News Article

SEGA Europe Closes Five Offices, Shifts Focus to Digital

Posted by James Newton

Sea change

SEGA Europe has closed regional offices in Spain, Germany, France, Benelux and Australia as it changes focus from retail to digital.

SEGA Europe will now shift its priorities to developing new and existing digital content while its retail games will stick to established IP like Sonic the Hedgehog, Aliens, Football Manager and Total War, as revealed back in March.

In recent years SEGA's original IP has struggled outside of Japan. Critically acclaimed games such as Vanquish and Valkyria Chronicles haven't found the sales their quality deserved, and its recent releases on Nintendo platforms like Rhythm Thief and the Emperor's Treasure and CRUSH3D haven't fared too well either.

SEGA Europe's chief operating officer Jurgen Post told MCV:

You have to embrace the new world, and you can’t continue doing everything like you were doing it in the past. If you only stick to what you know, you will have a very short success.

Here's hoping this realignment means SEGA's still in the game for many years to come, and our best wishes to all those affected by the office closures.

SEGA REVIEWS THEIR EUROPEAN STRUCTURE

Distribution partners in place across Europe

LONDON – 28th June 2012 – SEGA® Europe today confirmed that as a result of the recent restructure it will be shifting business to focus on developing new and existing digital content as well as driving key IP for packaged goods. SEGA has therefore realigned its business strategy and will be closing their offices in France, Germany, Spain, Australia and Benelux.

Koch Media have been appointed to assist SEGA with distribution across Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France and Spain of packaged goods, Level03 Distribution and 5 Star Games will assist with distribution across Benelux and Australia respectively which will be implemented from the 1st July 2012.

All other territories will continue to be run through the same channels as before, and along with Koch, Level03 and 5 Star, will be managed through the SEGA Europe Headquarters based in London.

“SEGA is entering a new and exciting phase that will position the company as a content led organisation maximising sales with strong and balanced IP such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Total War, Football Manager and the Aliens franchise”, commented Jurgen Post, COO of SEGA Europe. “The company will benefit from a clear focus and realigned strategy for our digital business and packaged goods and we are confident that this will lead to a successful future.”

SEGA will continue the sales, marketing and distribution of London 2012™ - The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games which will be launched on the 28th June in Australia and the 29th June across Europe for PC, the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system, and the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system.

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User Comments (49)

RevolverLink

#4

RevolverLink said:

I'm unsure whether the bad news coming out of Sega lately means I should jump on Rhythm Thief next month while it's still $30 (and just after binging on VVVVVV later this week, OoT 3D, Wario Land 3, and pre-ordering another rhythm game in Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy) in case it becomes hard to find quickly, or if it'll be in the bargain bin by September.

But not focusing entirely on myself as a consumer for a second, it's never good to hear that more people will be losing jobs. Hopefully those affected will be able to land on their feet soon.

TysonOfTime

#5

TysonOfTime said:

And people want Nintendo to drop out of consoles like SEGA. They want THIS?

Sad. I hope that SEGA doesn't go under...

fchinaski

#6

fchinaski said:

Very sad news. I grew up playing SEGA games on the Mega Drive and, even though the company's best years are clearly behind it, I find that SEGA always managed to deliver high-quality products, even after they got out the console business and with some mistakes along the way. Valkyria Chronicles is a great example of that. Come what may, i'll keep supporting SEGA as long as they keep delivering good games, retail or digital.

MAB

#8

MAB said:

Not very good news :( I defended Sega in the great console war of 1985 - 2000 we battled hard but ended up having to surrender our arms and fall in line with the enemy... I remember this like it was only yesterday and still wake-up in cold sweat due to hellish cries of hive mind collectives trying to tell me that Nintendo is better because of Mode7 and Playstation has a DVD player... My eyes still roll today :) just keep up the VC support old digger and I will be happy ;)

Lew3107

#9

Lew3107 said:

It's sad news but what could they expect? If the only games they spend time advertising are the usual Sonic's, Total War's, Football Manager's etc., who can they expect to buy lesser known titles if no one is in the know? Personally, I believe SEGA dug their own grave, because of the constant emphasis on making Sonic after Sonic and not recognizing their other great franchises like Jet Set Radio, Space Channel, Alex Kidd, even Shenmue. I think their attitude has driven people away, and if they don't change soon, it'll just get worse.

