News Article

Job Cuts Hit Sega's London Office

Posted by Jake Shapiro

Part of a restructuring of the Sonic and mobile departments

Sega Europe has confirmed to Polygon today that it's laid off an unspecified number of employees at its London office, as the company's Sonic and mobile departments are consolidated into Sega of America:

Sega is in the process of consolidating certain functions of the Sonic and Mobile departments within Sega of America, where the management and production for those areas of the business reside. As part of that strategy a limited number of redundancies have taken effect in our European office, based in London.

This is the latest in a list of recent Sega redundancies. Offices throughout Europe and Australia were closed in 2012 as part of a refocusing on Sega's core franchises, and last year employees at Sega of America were laid off as a response to the "ever-changing environment" of the games industry.

We wish the best to those affected by these job cuts.


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User Comments (31)



PrincessEevee9 said:

Somehow I'm more worried about the recently acquired Altus more the I am about Sega. I wish them all luck in the future though.



MAN1AC said:

Unexpected since they just spent $20mil on Atlus not too long ago.



Kaze_Memaryu said:

Eggman voice: "You're FIRED!!!"

Somehow I'm not surprised. For the ambitions they have, they lack the ideas to keep up.
I can almost smell some Kickstarter projects from a group of ex-SEGA's...



Hy8ogen said:

@MAN1AC Which they shouldn't have. Nintendo is in a much better shape to acquire Atlus. But hey, what do I know.



Dark-Link73 said:

This truly sucks, but only from the standpoint of people losing their jobs, but also because of the bad image these layoffs might give SEGA since they are occurring not too long after the acquisition of ATLUS.

It seems that perhaps SEGA wasn't in a real position to but ATLUS. The best of luck to them and the people laid off.



ecco6t9 said:

"And Nintendo should follow Sega into becoming a 3rd party developer and a strong mobile supporter."



unrandomsam said:

@Hy8ogen It is a drop in the Ocean for either of them. Sega Sammy just made $500,000,000 profit in a single quarter. They are pretty diverse now Gambling / Arcade games / Football Manager / Relic / Atlus / Sonic. They are going to stay profitable. They could release another console for the next gen if they wanted but they won't or do much with the more interesting franchises.



unrandomsam said:

@ecco6t9 No they should partner for the next console putting on it traditional console games and Arcade ports. (MS and Sony are all about PC games that don't run properly with as many cut scenes as possible). Sega's mobile stuff is great though. (Nicer screen than the 3DS supports real controls).



somari said:

bad (Not bad as in awful but not the best) hardware sales in japan for Nintendo and Sony and very bad for Microsoft and now we have sega doing pay cuts. Sega will be fine due to them abe to buy atlus but sega should be doing better than that.



unrandomsam said:

@somari They are doing fine. (Sega that is. Nintendo laid off nearly all of Retro at one point when they were making 4 great sounding games to have them focus on old Nintendo ideas).



ThreadShadow said:

Okay SEGA, how about less Sonic and mobile, and more Shenmue, Skies of Arcadia, and Valkyria Chronicles.



Caryslan said:

@ThreadShadow So Sega could then lose even more money? Shenmue was a money sink for Sega back on the Dreamcast, and both games in the series sold poorly. I agree that Sega should focus on more than just Sonic, but why do people think Shenmue is this huge series that will magically sell millions? The first one barely made it to a million on the Dreamcast and was a money sink. The second one bombed on the Xbox.

Why would a third game do any better? Shenmue is not worth it at this point. Sega would be better served focusing their efforts on other games.



FilmerNgameR said:

Hopefully Sonic Team are working on Sonic Adventure 3 for next year and actually use Generations game play with fast characters and an open world. Seriously that would be awesome!



antonvaltaz said:

Somewhat tangential bit of pointless trivia:

I recently discovered that Sega Europe was actually the successor company of Mastertronic, pioneers of the cheapie £1.99 budget games for 8-bit computers in the UK in the early 1980s.

True story.



fluggy said:

Can't remember Sega's last stellar title. Everyone of sonics last few games have been below average at best. Don't know what happened to their quality control but they don't really come across as particularly talented/conciencous devs and are only too happy to charge kids full price for the inferior experiences they create!



AtlanteanMan said:

The decline of Sega is the greatest travesty in the history of the videogame industry, and so much of the responsibility lies at the feet of its leadership.

