That's by no means a criticism; Sega took on the biggest video games company in the world, and - as the naughty boy who throws a tantrum every time he's told to let somebody else have a play with the sandpit - for a good few years managed to keep the competition at arm's length.
In Europe especially, Sega ruled supreme, striding lewdly across the continent like a foul-mouthed gaming colossus. Even today I've noticed that the company retains a certain manic loyalty among its fans that Nintendo lacks, presumably a holdover from the blind, cult-like, devotion it somehow managed to instil in all those Mega Drive owners.
Of course, history records that it all went spectacularly wrong for Sega, and that its doting legions were misguided to invest so much faith in the upstart.
We often point to the Mega CD/32X/Saturn triumvirate of failure, but there was another signpost to Sega's eventual downfall; the Segaworld arcade at London's Trocadero Centre.
Hubris, thy name is Sega.
Originally opening its trousers in 1896 as a restaurant, before eventually closing in the mid-1960s, London's Trocadero Centre received a major relaunch in the 1980s, becoming home to a Guinness World of Records exhibition, some weird hologram gallery, a theme park-style drop ride, and the much-missed Alien War immersive attraction.
A Planet Hollywood restaurant offered added incentive for the hungry, and a massive HMV store sold music, videos and t-shirts. It was an essential destination for visitors to central London, a must-see tourist attraction and a London landmark in its own right.
The Trocadero also figured heavily in Digitiser's early history; as home to the Funland arcade, it was where we did all our arcade reviews.
We'd somehow convinced our bosses to give us a chunk of petty cash once a month, so we could spend a day at the Trocadero playing games. Funland was home to Virtuality pods, Namco's huge Galaxian 3 machine, and pretty much all the latest machines. I still remember it fondly.
That was set to change, however, with the increasingly bullish Sega viewing the Trocadero as the perfect location for its very own gaming Mecca.
Maybe they should've called it the Sega Meccadrive!!!!!?!!!!!!!!110101010101011
Opened in 1996, Segaworld was billed, ridiculously, as the world's largest "futuractive" indoor theme park.
It offered six floors of attractions, including 400 arcade machines, several rides, and at least two completely unique simulator attractions; Beast In Darkness and Aqua Planet. Its template was Japan's Joyopolis arcades, the first of which opened in Tokyo in 1994, and continue to this day. Segaworld, however, was bigger even than its flagship Japanese counterpart.
Sega had seen the UK's arcade scene as wanting - a barren, depressing landscape of seaside arcades and inner-city fruit machine paddlers - and set out to change the perception of what an arcade could be. It wanted to make them cleaner, less seedy and more high-tech, a place where families felt welcome, and somewhere that could double-up as test facilities for its newest arcade games.
It dipped its toes in the water by opening a very popular arcade in the basement of Hamley's toy shop in nearby Regent Street, and began operating Sega-branded arcades in places such as Bournemouth and Southampton.
The next step was a flagship location in the heart of London, developed at a cost of £45 million, which completely transformed the Trocadero into a noisy, neon, machine designed seemingly to cause sensory overload.
The Segaworld launch happened amid a blaze of publicity, the media happily shovelling Sega's hype into their gobs. Digitiser attended the opening ceremony, my main memory of which is that it was absolutely rammed.
Initially, having been marketed as a theme park, entrance was granted via the "Rocket Escalator" - a tunnel billed as “Europe’s largest, above-ground, see-through escalator”, as if that were enticement enough. A statue of Sonic The Hedgehog leered at the ascendant visitors, before they were greeted with the sight of free-to-play Sega Saturn machines.
Each floor had a theme - Combat Zone was full of fighting games, the Race Track had 70 driving games, a 3D motion simulator, Aqua Planet, and at the heart of it was one of Damon Hill's actual F1 cars. the Flight Deck had a Harrier Jumpjet as its centrepiece, plus a number of flying games, a McDonald's restaurant, and several simulators.
The Carnival focused on prize machines, UFO catchers, a kids play area, an interactive ghost train, and games which didn't fit into any other category, while the top floor Sports Arena had - yes - sports games, more simulators, and a shop selling Sega tat.
It wasn't all arcade machines and simulators, though; Flight Deck later became home to "London's Fastest Dodgems" (probably London's only dodgems, to be fair), which were themed around Doctor Robotnik (indeed, Sonic was everywhere at Segaworld).
Sports Arena was also home to my favourite Segaworld attraction, Mad Bazooka, a take on dodgems where your car was fitted with a gun that shot balls at the other drivers, after sort of hoovering the your ammunition up off the floor. Sadly, this barely lasted a year, before being removed due to its high operating costs, and tendency to break down.
Sega's original sponsorship contract was to have lasted ten years, but a clause gave the option to pull out after three years if profit targets weren't met.
With around half the number of expected visitors - prior to launch, Sega made a big deal of its expected 1.75 million annual visitors - and revenue falling far short of expectations, Sega at first played around with Segaworld's pricing structure.
Initially, there was a flat entrance fee which - depending on the ticket level you bought - included a limited number of simulator rides. Individual machines still required you to pay, but after the first year, the entrance fee was lowered, and the arcade machines were all set to free play. When visitor numbers still failed to meet expectations, Sega dropped the entrance fee altogether and took the machines off of free play.
It still didn't work.
Sega's branding was removed in 1999, and Segaworld was taken over by Funland, the arcade at which we'd done so many of our arcade game reviews.
Property entrepreneur Nick Leslau - who now leases Alton Towers and Thorpe Park to theme park giant Merlin - had handled the original deal.
He placed the failure of Segaworld firmly at Sega's door: "Sega could not deliver what they said they'd deliver. It looked amazing, but their rides were not capable of delivering the number of people they needed to deliver to support the operation. People were queuing for ages. It was a question of over-anticipation and under-delivery."
Funland limped on for another 12 years - gradually shutting down floors - before finally closing its doors in 2011. Now, the Trocadero is a tawdry shell of its former self, the entrance sandwiched between a Starbucks and a gentlemen's club. All of its attractions are gone, most of its shops closed, and those that remain sell cheap, tourist-baiting, rubbish.
There have been rumours for years that the site was going to be redeveloped into a hotel or flats, but it seems that there is hope that it may return - in part at least - to its former roots as an entertainment hub. With nearby Leicester Square getting a makeover in recent years, a Crystal Maze experience recently opened.
Whether it will give the Trocadero the boost it has so desperately needed remains to be seen, but the chances of another Segaworld opening seem profoundly unlikely.