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Sega Sammy focuses on free-to-play as packaged game sales slump
Sega Sammy focuses on free-to-play as packaged game sales slump
May 9, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

Japanese company Sega Sammy reported a mild drop in profits in the last fiscal year compared to its previous year and poor sales of packaged games in its consumer business segment, spurring the company to pour more resources into launching mobile and free-to-play games in the coming year.

The company reported that sales of boxed games like Total War: Rome II and Football Manager 2014 were disappointing, but took pains to highlight the favorable performance of digital games like Phantasy Star Online 2 and mobile games like Chain Chronicle.

To that end the company plans to launch 43 new digital games in the coming fiscal year, 30 of which will be free-to-play titles. The company will also be working to convert properties that have traditionally been sold as packaged games to digital products.

Looking ahead, the company claims it will "address the expanding market for new content for the field of digital game software," and streamline development efforts to focus on a smaller number of titles in an attempt to generate higher profits.

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, Sega Sammy recorded profits of 30.721 billion yen (~$302 million USD), down roughly 8.2 percent from the 33.46 billion yen (~$329 million USD) profit the company reported at the close of the previous fiscal year. The company reported net revenue of 378.01 billion yen (~$371 million USD), up roughly 17.6 percent from the 321.407 billion yen (~$316 million USD) it reported at the end of the 2013 fiscal year.

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Nathan Mates
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And yet people call for Nintendo to follow this path?

Eric Harris
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Total War: Rome II was disappointing so naturally the sales reflected that. Sega has been on its last legs for a while now. Maybe mobile will finish them off.

Giles ODell
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Sega has a market cap of nearly USD 5 billion. With last legs like that, they're "outrunning" Ubisoft.

Mike Griffin
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This isn't the Sega we knew and loved. That era fizzled out AGES ago (haha).

It's not in the league of Atari, of course, which hasn't been with its original family of owners/developers for a very long time.

Sega still has some veterans in the Sammy era.
But the heyday of great internal studios at Sega is long gone.

It is Sammy's game publishing arm. Sega is a front for studios it has acquired. I wonder how this re-focused business direction affects their teams that are traditionally AAA/packaged product studios.

43 smaller digital titles over the next fiscal year, 30 of which will be F2P.
Whoring out classic Sega franchises in F2P pulp? Hopefully not.
Some smaller high quality releases would be good.

Nooh Ha
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I love how two different games industry news sites can interpret exactly the same news in utterly different ways: