgehog named Sonic, who runs at incredible speeds through a variety of colorful and imaginative levels, collecting rings and defeating enemies along the way. The game’s innovative gameplay, catchy music, and lovable characters made it an instant classic, and it remains one of the most beloved video game franchises of all time.
Aladdin was a platformer game released in 1993, based on the popular Disney movie of the same name. The game follows the adventures of Aladdin and his pet monkey, Abu, as they explore the city of Agrabah and fight against the evil Jafar. The game was praised for its beautiful graphics, catchy music, and smooth gameplay, and it remains a fan favorite to this day.
Mortal Kombat was a fighting game released in 1992, which quickly became one of the most popular video games of the decade. The game featured brutal, bloody fatalities that pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in video games at the time, making it a controversial hit among gamers. Despite the controversy, Mortal Kombat remained one of the most popular fighting games of the 1990s, spawning numerous sequels and spin-offs.
Streets of Rage
Streets of Rage was a beat ’em up game released in 1991, developed by Sega’s in-house team, AM7. The game follows the adventures of police officer Blaze Fielding as he fights against the criminal syndicate that has taken over the city. The game was praised for its fast-paced gameplay, catchy music, and smooth animations, and it remains a classic of the beat ’em up genre.
These are just a few examples of the many popular Sega games of the 1990s. During this time, Sega was at the forefront of the video game industry, releasing innovative and groundbreaking games that captured the imaginations of gamers around the world.
Sega’s Struggle with the Nintendo Console
The 1990s marked a significant period in the video game industry, with both Sega and Nintendo vying for dominance. Sega had released its Genesis console in 1988, which quickly gained popularity due to its impressive graphics and sound capabilities. However, Nintendo’s Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) was released in 1991, and it soon became the market leader.
One of the primary reasons for Sega’s struggle against Nintendo was the latter’s strong brand recognition and loyal customer base. Nintendo had already established itself as a household name with its successful NES console, and its subsequent release, the SNES, only further solidified its position in the market. On the other hand, Sega faced an uphill battle in trying to compete with a company that had already captured the hearts of millions of gamers.
Moreover, Nintendo’s focus on family-friendly games and its strategic partnerships with popular franchises like Disney and LucasArts further added to Sega’s difficulties. The SNES featured several iconic titles, such as Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Super Metroid, which were loved by gamers of all ages. In contrast, Sega’s library primarily consisted of games targeted at a slightly older demographic, which alienated some potential customers.
To make matters worse, Sega’s marketing campaigns were not as effective as Nintendo’s. While Nintendo focused on creating memorable characters and storylines that appealed to both children and adults, Sega’s advertising efforts often leaned towards a more aggressive and edgy approach. This strategy may have attracted some gamers, but it failed to capture the same level of mass appeal that Nintendo enjoyed.
Despite these challenges, Sega continued to innovate and push the boundaries of what was possible with video game technology. The company invested heavily in research and development, which led to the creation of several groundbreaking titles, such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Streets of Rage. However, these titles were not enough to overshadow the overwhelming success of Nintendo’s offerings.
In conclusion, Sega’s struggle with Nintendo during the 1990s was primarily due to Nintendo’s strong brand recognition, family-friendly approach, and strategic partnerships. While Sega released several innovative titles, it failed to capture the same level of mass appeal as Nintendo, ultimately leading to a decline in its market share.
The Decline of Sega: The 2000s and Beyond
The Failure of the Sega Dreamcast
Despite the success of the Sega Saturn, the company’s next console, the Sega Dreamcast, was unable to sustain the momentum. The Dreamcast was released in 1999, two years ahead of its main competitor, Sony’s PlayStation 2. The console boasted impressive technical specifications and featured innovative games such as “Shenmue” and “Power Stone.” However, it failed to capture the public’s imagination, and the company’s financial situation continued to deteriorate.
