Seganet was an ISP, not just a pass to play online. It's also not going to receive the blame because it was very short-lived.
Microsoft get the blame because they popularised the practice with Xbox Live. Microsoft charged for online for a whole 11 years while no other platform holders did.
So basically OP is wrong in his arguement.
Well yes it's not the same thing as the paid online we have to day. Though if Seganet was mandatory to play dreamcast online I'd argue it's much much worse than what we have now. However it's difficult to find out if you HAD to have Seganet as your ISP to play online, or if you could connect to Seganet servers with your existing ISP.
In Europe they didn't offer an ISP and instead you connected to "Dreamarena" free of charge with your existing ISP. So in europe online gaming on dreamcast was free. This make me think that if you didn't have Seganet as your ISP maybe it was still free in NA, you just wouldn't get the supposed benefit of lower latency. You'd think this would be easy to find out online but I can't really find much information about it at all.
From delving into forums from 2000-2001 I don't think Seganet subscription was even needed for online multiplayer in NA, you could use your own ISP. - https://forum.dvdtalk.com/video-game-talk/141846-sega-dreamcast-net-can-someone-give-me-walkthrough.html
"Do you think I'd have a problem with any of those free ISPs in logging onto the Seganet?"
"No, you shouldn't have any problem using the free isp's. I use juno, and I suggest you got to www.dreamcastfun.com for a list of available free isps to use on your dreamcast."
Basically seganet was an option but not mandatory. online multiplayer on the dreamcast was free.
Last edited by Barkley - on 24 September 2019