It’s like de ja vu all over again. One minute your playing Sonic the Hedgehog or Mortal Kombat, the next minute that 16-bit system you had spent so many hours mastering has become obsolete…It’s happening all over again to Sega.
SEGA Games has officially shut down their SEGApoker.com and SEGAcasino.com operations. The Alderney based SEGA Games had launched their offerings late last year amidst much hype, and now, just like that, the Playtech powered online casinos are gone, poof, just like that.
Sega has advised its existing customers to go into their accounts and withdraw funds, but regardless, all remaining funds will automatically be credited back to the customers’ deposit method, so there’s no turning back, once they start giving money back, it’s game over for sure. The most puzzling part about all of this is the lack of answers or reasons anyone has for SEGA’s shutdown.
There are additional casualties in this apart from their clients. What about those affiliates who spent the time promoting this casino only to have it shut down basically in their faces? Nobody ever talks about those many affiliates that get bent over at the woodshed when something like this goes down, but they’re greatly affected and for some, the damage to their reputation can be significant.
In the spirit of the upcoming Budapest Affiliate Conference, here’s something affiliates should consider, Sega wasn’t willing to shell out the big bucks for advertising, and any affiliate who requested an advertising fee was likely denied, that should raise red flags, because all major online casinos pay for some type of advertising in this highly competitive market.
Affiliates have to be careful about who they promote and should not be afraid to ask for an advertising fee. Affiliates with small sites can still do this, just ask for a small fee, if you know that your top banner spot usually brings you say $50 per month, then why not request $150 to $200 to add the casino in question and give them that spot for 3 or 4 months? It allows you to see how well they convert. If they convert well you increase their exposure and if they dont you reduce their exposure and have at least made a small sum for your allowing them to use your space.
In this competitive industry, Casinos need to hit a certain level of turn over in order to be successful and certainly, those unwilling to advertise they will find it almost impossible to get to that critical mass traffic player volume that they need.
Perhaps SEGA found out the hard way, or maybe they never really caught their stride after signing deals with Playtech and CTXM to offer a full suite of online poker and casino games, including a number of SEGA’s well-known gaming brands. Maybe they hit the ground limping and now the race is as they say, GAME OVER.