MorriganIsHot

#10

MorriganIsHot said:

@TysonQ7 It just fanboys BS and sadly their dreams come true. I see people want Sony to go out of business or just drop out of the gaming industry. This is indeed terrible news, I had always like Sega. They no longer make consoles and now this.

retro_player_22

#11

retro_player_22 said:

Sad Sega is doing even worst than they use to, perhaps now they'll regret the day they went away as a 1st party.

MeloMan

#12

MeloMan said:

Wow... I guess there won't be anything left of the company before long...

komicturtle

#13

komicturtle said:

It's for the best, I guess. Better to adapt and change things up to stay in the game. Always have faith in them, personally. Feel sorry for those who lost jobs..

RevolverLink

#14

RevolverLink said:

I wonder what this means for the Yakuza series going forward. I mean, it's clearly an established IP at this point and the games seem to perform fairly well in Japan at least, but I'd hardly call it a big brand in the West...

Fabian

#16

Fabian said:

No I <3 Sega. Please everybody go to Game Stores and buy as many Sega Games as you can carry.

kyuubikid213

#17

kyuubikid213 said:

It's alright guys...SEGA is just making it look bad. In actuality, they are making the Sega Millenia-a next generation console that will compete in the 8th generation of gaming alongside the Wii U, PS4, and 720.

cyrus_zuo

#19

cyrus_zuo said:

Sad...and really they are just responding to the market :(.

I loved Crush3D!
I'm really sad more people didn't play it.
It's absolutely the type of game I would like to see more of in the industry. Unique + familiar and very well done.
Looking forward to Rhythm Thief, though it looks like it too is getting a ho-hum response :(.

DarkKirby

#21

DarkKirby said:

I hope by "shifts focus on digital" they mean "release Phantasy Star Online 2 in the U.S.".

Onett

#22

Onett said:

@DarkKirby

As much as I would love for that to happen, I have my doubts. Sega has never been good at marketing their games or respecting the development process.

citizenerased

#25

citizenerased said:

The increased development costs that come with making retail games for newer generations certainly can't be helping.

But it's true, it's a new digital world out there. I'm sure most developers will have an easy time picking a new job in the mobile development (App Store) sector if they want to. That sector's growing like there's no tomorrow.

With Sega not really being my cup of tea most of the time (unique rhythm games like Rhythm Thief definitely is), I won't be too sad. Indie development seems to be stronger than ever.

@Mario_maniac Press release clearly states Australia

Cipher

#27

Cipher said:

I'm very sad to see this happen, but I live in hope they'll come out on the other side stronger than ever before, and it sounds like shifting from retail to digital with the exception of major titles is the way to do that.

I have one little wish, which comes from SEGA's appointment of three outside distributors - I'd like to see them sign more details with Nintendo of Europe in the future. If they had Nintendo handle distribution, sales and marketing of all their games for Nintendo platforms, it'd be a great help to them, I think.

Yanchamaru

#28

Yanchamaru said:

Sega died after merging with Sammy in 2004. Almost all the key designers have left the company and games are rarely made anymore by their first party studios. The Sega I knew in the 80s and 90s is completely gone.

Millenia

#30

Millenia said:

What has happened to SEGA is just so sad. I feel like ever since the Dreamcast went down under, so did the rest of the company. It just seems like a lot of their games lost the magic that they used to have, especially a lot of the recent Sonic games! Sonic didn't deserve to have his reputation ruined by their games. But I think SEGA is on the right track recently, especially looking at Generations. We're all rooting for you SEGA!