Apparently the rumblings of the disaster to come were felt during the Saturn era; the Saturn was a vastly under-appreciated console (just ask anyone who loves RPGs and Strategy in particular) but the higher-ups had at least two major disagreements with third parties and in-house development teams which did catastrophic long-term damage. The core members of Team Camelot (the makers of the awesome Shining Force series) left after a dispute, and localization developer Working Designs (who translated so many of Sega's and GameArts' greatest RPGs when Sega themselves wouldn't bother with doing so) eventually gave up after being treated like dirt (at one E3 they and their Saturn demo booth for LUNAR were relegated to an out-of-the-way space at the back of the show floor) and jumped ship over to the PlayStation. Those great PlayStation remakes of LUNAR and LUNAR 2 and ThunderForce V (a great Technosoft schmup series always associated with Sega consoles) all started on the Saturn...and Sony got the benefit of them here in the States. Even some of Saturn's greatest memories made or published by Sega in Japan, Dragon Force, Magic Knight RayEarth, and Iron Storm (the last of which was made by SystemSoft Alpha and published locally by Sega), had to be localized by Working Designs to get here.

That's only the tip of the iceberg. Sega only released 3,000 copies of the ambitious Panzer Dragoon Saga for the entire US market. They released Scenario 1 of the three-part Shining Force III, arguably the most epic SRPG ever made at 190 hours total...and then left the Western fans clamoring for the rest of the story empty-handed (thankfully the fan community at Shining Force Central undertook the mammoth task of translating the other two Scenarios upon themselves, and the project is finally nearing completion after more than 15 years).

We never saw another true story-based, offline Phantasy Star after the Genesis. Though an excellent remake of the legendary Dreamcast RPG Skies of Arcadia was released for GameCube, fan pleas for a sequel have never been answered. And the fantastic Valkyria Chronicles, an SRPG that oozes AAA quality from its cel-shaded visuals and incredible, emotion-inducing story to its innovative hybrid turn-based/real time Strategy third-person combat engine, was left virtually unmarketed outside of a few scattered ads and zero hype in the West; apparently Sega was too busy pushing the latest mediocre Sonic title at the time. Afterward Sega used Valkyria Chronicles' lackluster initial sales (although word-of-mouth had given VC a second like in the secondary market and a devoted fan base to boot) to relegate its two sequels to the, the PSP. And the latter one not only never came here; localization developers who asked Sega for permission to bring it were REFUSED. What!!? Is someone at Sega allergic to money...or common sense!?

When Sega first went third-party many of us (including myself) thought "At least now we'll be getting all those great Sega franchises on multiple platforms". Not so much, obviously; Sega's only been interested in punching out their money-making mascot Sonic ever since, with erratic and often mediocre results (this example should serve as warning to anyone who's saying Nintendo should go third-party). Sonic Generations and Sonic 4 Parts 1 and 2 were good (Sonic was always best in 2D), but the fact remains Sega has left a MOUNTAIN of some of the greatest IPs ever made sitting dormant.

The most telling and ironic example of what Sega themselves see and yet somehow don't connect the dots as to how that translates into MONEY is a spin-off Sonic franchise: Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing and its sequel, Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed. Sega pulled out all the stops in both of these racers to create tracks based upon the worlds of its other classic properties, from AfterBurner and Shinobi, Golden Axe and Super Monkey Ball to Skies of Arcadia and Panzer Dragoon. Each of those tracks (presented in full HD) and their accompanying music instantly evoke nostalgia...something Sega was counting on. But they also evoke a passionate longing to see the actual franchises again, brought to a current-gen platform and a new generation of gamers who are often clueless as to just how great offline gaming could be back in the day. And therein lies the cruel, cruel tease...Sega using nostalgia for those worlds as a carrot to sell a Sonic-based title, but still refusing to acknowledge their sales potential or make new installments for us to enjoy.

All of this is why I'd love to see a Nintendo/Sega merger or partnership for a console (however unlikely that may be). If Sega really had to pull their weight to support a console again, they'd stop "playing it safe" and begin making that same wide variety of fantastic IPs that once gave them such a great that's become tarnished through the handling of Sega's leadership over the years.



GreatPlayer said:

@Kaze_Memaryu In response to recent Nintendo laying off over 300 employees:

Mario voice: "You are fired!!!"
Luigi voice: "You are certified (while staring at those employees)!!!"

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