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was a free online gaming service provided with all Sega
, usually styled as SEGA, is a multinational video game software developer and an arcade software and hardware development company headquartered in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan, with various offices around the world...
Dreamcast consoles in Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...
. As the console had a bundled 33.6 kbit/s modem
A modem is a device that modulates an analog carrier signal to encode digital information, and also demodulates such a carrier signal to decode the transmitted information. The goal is to produce a signal that can be transmitted easily and decoded to reproduce the original digital data...
built in (56 kbit/s in the USA), it was a dial-up service. This was created and operated for Sega Europe by a partnership between ICL, BT
BT Group plc is a global telecommunications services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is one of the largest telecommunications services companies in the world and has operations in more than 170 countries. Through its BT Global Services division it is a major supplier of...
and various ISPs (ICL developed the web sites and software, with BT providing the dial-up capabilities and network infrastructure, and the ISPs (one for each country) providing the Internet dial-up connection and telephone service). The service was free, and the game servers hosted within it could not otherwise be accessed from the Internet. Dreamarena ran until the beginning of March 2003.
Although people could change ISP settings thanks to American online games like Quake III Arena
Quake III Arena , is a multiplayer first-person shooter video game released on December 2, 1999. The game was developed by id Software and featured music composed by Sonic Mayhem and Front Line Assembly...
, European Dreamcast web browsers DreamKey 1.0 and 1.5 didn't allow users to input their own ISP settings. After the end of Dreamarena, Sega offered to send DreamKey 3.0/3.1 free from Sega-Europe's website, allowing users to replace Dreamarena ISP with their own ISP to continue to browse the web and to play online games. However nowadays Dreamkey 3.0 has been discontinued and is no longer available from the SEGA Europe website.