There were several reasons for the Dreamcast’s failure. Firstly, the console market was becoming increasingly crowded, with new players such as Microsoft entering the fray. Secondly, Sega’s focus on cutting-edge technology had resulted in a high production cost, which made it difficult for the company to compete with its rivals. Finally, the Dreamcast’s demise was hastened by the rise of online gaming, which made consoles increasingly obsolete.
In response to these challenges, Sega announced that it would be discontinuing the Dreamcast and exiting the hardware market. This decision was a turning point for the company, marking the end of an era and the beginning of a new chapter in Sega’s history. The failure of the Dreamcast was a significant blow to the company’s reputation and left it struggling to stay afloat in a rapidly changing industry.
Sega’s Transition to a Third-Party Game Developer
Sega’s decision to shift from a hardware-focused company to a third-party game developer was a strategic move to remain competitive in the video game industry. The transition involved several key steps and implications.
Exit from the Console Market
In 2001, Sega ceased production of its last console, the Dreamcast, and focused on developing games for other platforms. This decision marked the end of Sega’s hardware business and allowed the company to allocate resources towards game development for other consoles, such as Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox.
Partnerships and Acquisitions
To strengthen its position as a third-party game developer, Sega formed partnerships with other game companies and acquired established game studios. In 2005, Sega partnered with Creative Assembly, a British video game developer known for its strategy games like the Total War series. This partnership allowed Sega to expand its portfolio of intellectual property and leverage Creative Assembly’s expertise in the strategy genre.
Additionally, Sega acquired several game development studios, including AM7, the team behind the successful football game franchise, FIFA, and Sports Interactive, the creators of the popular football management simulation, Football Manager. These acquisitions enabled Sega to broaden its portfolio of sports games and enhance its capabilities in the sports simulation genre.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
As a third-party game developer, Sega prioritized quality over quantity in its game releases. The company adopted a selective approach to game development, focusing on creating high-quality titles that would stand out in a crowded market. This approach resulted in the development of critically acclaimed games like the Yakuza series, which showcased Sega’s ability to deliver engaging narratives and immersive gameplay experiences.
By transitioning to a third-party game developer, Sega positioned itself to capitalize on the growing demand for high-quality video games across multiple platforms. This strategic move allowed the company to overcome the challenges of the hardware market and redefine its role in the industry as a provider of innovative and engaging video game experiences.
The Sale of Sega’s Hardware Division
In the early 2000s, Sega began to shift its focus away from hardware and towards software development. This shift was prompted by the failure of the Sega Dreamcast, which was the company’s last home console. The Dreamcast was a technologically advanced console that boasted impressive graphics and a robust online gaming platform. However, it failed to gain traction with consumers and was discontinued in 2001.
Following the failure of the Dreamcast, Sega made the decision to exit the hardware market and focus on developing games for other platforms, such as the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox. This decision was a strategic one, as it allowed Sega to concentrate its resources on developing high-quality games rather than competing with other hardware manufacturers.
In 2005, Sega announced that it would be selling its hardware division to Amusement Vision, a Japanese company that specialized in producing arcade games. The sale of the hardware division was a significant step for Sega, as it marked the end of the company’s involvement in the console market.
The sale of the hardware division allowed Sega to focus on its core competencies, which were game development and publishing. This focus would ultimately lead to the creation of some of the company’s most successful franchises, such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Total War.
Despite the sale of its hardware division, Sega continued to be involved in the production of game consoles through its partnership with Nintendo. In 2006, Sega collaborated with Nintendo to produce the Nintendo DS game, Sonic the Hedgehog. This partnership demonstrated Sega’s ability to adapt to changing market conditions and continue to innovate in the gaming industry.
The Current State of Sega
Sega’s Focus on Mobile and PC Gaming
Sega, once a prominent player in the console gaming market, has shifted its focus towards mobile and PC gaming in recent years. This strategic move was made in response to the declining sales of its consoles and the growing popularity of mobile and PC gaming.
