Anniversary: Daytona USA Is 30 Years Old Month 1
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

Sega's iconic arcade racer Daytona USA turns 30 this month.

It launched in Japanese arcades in March 1994, coming to the rest of the world the following month. Developed by Sega's internal AM2 team, it was directed by Toshihiro Nagoshi, who also co-produced it alongside the legendary Yu Suzuki.

Based on the NASCAR racing series in North America and featuring a licencing deal with the titular Daytona International Speedway in Florida, Daytona USA was the first game to leverage Sega's cutting-edge Model 2 board, which was created in collaboration with GE Aerospace.

The game has become one of the highest-grossing coin-op titles of all time, and units are still seen in amusement centres all over the world, even today.

Daytona USA was ported to the Sega Saturn in 1995 and would see an enhanced home version in the form of 1996's Daytona USA: Championship Circuit Edition. In 2001, Sega published Daytona USA 2001 on the Dreamcast.

A true arcade sequel – Daytona USA 2: Battle on the Edge – arrived in 1998 on Sega's Model 3 arcade hardware. This was sadly never granted a home port, but it was recently included in Like A Dragon: The Man Who Erased His Name.

Sega released a remake of the original 1994 game in arcades in 2010 as Sega Racing Classic, with the Daytona name dropped as the license had expired. However, in 2016, Sega and the Daytona International Speedway renewed their relationship for the coin-op Daytona Championship USA (AKA Daytona USA 3).

Daytona USA was released digitally on PS3 and Xbox 360 in October 2011.