Once a giant of the video game industry, Sega has seen its profits and market share fall in recent years and has now announced it will be cutting 300 staff. The move will also see the company focus on mobile and online PC games, and retreat from packaged retail games on consoles.
“Voluntary retirement will be solicited in the aforementioned businesses to be withdrawn or consolidated and downsized, while at the same time personnel will be repositioned in Digital Games and growth areas of Group mainly as development personnel, in order to establish a structure which can constantly generate profits. The purpose of these measures is to improve the business efficiency of the Group,” said Sega in a statement.
The company will also be closing it’s San Francisco office and moving it to Southern California as part of the restructure.
The recentSonic games have been met with low review scores but Alien Isolation was a hit with reviewers, has sold over 1 million copies and is currently number 27 in the UK charts, four months after it was released.
It has been a slow, sad decline for the company which ruled the late eighties with the Megadrive. I often go past their now empty London offices, the large blue Sega sign on the roof is slowly falling apart. What happens to the big console franchise such as Yakuza is unclear, perhaps they will live on as smartphone games.
As for Sonic, in 2013 Sega announced a worldwide partnership with Nintendo for three Sonic games which have since been published. If there is going to be any more “proper” Sonic titles the chances are they will end up on Nintendo console.