Back in March, SEGA Amusements’ Roger Penninton left the company after 31 years of service. Considering how SEGA’s Japanese management device was hit hard during Covid-19 which ended up selling 85% of the company back in November of 2020. I had a gut feeling big changes were also coming to SEGA Amusement International and I was right.
While most people write off SEGA Amusement International (prior where known as SEGA Amusement Europe) as just a company that distributes SEGA’s Japanese arcade games to the West; they actually have development teams that are creating original titles. One of the recent titles included Daytona USA 3 (or is that Daytona Championship USA?). All the way back in 2016, the company even wanted to try their hands at making OutRun 3!
So who bought SEGA Amusements International and what does this mean for the future? Oddly enough, the management team working within SEGA Amusement International including industry veteran Paul Williams. For what I read, nothing much will change as the company will still be ‘SEGA Amusements International’, still distribute SEGA’s arcade titles outside of Japan and still work on their own original titles.
“I am extremely pleased to have concluded this deal which secures the future of my team of employees who have supported me over the years. We will continue to work closely with our friends and colleagues at SEGA Japan to develop amusement games for the western market, alongside game development with our in-house R&D team headed by Patrick Michael. These products in conjunction with the games from our 3rd party suppliers will ensure that we remain at the very pinnacle of game development, manufacture, and distribution to the amusement sector. We have a pipeline of product in development and to be shortly released that will deliver a series of blockbuster games. Certainly, exciting times ahead.” – Paul Williams, Chief Executive Officer at Sega Amusements International Ltd
While they didn’t outright say it, it seems SEGA Japan is trying to distance itself from the Amusement market, yet still keep its brand name alive within the space. While in Japan the management business was sold to GENDA, they agreed to keep the SEGA branding for arcade centers.
Here on the other hand, instead of being sold to a bigger company in the space, it was bought from within and will give SEGA Amusements International more freedom, considering that SEGA as a whole has been slowly selling its Amusement market.
“Paul and his team have done a tremendous job building up a local R&D resource in the western world that can now fully develop games suitable to the market at the right price. This, along with the excellent business relationships that have been developed with 3rd party supplier and customers, has led to year on year growth. It is only right and fitting that Paul now leads his team into the future as a separate company, focusing on the western market. Sega Japan will still work very closely with SAI for future developments, and distribution of Sega Japan developed amusement games into the western market and look forward to watching SAI grow.” – Kameda Naoki, Chief Operating Officer for SEGA CORPORATION
It seems that SEGA Amusements International is prepping to continue its business now that the lockdown has been eased world wide.