Word on the street is that Sega is “reviewing its European structure” – which roughly translates as “closing its offices in France, Germany, Spain, Benelux and Australia”. That is, shutting down territory-specific publishing offices in order to better drive key IP for packaged goods while focussing on “new and existing digital content”.
The news follows an “extraordinary loss” earlier this year, totalling more than 7 billion yen. Jurgen Post, COO of Sega Europe, puts a positive spin on events:
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.
That “successful future” will involve third-party distributors brought in to help out in a number of regions starting July 1st, including new company 5 Star Games in Australia.
It’s the first we’ve heard of the company, but not its founder: Darren MacBeth is the former Managing Director of Sega Australia, with additional experience at Ubisoft Australia to back it up. He’s created the new company to specifically handle the distribution of Sega titles in Australia and New Zealand – so, effectively, it’ll be business as usual in many ways.
One thing that has also been confirmed: Local Sega-branded developers will not be affected by the reshuffle, meaning work at Stormrise and London 2012 developer Sega Studios Australia continues as normal.