Sega yesterday confirmed that they are moving from San Francisco to “Southern California” where a lot of other game developers and publishers are currently located. With it Sega is cutting loose 300 plus jobs, offering voluntary retirement to most of them, and offering a transfer option for everyone left. The layoffs are supposedly not affecting development teams The Creative Assembly or Sports Interactive and are mostly targeted at publishing.
This comes as Sega reported it will make only $34 million for the latest reports, compared to over $200 million from a previous year.
Coming along with the move and restructure is a “new focus on PC and mobile games.” This means there will be less console games, if any, coming from Sega. Sega was already cutting back it’s console releases, but recent releases included Alien: Isolation, Sonic Boom, and Rome 2 Total War. There are rumors that Sega plans to go full digital, so maybe consoles will still be included?
Either way this is sad news for the industry giant. They were once a competing console maker, then a semi-strong game publisher, and things have been sliding downhill ever since. Poor games have had poor sales, and Sega has done absolutely nothing to fix it.
I personally think Sonic could very well be one of the coolest games made, but Sega seems to be stuck in old fashioned times and restrains it from being anything special. Of course people lose interest in what is easily their biggest license, and we end up with terrible sales like Sonic Boom.
Yet, there was hope and there is still a very small glimmer. While a previous Alien game was terrible and almost tarnished the name, Isolation was met with rather good reviews and sold well to show for it. Sega seemed to finally understand how to make a good game again, then this announcement comes.
Why ditch that growth just to make money hungry mobile titles? While PC may still allow them to make decent games, making money is more of a console thing. So it seems Sega has all but given up at this point. They may very well end up being a lot like Atari and be nearly non existant, or simply become a sticker on those claw machines that rip you off 99 times out of 100 tries…. Or worse, a Bejewled re-skin company asking you to pay for “more energy.”
Any time a company has to let employees go is never fun, but when it is one of the last remaining industry icons, it sucks that much more. I just wish they got the hang of changing times faster.