Emphasis on Mobile Gaming
The mobile gaming market has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, with millions of people worldwide playing games on their smartphones and tablets. Recognizing this trend, Sega has placed a significant emphasis on developing mobile games that appeal to a wide range of audiences. Some of the company’s most successful mobile games include “Sonic Dash,” “Crazy Taxi,” and “Total War Battles.”
PC Gaming Investments
In addition to mobile gaming, Sega has also invested heavily in the PC gaming market. This investment has led to the development of numerous successful PC games, such as “Total War,” “Company of Heroes,” and “Alien: Isolation.” By developing games for the PC platform, Sega has been able to tap into a dedicated audience of gamers who are looking for more complex and sophisticated gaming experiences.
The Decline of Console Gaming
While Sega’s focus on mobile and PC gaming has been successful, it is noteworthy that the company has gradually withdrawn from the console gaming market. The decline of console gaming can be attributed to several factors, including the rise of mobile gaming and the increasing popularity of PC gaming. Additionally, the high cost of developing and marketing console games has made it difficult for Sega to remain competitive in this market.
In conclusion, Sega’s focus on mobile and PC gaming has enabled the company to adapt to changing market trends and maintain its relevance in the gaming industry. By leveraging its existing franchises and developing new games for these platforms, Sega is well-positioned to continue its success in the gaming world.
The Success of Sega’s Franchises on Modern Consoles
While Sega may no longer be a major player in the console market, many of its franchises have found new life on modern platforms. Games like Sonic the Hedgehog, Streets of Rage, and Phantasy Star have all been successfully rebooted or re-released on current-generation consoles, providing a nostalgic blast from the past for long-time fans and introducing new audiences to classic games.
Sonic the Hedgehog, in particular, has seen a resurgence in popularity, with multiple recent releases on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. These new games build on the classic gameplay mechanics that made the original games so beloved, while also introducing new features and modern graphics. The result is a game that feels both familiar and fresh, and one that continues to captivate gamers of all ages.
Streets of Rage, a classic beat ’em up game, has also found new life on modern consoles. The original trilogy was re-released on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC in 2015, and a remastered version of the first game was released on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2019. These new versions bring the classic gameplay and music into the modern era, with updated graphics and online multiplayer features.
Phantasy Star, a popular RPG series, has also been re-released on modern consoles. The original Phantasy Star games were released on the Sega Genesis in the 1980s and 1990s, but the series has since been rebooted and released on multiple platforms, including the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. These new games continue the classic storyline and gameplay mechanics of the original games, while also introducing new characters, worlds, and gameplay features.
Overall, the success of Sega’s franchises on modern consoles is a testament to the enduring appeal of these classic games. While Sega may no longer be a major player in the console market, its legacy lives on through these beloved franchises, which continue to inspire new generations of gamers.
Sega’s Continued Presence in the Gaming Industry
While Sega may no longer be a dominant force in the gaming industry as it once was, the company has managed to maintain a continued presence in the industry in various capacities.
Emphasis on Digital Distribution
One way that Sega has managed to stay relevant is by placing a strong emphasis on digital distribution. The company has embraced digital platforms such as Steam, Xbox Live, and PlayStation Network, allowing gamers to easily purchase and download Sega’s catalog of games. This shift towards digital distribution has allowed Sega to reach a wider audience and adapt to the changing landscape of the gaming industry.
Third-Party Game Development
Another way that Sega has managed to stay relevant is by becoming a third-party game developer. Instead of solely focusing on creating its own games, Sega has also developed games for other companies, such as Nintendo and Microsoft. This has allowed Sega to continue to be involved in the gaming industry while also diversifying its revenue streams.
Licensing and Merchandising
Sega has also found success in licensing and merchandising. The company has licensed its intellectual property to various companies for use in a variety of products, such as toys, clothing, and collectibles. Additionally, Sega has continued to produce merchandise under its own brand, such as the popular Sonic the Hedgehog plush toys.
