Sega confirmed on Friday that it has closed its internal Sega Studios San Francisco development house, the group behind the development of both Iron Man
movie tie-in games as well as 2008's Golden Axe: Beast Rider
Rumors of the closure had been swirling in industry circles earlier this week. An official statement released today reads, "Sega of America is sad to announce the closure of Sega Studios San Francisco."
"It is an immensely talented studio and we wish all the best to all of the staff in all their future endeavors," the statement continues. "Moving forward, Sega will continue to pursue external development opportunities all over the world and will continue to grow the renowned Sega brand."
The language used in the statement suggests Sega does not have immediate plans to bolster its internal development, instead concentrating on expanding its scope as a third-party publisher.
Sega Studios San Francisco was known as Secret Level from its founding as an independent studio in 1999 through its acquisition by Sega in 2006, and that name is still displayed on its company website
At some point following the Sega buyout, Secret Level's name was formally changed to reflect its new ownership. Along with that change, the group was significantly restructured, with the "Secret Level" entity being dissolved at a legal level and the "Sega Studios San Francisco" entity being organized with less studio autonomy.
Earlier in its life, Secret Level focused on porting and tools for other developers. After being acquired by Sega, the company released internally-developed games in 2008: the movie adaptation Iron Man
and Golden Axe: Beast Rider
, an update of the arcade classic.
The defunct developer's most recent project is Iron Man 2
, set to be released next month in close proximity to its corresponding feature film. The game is thought to be essentially complete.