SEGA-Sammy is trying to buy Atlus’ parent company

If you guys didn’t know, Atlus’ parent company, Index Corporation is in a finical mess. The company is in over $2.4 billion yen in debt and is also being investigated for fraud. The company recently talked about selling assets, but now it seems that they might just be bought out whole.

Bloomberg reports that 20 companies are in the race to buy Index, one of those companies is SEGA-Sammy Holdings who is leading the pack. It seems that bids have exceeded the $150 million everyone thought Index was worth, the current bid is at $200 million! It is said that bidding will be narrowed down by next week and if all goes well we will find out what company gets Index and their assets.

But lets say that SEGA does buy Atlus, would that be a great thing for gamers? I mean, I love SEGA and I love Atlus games, but Atlus always brought obscure games over from Japan for Wesetern audiences. Without them we wouldn’t have Demon Souls or even the recent Dragon Crown, while SEGA seems more hesitant to bring over titles (Yakuza 5, Valkyria Chronicles 3 and more). What are your thoughts?

SEGA-Sammy’s net income up 400% from last year

Its crazy knowing that filtering your content can do so much good for your company, especially SEGA’s recent financial results for the first quarter of its 2014 fiscal year. SEGA-Sammy’s operating income for the quarter ended on June 30th and totaled 16.1 billion yen ($163.85 million), 197.7 percent higher than the same time last year. Net income came in at a (for SEGA-Sammy) staggering 12.9 billion yen ($131.6 million), which is a 408.8 percent increase year-over-year.

SEGA-Sammy totally improved their consumer business segment, which includes those video games you loved published by SEGA and its Japanese pachislot/pachinko machine division. Panchislot/pachinko branch of the company saw a increase of revenue of 138.5%, totaling 18.7 billion yen ($190.2 million).

According to SEGA-Sammy’s press release, their latest RTS game (which they got by buying the team/their franchises from THQ for 26 million) Company of Heroes 2 sold a staggering 380,000 copies. I know most of you will see this and say it isn’t over a million units so it is a failure, but you have to know that this report is from June 30th, the game launched on June 25th. The only other major SEGA retail title outside of Company of Heroes 2, was the Playstation Portable Japan only title 7th Dragon 2020-2. SEGA’s publishing side saw a year-over-year decrease of 9.7 percent, selling 1.21 million units.

SEGA also reported favorable performance of their digital games on Windows PC, Playstation Vita and mobile devices. SEGA-Sammy state that Phantasy Star Online 2 (Japan only for now) helped bring the operating income of the consumer division up to 39 million yen (approximately $396,000).

It should be a good year for SEGA with Total War: Rome II, Football Manager 2014 and Sonic Lost Worlds around the corner.

Marza Animation Planet’s next movie is called ‘Robodog’

If you didn’t know, SEGA-Sammy own a CGI animated studio called Marza Animation Planet, who is co-producing the Captain Harlock movie.

The studio has now announced its new film which has begun pre-production and will be their first original film. They got Henry F. Anderson III (Gnomeo & Juliet) directing, Paul Wang (Astro Boy, TMNT) producing and Jeannette Manifold (Happy Feet, All Dogs Go to Heaven) as head of production. Its based on a script by Robert Reese.

Marza Animation Planet trademarks “Luna’s Arc”

Marza Animation Planet, a SEGA-Sammy owned CGI animation studio has trademarked the title ‘Luna’s Arc’.

This could be the title to their next film, which they chose the script from their online competition: Story Circus.  They have done the competition two years in a row and have picked up two full scripts to do an animated film on. Who knows, maybe next year us SEGAbit people will submit some scripts.

As for what this could be, who knows. Luna is Italian/Spanish for moon, which could me a space sort of film. What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments.

Breaking down and explaining the SEGA Sammy Q3 2013 results

Numbers nerds rejoice, SEGA has released their 3rd quarter earnings for 2013! Of course, to the average SEGA fan, it’s a lot to take in and a bit difficult to work out the positives and negatives. Thankfully, the SEGAbits community has members who know their stuff. So a big thanks to Aki-at for sharing the news and making sense of the many PDFs. Overall net profits currently stand at ¥3 billion (£20,433,810/$32,003,400), this is from an original ¥7 billion which dropped to ¥3 billion due to costs. SEGA arcade sales operating profits were ¥2,6 billion (£17,742,998/$27,993,160) while the consumer division profited ¥519 million (£3,541,775.37/$5,587,865.40) and arcade centers profited ¥984 million (£6,715,042.32/$10,594,334.40).

Sammy, meanwhile, recorded ¥7.7 billion operating profits (£52,512,691/$82,168,240), a decrease from last year’s ¥71 billion (£483,600,170/$757,413,800). It is important to note, however, that the arcade division had no new major titles being sold and that some pachislot machines were delayed. A Fist of the Northstar pachislot machine was forecasted to sell over 200,000 units. As such, numbers were adjusted to account for this changing the net income projection down from  ¥40 billion to ¥12 billion.

SEGA Q2: Things are looking up thanks to new streamlining strategy

SEGA assured that the changes they made would help the company and it doesn’t seem they are lying. SEGA has reported increased profits for the first quarter of the current fiscal year. Sadly the consumer business is still reporting losses, however SEGA has really reduced the losses year-over-year. Sadly the losses are contributed to the lack of demand for home video games in the U.S. and Europe.

SEGA only shifted 1.34 million units this quarter, which is down 42.5 perfect compared to 2.33 million year-over-year. SEGA has also stated that their free-to-play game Kingdom Conquest has been downloaded over 3 million times. No idea how many people opted for buying upgrades and other pay-to-use items.