Chunky_Droid

#33

Chunky_Droid said:

I love how they're 'entering a new and exciting phase'

I think they tried too hard publishing a whole bunch of games that didn't do too well sales wise (think MadWorld and the Conduit), so they're shifting their focus.

I don't think this is the end of SEGA, though I'm sad they're no longer a part of Australia (I never did get to go to SEGA World when it was open :( )

Knuckles

#34

Knuckles said:

By best wishes to the former Sega of Europe employees, and @James, as we know he takes any bad SEGA news hard :P

Supereor

#35

Supereor said:

Why, SEGA, why? Sticking to what you know leads to very short success? Say that to the developers of the Final Fantasy series...

TheAdza

#36

TheAdza said:

"Sticking to what you know leads to very short success" you say?
going to focus on Sonic, Total War and Football Manager? Doesn't anyone else see the hypocrasy here?

Why would Sega want to focus on those franchises when it has the likes of NiGHTS, Skies of Arcadia, Phantasy Star, JSR, Shenmue, Shining Force etc to fall back on?
So many epic franchises, yet when they do go digging in the back catalogue we end up with a boring Shinobi game. Come on Sega. If you are going to go digital, bring back some Alex Kidd and Wonderboy titles or some Streets of Rage!

WiiLovePeace

#37

WiiLovePeace said:

Oh man thats just too bad :( SEGA go from a console manufacturer to a 3rd party developer / publisher, now to just a 3rd party developer of only 4 franchises... On the bright side they're gonna be making more Sonic games :) Good luck to all who lost their jobs :(

Capt_N

#38

Capt_N said:

I feel sorry for the ppl who lost their jobs. :( I also hope that this isn't the start, or another piece of a series of events that are/could be contributing to Sega's end.

Edit: I now need to finally play that demo of Crushed3D I have had d/led on my 3DS, since the week it came out, w/ the Mudds demo.

Chris720

#39

Chris720 said:

Oh dear... good bye Sega? Looks like it's going from bad to worse for Sega at this rate... maybe they can gleam back a bit of money from their digital sales and they'll go back to retail in a few years. If not, then I guess this is the road to the fail of Sega.

James

#40

James said:

@TheAdza Because none of those franchises sell, I'm afraid. Total War and Football Manager are solid sellers and I honestly believe the only money in those old Saturn/DC franchises is from digital rereleases, not new entries.

Which is my way of asking SEGA "I can download Skies of Arcadia Legends on Wii U, yes?"

misswliu81

#41

misswliu81 said:

if sega had released more quality software on the Wii, DS they wouldn't be in the position they are in right now.

it's tragic because i love sega- more than capcom, konami, square enix, activision, ubisoft to name. their franchises, whilst many aren't in the same league as mario, zelda, metroid to name are still inventive, original and interesting. they're not like activision, ubisoft where they have only 2, 3 core franchises. they have many more like streets of rage, bayonetta, virtua fighter, sonic, jet grind radio.

it's been a long time since we got a quality sega game on a nintendo console. hopefully this will change once aliens and sonic & all-stars racing comes out for the wii U. but with regards to support for the Wii U and 3DS, they really need to step it up- and don't just put out good games for the 360 and PS3.

misswliu81

#46

misswliu81 said:

@Nick-Clegg, @Cyrso if nintendo buys SEGA and makes them a subsidiary company alongside retro, intelligent systems, HAL Labs, project sora, Nintendo EAD, my goodness nintendo will have plenty more I.Ps, even if they are not their own ones that they created.

MikeDanger

#48

MikeDanger said:

This is sad news, I love you SEGA but your movie licenced games sucked. I'll hope for your comeback guys.

Henmii

#49

Henmii said:

Shifts to digital, huh? Well, bring Sonic 4 episode 2 to the Wii u e-shop then!!

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