Focus on Mobile Gaming
In recent years, Sega has made a push into the mobile gaming market. The company has released several mobile games based on its popular franchises, such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Crazy Taxi. This has allowed Sega to tap into the massive mobile gaming market and reach a new audience of gamers.
Overall, while Sega may not be the dominant force in the gaming industry that it once was, the company has managed to maintain a continued presence through a variety of strategies, including digital distribution, third-party game development, licensing and merchandising, and a focus on mobile gaming.
Factors Contributing to Sega’s Downfall
Poor Business Decisions
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Sega was a dominant force in the video game industry, with hit games like Sonic the Hedgehog and a rival console to Nintendo’s popular NES. However, the company made several poor business decisions that ultimately led to its downfall.
One of the most significant mistakes Sega made was its reluctance to embrace the home console market. While Nintendo was busy creating popular home consoles like the NES and Super NES, Sega focused on developing arcade games. This decision allowed Nintendo to establish a strong foothold in the home console market, leaving Sega to play catch-up.
Another significant error was Sega’s failed attempt to enter the handheld console market. The Sega Game Gear was released in 1990 as a direct competitor to Nintendo’s Game Boy. However, the Game Gear was technologically inferior and had a shorter battery life, which made it less appealing to consumers. The Game Gear was also more expensive than the Game Boy, which further hurt its sales.
Sega also made several missteps in the software development department. The company was slow to adapt to the new 3D gaming landscape and failed to capitalize on the success of its flagship character, Sonic the Hedgehog. Instead, Sega continued to release games featuring poorly designed characters and gameplay mechanics, which turned off many fans.
Furthermore, Sega’s aggressive marketing tactics, such as releasing ads that mocked Nintendo and its mascot Mario, alienated many potential customers. While these ads were successful in creating buzz around Sega’s products, they also turned off many potential customers who were loyal to Nintendo.
In addition, Sega’s poor management decisions, such as the infamous “Sega Saturn launch” and the “Dreamcast launch,” led to the company’s eventual demise. The launch of the Sega Saturn was disastrous, with the console’s high price tag and lack of must-have games leading to poor sales. Similarly, the Dreamcast was released too late and lacked the necessary games to compete with Sony’s PlayStation and Nintendo’s GameCube.
Overall, Sega’s poor business decisions, including its reluctance to enter the home console market, its failed attempts at handheld consoles, its software development missteps, and its aggressive marketing tactics, contributed significantly to the company’s downfall.
Competition from Other Gaming Companies
The gaming industry is notorious for its cutthroat competition, and Sega was no exception. As the company rose to prominence in the 1990s, it faced increasing competition from other gaming giants such as Nintendo and Sony.
Sega’s initial success was largely due to its innovative console, the Sega Genesis, which boasted impressive graphics and a strong library of games. However, as the market evolved, so did the competition. Nintendo released the Nintendo 64, which featured better graphics and more advanced games, and Sony entered the market with the PlayStation, which quickly became the dominant console.
In addition to these two powerhouses, Sega also faced competition from other smaller gaming companies such as Electronic Arts and Activision. These companies were able to focus on specific genres or niches within the gaming market, allowing them to carve out their own unique spaces and gain a dedicated fan base.
Sega struggled to keep up with the competition, as it tried to maintain its market share by releasing new consoles and games, but it was unable to compete with the innovation and marketing prowess of its competitors. The company’s lack of focus and failure to capitalize on emerging trends in the gaming industry, such as online gaming and mobile gaming, further contributed to its decline.
As a result, Sega’s market share dwindled, and the company was eventually forced to discontinue its console business altogether. Today, Sega is primarily known for its iconic franchises such as Sonic the Hedgehog and is a much smaller player in the gaming industry compared to its former glory days.