SEGA closes European and Australian offices

Another sad day in SEGA land folks, SEGA has announced today that they will be closing their European and Australian offices. Koch Media will be the distribution partner for the European territories, except for Benelux, which will be handled by Level03 Distribution. Australia territory will be handled by 5 Star. SEGA UK will remain open as the European HQ. So it isn’t all that bad.

“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. 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.” – COO of Sega Europe Jurgen Post

This goes with the rumor they sort of predicted during E3, only that the rumor wasn’t 100% right. Actually still think the guy just guessed and happen to hit some of the mark. What do you guys think? Is this ‘new and exciting phase’ for SEGA or is this bad?

SEGA Sammy Holding’s post half year results

SEGA Sammy posted their half year results for the period ending September 30th 2011. A difficult period saw that the publisher declined in both revenue and profit, numerous reasons from the natural disaster that struck Japan earlier this year that still holds ramification for the publisher today, to the weak global economy that is affecting consumer sales. In these tough times, read on to find out how the group managed.

SEGA-Sammy changes half-year forecast due to poor game sales

SEGA-Sammy has changed their financial forecast, stating that they will make less revenue, yet make more profits.

SEGA-Sammy has changed their forecast  due to recent software titles not selling as well as expected. But they reduced the cost of operation from their pachinko machine business, thus they will return profit instead of losses.

SEGA-Sammy orginally posted that they expected to make $2.15 billion in revenue, now they changed it to $1.96 billion. Revenue isn’t Profit. SEGA orginally forecasted that they will lose $39.11 million, now changed it to a profit of $26.08 million.

[Thanks: TheREALTupac]
[Source: Gamasutra]

SEGA-Sammy report net income loss of over $28 million

The first quarter of the year hasn’t been to kind to Japan and its video game industry. What with the tsunami and earthquakes that ravaged the lands. Its not that surprising seeing SEGA-Sammy post about losing revenue.

“During the first quarter of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012, some uncertainty prevailed in the Japanese economy due to various impacts in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake that took place on March 11, 2011, including the concern for the availability of parts and materials and the struggle to cope with the shortage of electricity supply which is now likely to be prolonged”

This means that operating their Japanese studios, pachinko slots and arcade buildings cost more than previously, thus where some loses come in. But what about SEGA, the consumer division?

SEGA and BBC Earth team up to fuse technology and nature

That’s right, SEGA has announced a partnership with BBC Earth to create a unique user experience. Yes, the press release actually calls it an “experience,” and quite a number of times at that. The “experience” will be coming to both the USA and Japan in the next couple of years.

“I am very happy that we have been able to join together with BBC Worldwide who possess one of the world’s finest libraries of Natural History footage. I am confident that by fusing this fabulous content with our entertainment know-how, we can deliver a new and thoroughly unique experience of the natural world. Through the universal theme of nature, SEGA will create a new live entertainment experience that will be enjoyed by all nationalities, ages and genders” said Okitane Usui, SEGA Corporation’s COO.

Where exactly can you experience this collaboration? No locations or solid dates have been set yet, but SEGA says they will be announced in the upcoming months. I personally can’t wait, since I love BBC’s Planet Earth series.

[Source: SEGA Sammy]

Arc System Works now owns the Guilty Gear franchise

Back before the SEGA and Sammy merger, Sammy published a pretty good fighting game known as Guilty Gear. The games where developed by Arc System Works. When the merger happened, the rights to the series were owned by SEGA Sammy. Sadly SEGA Sammy had no plans to continue the franchise.

Arc System Works started a new 2D fighter for this generation called Blazblue. Hardcore fighting fans never forgot their original franchise and asked if it would ever come back. Daisuke Ishiwatari, creator of Guilty Gear, said there would be a new game eventually.

Now Arc System Works filed a trademark for “Guilty Gear”, which was published in the Japanese database today. This either means that the developer bought the rights to the franchise from SEGA-Sammy or SEGA-Sammy gave them the franchise. Most likely bought.

Arc System Works has confirmed that they do own the Guilty Gear franchise now, so this isn’t some sly deal.

[Source: Siliconera]

Sega – The Earthquake Affects News Round Up

We’ve all seen the devastation in Japan caused by the earthquake, tsunami and the ongoing nuclear worries. Many companies have felt the effects, not least Sega, who have donated a considerable amout of money to the recovery efforts. In this article I will cover all of the Sega related infomation we have linked to the earthquake.

Sega have been extremely generous when it comes to donations from both sides of the pond.

-Sega Japan is donating 200 million yen to support recovery efforts. That is approximately £1,542,827 GBP or $2,481,722 USD.

-Sega Europe and Sports Interactive have donated all of their revenue from the Football Manager app starting from last Friday for the next 7 days to the disaster relief funds in Japan.

-Sega America will donate all proceeds from Sonic iOS titles to the Red Cross disaster relief funds in Japan.

As an added incentive Sega have even lowered the price of the Sonic iOS games for this week, there is simply no excuse not to go get them right now!

Find out more after the jump:

Marza Animation Planet working with Hollywood writer for next feature

Marza Animation Planet is the CGI animation studio owned by SEGA-Sammy. They are the team that did the awesome ‘Night of the Werehog‘ short and is now working on the Space Pirate Captain Harlock film.

If that wasn’t enough, it seems that the team is cooking up another project, this time with Marie Rose as a writer. She has worked on such films as Poseidon, LA Confidential and The Proposal. We shall see what comes out of this, should be interesting.

[Thanks: Liam via e-mail]
[Source: Mule Films page]