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Sega closing multiple offices to focus on digital, stronger IPs
Sega closing multiple offices to focus on digital, stronger IPs
June 28, 2012 | By Mike Rose

Sega will close down a number of its offices globally this weekend, in a bid to switch its business to digital content while focusing on select, stronger IPs.

The company said it will shut down offices in France, Germany, Spain, Australia and the Netherlands from July 1, with outside distributors taking over sales in those areas. The company's UK headquarters will remain open.

Koch Media and Level03 Distribution will deal with Sega's distribution in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and other European countries, while 5 Star Games will help with distribution in Australia.

London 2012: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games will be the last retail game that Sega has direct distribution duties over in those areas.

Jurgen Post, COO of Sega Europe, said that the company will be focusing on strong IPs like Sonic the Hedgehog, Total War, Football Manager and the Aliens franchise in the future.

Last month, the company posted declined revenues and profits for the full 2011 fiscal year, and said that it plans to combat this decline with further focus on digital and mobile games.

As a result, Sega said that it would initiate layoffs within its U.S. and European home video game business, with a reduction in future video game releases on the cards.

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Mike Murray
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I guess that means any hope for a new Shenmue is out for good. Hopefully there will be another Virtua Fighter, because Final Showdown is amazing. PSO2 is a really good game, hopefully it will get an English localization. I don't doubt that will happen, since we've gotten all of the other games.

Ujn Hunter
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I really wish Sega would have released VF: Final Showdown complete on disc. I can not buy into their high priced DRM Digital Only game with DRM DLC packages to create a finished product release scheme. It really bums me out.

As for focusing on select IPs, it's really sad, we don't need any more Sonic games in this world. Some of their best IPs recently have been from Platinum Games and also Binary Domain, but I'm afraid Sega is just going to pump out Sonic game after Sonic game instead of sequels to any of their great games that have come out in the past few years.

Merc Hoffner
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That's it man. Game over man, game over.

Sega's REALLY on their way to leaving the console business. How did this happen?

I personally feel it was driven by an endless run of poor platform choices - basically, I feel a lot of their natural audience migrated to Nintendo platforms, but the franchises didn't tend to follow. When they did they succeeded, and when they didn't they failed. They tried to cultivate new western oriented stuff on the HD consoles (as many Japanese companies have tried), and like many of their contemporaries, they failed to connect with the new audiences, at the same time as absorbing humongous dev costs.

But that's my view. What do you think?

John Woznack
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IMHO, the combination of the Saturn + Dreamcast consoles together mostly killed Sega.

I say "mostly" because I also believe there were a few other issues within the company that contributed to their demise - poor management, not taking competitors seriously enough, bleeding money left and right, etc.

Saturn's entire development cycle did a lot of damage to them, and instead of learning their lessons from that console, they unwisely decided to plow head-on with the nail-in-the-coffin Dreamcast. (Going with the "GD-ROM" was a disaster from every angle.)

Had Sega been wiser and not so closed-minded to outside possibilities, they would have taken advantage of Nintendo's screw-up with Sony, shelved the Saturn R&D, and released the "Sega PlayStation" instead.

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John - It's tough to see how the Dreamcast is relevant to their current problems. The Dreamcast was released 14 years ago, and since then the company has been acquired, refocused as a 3rd party developer and had a period of strong revenue growth, before their current set of issues. Are you saying that this is an extended death throe from the DC era?

John Woznack
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@ A S - I personally count the day Sega was "acquired" by Sammy as the day Sega officially ended. Yes, the name carried on, but the heart and soul of Sega was lost that day. So when I offer my humble opinion that Saturn + Dreamcast together mostly killed Sega, I'm looking at it from the point of view that the costs (financial and otherwise) of both of those consoles mostly contributed to Sega collapse and eventual acquisition. Those two consoles weakened Sega to the point where it had to be acquired or crash'n'burn.

As to Sega's current-day woes, I place those issues firmly at Sammy's feet. When Sammy took over, they made such drastic changes (some good, some bad) that I wasn't sure they'd still be around after a few years. I'm actually impressed that Sammy has kept Sega going as long as they have. But it appears that all the bailing of water just can't keep the Sega boat afloat any longer.

On a side note, I wish I had the Sega IP portfolio. Oh, the games I could make!