Lessons Learned from Sega’s Experience
The Importance of Adapting to Changing Technology
Failure to Keep Pace with Technological Advancements
Sega’s downfall can be largely attributed to its inability to keep pace with the rapid technological advancements in the gaming industry. The company was once a leader in the market, but as new technologies emerged, such as CD-ROMs and online gaming, Sega struggled to adapt and incorporate these innovations into its products. This allowed competitors like Sony and Nintendo to surpass Sega and establish themselves as industry leaders.
Resistance to Change
Another factor contributing to Sega’s failure to adapt was its resistance to change. The company was slow to embrace new ideas and often clung to outdated business models and technologies. This reluctance to change hindered Sega’s ability to compete in a rapidly evolving market, and ultimately led to its decline.
Investment in Innovative Technologies
In hindsight, it is clear that Sega should have invested more heavily in innovative technologies and focused on developing cutting-edge gaming experiences. By doing so, the company may have been able to stay ahead of the competition and maintain its position as a industry leader.
Lessons for the Gaming Industry
The lessons learned from Sega’s experience serve as a cautionary tale for the gaming industry. Companies must be agile and adaptable in the face of technological change if they hope to succeed in a market that is constantly evolving.
The Value of Diversifying Business Strategies
Diversifying business strategies is a crucial aspect of maintaining a competitive edge in the market. Sega, at its peak, failed to diversify its business strategies, leading to its downfall. In this section, we will discuss the importance of diversifying business strategies and how Sega’s failure to do so contributed to its decline.
Diversifying business strategies allows companies to explore new markets and opportunities, reducing their reliance on a single product or market segment. Sega, for instance, heavily relied on its gaming console business, which proved to be a risky strategy as the market was quickly becoming saturated with competitors. By failing to diversify its business strategies, Sega missed out on potential revenue streams from other markets such as mobile gaming, cloud gaming, and virtual reality.
Another advantage of diversifying business strategies is that it can help mitigate risk. When a company relies heavily on a single product or market segment, it becomes vulnerable to market fluctuations and changes in consumer preferences. Diversifying its business strategies can help a company spread its risk across multiple products and markets, reducing its exposure to potential losses.
In addition, diversifying business strategies can help a company innovate and stay ahead of the competition. By exploring new markets and opportunities, a company can develop new products and services that meet the changing needs of its customers. Sega, for example, could have diversified its business strategies by investing in new technologies such as augmented reality or artificial intelligence, which could have helped it stay ahead of the competition.
Overall, the value of diversifying business strategies cannot be overstated. Companies that fail to diversify their business strategies risk becoming irrelevant in the market, as was the case with Sega. By exploring new markets and opportunities, companies can reduce their reliance on a single product or market segment, mitigate risk, and innovate to stay ahead of the competition.
1. What was Sega?
Sega was a video game company that was founded in 1960 and was most popular in the 1980s and 1990s. The company was known for its consoles, such as the Sega Genesis, and popular games such as Sonic the Hedgehog.
2. What caused Sega to fall?
There were several factors that contributed to Sega’s decline. One major factor was the rise of Nintendo and the popularity of their consoles, such as the Nintendo 64 and GameCube. Additionally, Sega’s attempts to enter the market with new consoles, such as the Sega Dreamcast, were not successful. Financial issues and poor management also played a role in the company’s decline.
3. Is Sega still in business?
Yes, Sega is still in business and has transitioned to a third-party game developer and publisher. The company continues to develop and publish games for various platforms, including PC, mobile, and console.
4. What happened to Sega’s popular characters, such as Sonic the Hedgehog?
Sega’s popular characters, such as Sonic the Hedgehog, have continued to be featured in new games and franchises. Sonic the Hedgehog is still one of Sega’s most popular characters and has appeared in numerous games and spin-offs.
5. Can I still play Sega games today?
Yes, many classic Sega games can be played on modern platforms through digital distribution services such as Steam and the Sega Genesis Classics collection. Additionally, some Sega games have been re-released on modern consoles, such as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.