Ah, it’s Friday. Let’s check the news. Wonder if we’ll see a Sonic 4 trailer today… wait. What the fuck is this?! Pardon my language, but some breaking news!
SEGA Sammy announced today that it will carry out “structural reform” of consumer business. SEGA Sammy also said it will “streamline” video game operations in the west to “create a smaller company positioned for sustained profitability”. Part of this streamlining will include cutting the number of SEGA games produced and canceling some titles already in development.
The statement read as follows:
The Sega consumer business is expected to post operating loss due to the challenging economic climate and significant changes in the home video game software market environment in the US and Europe.
It is essential to streamline [our] organisation in the field of home video game software, while shifting to a structure that corresponds to a change in environment, including strengthening development in the field of digital content.
We decided to narrow down sales titles to strong IPs such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Football Manager, Total War and Aliens which are expected to continue posting solid earnings. In accordance with this, we are cancelling the development of some game software titles.
SEGA will still post profits of £152m for the 12 months ending March 2012. However, it will see a one-off “extraordinary loss” of £54m. This money will be spent on cutting back and restructuring. No word on what games are being cancelled or just who will be laid-off. Is this the end of crazy unique SEGA games? Or are the more risky games being relegated to digital services, and only the big IPs will get disc releases? Freak out in the comments section.
Update: According to IGN, with information said to come from sources within SEGA, all non-franchise titles will be dropped:
Earlier today, four franchises were overtly announced as being safe: Sonic, Football Manager, Total War, and Aliens. Our sources have revealed that any currently announced game that isn’t included on that list will not be published by SEGA, leaving a decent amount of the publisher’s upcoming publishing roster in jeopardy.
What does this mean for upcoming games like Rhythm Thief? At this point, it’s anybody’s guess. The source goes onto report that North America’s QA team has been axed entirely, with staff cuts also being made in the following departments: marketing, social, design, and development.