SEGA Sammy has released their earnings report for 2013, yielding a net profit of ¥44.3 billion, or $434 million, and a 564% increase year over year. The company attributed it to strong Pachinko performance and the sales of investment securities and non-current assets.
On the home electronics side, SEGA’s top three performing titles were Football Manager 14 at 680,000 units, Sonic Lost World for a combined 640,000 units, and the Japan-Only SAKATSUKU Pro Succer Club wo Tsukurou! for 200,000. Despite this, the nine-month period ending on Dec. 31, 2013 in which SEGA tracked numbers returned only 6.5 million total units of games moved, a decrease it attributes to “the harsh market environment.”
It’s not all doom and gloom because the company also found what they call “continued favorable” success on the digital side with Phantasy Star Online 2 and mobile phone titles Puyopuyo!! Quest and CHAIN CHRONICLE as the top runners there. The whole division saw a 19.7% increase year-to-year in net sales to a total of ¥72,934 million.
Keep in mind, back in November, SEGA purchased Atlus-parent company Index for a seemingly paltry ¥14 billion.
The release of the financial data comes hours after SEGA unveiled its plans for a massive spin-off of Sonic The Hedgehog with Sonic Boom.
Hi SEGAbits readers! Some of you may have heard about Segalization, our new fan campaign that focuses on promoting the localization of Japanese Sega games. The project has already gone live a while ago, and today we’d like to formally announce a new partnership with our friends at SEGAbits. Other than having both websites link to each other, this partnership means you may find Segalization staffers occasionally contributing articles to SEGABits, which may or may not involve titles or news related to Segalization’s mission. In this first article, we’d like to talk a bit about the origins and goals of our campaign/website.
Satoshi Sakai recently wished all Phantasy Star Online 2 fans a ‘Happy New Year’ and briefly talked about what is in store for the future of Phantasy Star Online 2. He promised finishing off Episode 2′ final storyline (yes, it has a story!) and other lose ends. But you know what is also launching? Phantasy Star Online 2 es! What is that? Oh, its that mobile version they announced along with the PC/Vita versions of the game. Yes, that is finally coming out this year.
They will also have new events including Arcs Coalition Festivals that starts this month and around March they will introduce a new update that will allow people to team up with Mamoru Nagano (a mangaka that worked on Heavy Metal L-Gaim, Five Star Stories and Gothicmade). 2014 will also mark the 2nd year anniversary of Phantasy Star Online 2, which they promise will have a big celebration. Yes, the game is already reaching its 2nd year of release in Japan and here we sit waiting for SEGA West the English version…
But don’t worry, we already know that the game will be launching in full English later this year… in Southeast Asia! Since many Westerners already play the Japanese version with a patch, I assume many will just download the English Southeast Asian version and play that. I’ll catch you guys on those servers later this year!
A recent job posting for Server Engineer found by Nirolak on NeoGAF reveals that Relic Entertainment, a studio acquired by SEGA at the start of this year, is working on an existing Japanese MMO. According to the job posting the employee would need to establish working relationships with the Japanese developers, work for extended periods of time in Tokyo and be fluent in both English and Japanese among other requirements.
Right now the only ongoing MMO SEGA of Japan is running is Phantasy Star Online 2, so that’s most likely the game the job listing is referring to. While it doesn’t specify that the developer is localizing the MMO, it seems weird that SEGA of Japan would have a Canadian studio assist in development instead of one that’s closer to home. What do you think? The entire job posting can be found below the break.
It seems that SEGA-Sammy is on track. In recent earnings they continued to generate profit as a whole thanks to their amusement and pachinko slot machines, usually their consumer business loses money. Not this time, SEGA’s consumer business reported a income of 1.12 billion yen (about $11.35 million). What lead to SEGA’s sudden turn in profits?
- During the three month period, their biggest title was Total War: Rome II, which moved 800,000 units. Considering the fact that this report ends on September 30th, that would mean the game was on sale for less than a month!
- According to the report their digital titles for Windows PC, mobile phones and smartphones ‘remained favorable’. Phantasy Star Online 2 saw 3 million registered accounts during August and 800,000 people downloaded the mobile game ‘Chain Chronicle‘ .
SEGA-Sammy as a company saw their operating income jump up 57.1 %, ranking in 12.4 billion yen. If you are one of the people that invested in SEGA-Sammy stock, congratulations!
Above is a video showing off the October update for Phantasy Star Online 2: Episode 2. The start of the video shows off the new Super Hard mode.
You also get to see new skill levels since they bumped leveling up to 65. This means that if you max out your skills you get two additional skills to play with. Along with all this they have new rare enemies and new rare interrupt events. Interrupt events is basically an event that happens randomly and the player can choose to attack, defend and other objective to finish the quest.
This game looks so great, its a shame that its not out here in the West. SEGA needs to get up off their ass and confirm if its coming out, if not we can just play the damn Japanese version with the English patch.
Some of you guys may have caught the rumor from TSSZ News that Phantasy Star Online 2 was unlikely to come west, citing an unnamed source. Curious, we at SEGAbits decided to try and get an answer straight from the source, so we e-mailed Kellie Parker over at SEGA and this was what she had to say:
Originally slated for an early 2013 launch, SEGA can officially confirm that PS02 has been delayed. We don’t have any specifics but will update everyone as soon as there are more details to share.
There’s nothing vague about this statement: PSO2 is still coming, but a date has not been decided. This is more or less just reiterating what SEGA already said months ago. For those who’ve been worried by reports from SEGA-Addicts and TSSZ indicating otherwise, this should put their minds at ease.
This wouldn’t be the first time SEGA went hush-hush on a delayed project. Both Rhythm Thief and Anarchy Reigns received the silent treatment in 2012 shortly after SEGA’s restructuring, leading many to believe the localization of both projects had been canceled, despite confirmation from employees within SEGA that both games were still coming. SEGA has also demonstrated that they have no issue simply telling fans a game isn’t coming, as they demonstrated earlier today when they confirmed NOVA wasn’t coming west.
Recently MCV had an interview with SEGA Europe’s COO Jurgen Post where they talked to him about SEGA’s future and their restructuring. If you guys noticed in their last financial statement, the company is doing well now. According to Jurgen Post, SEGA is very prepared for next generation because they have so much invested on the PC market:
“ The next-gen console market is exciting and we are following it closely. We have a lot of PC studios, and in that sense you might say we are very prepared. If, as many say, these next-gen machines really are more like PCs than ever then we have a lot to take advantage of in terms of technology. The PC base certainly makes it feel much easier for us.” – Jurgen Post, COO of SEGA Europe
He even talked about porting some RTS titles in the future, stating that even exclusives like Diablo III are jumping ship. I guess we will see. Even though right now the only ‘next generation’ console they are supporting is the Wii U, which has Post a bit concerned.
If you remember when SEGA announced Phantasy Star Online 2, they announced it for both PC and Vita, as well as smart phones. But the smart phone version never really came out. Don’t worry, it seems that SEGA hasn’t forgotten, at least on Android.
We posted last month that SEGA announced the first expansion pack to Phantasy Star Online 2, titled Code Episode 2. Satoshi Sakai stated that they will show footage during their live Nico Nico broadcast on April 9th (which happens to be my birthday, thank you Sakai!).
He also talked about a new update that is hitting the Playstation Vita later this month. This update will allow players to customize the controls in the game and chat adjustments.
So what about us Phantasy Star fans in the west? Well, SEGA’s last update was that it was delayed and didn’t give a release date…