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Rumour: Sega closing it's Euro branch, to focus on mobile and table games now


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I can't see this really happening. Maybe some regional offices will close or staff will reduce but just the other month it was mentioned how Sega Europe was profitable and Sega was focusing on its key franchises more such as FM. SOA apparently is unprofitable and there was talk of huge lay offs there.

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Binary Domain was fucking brilliant, right up there with Max Payne 3 for 3rd Person Shooter of the year.

I grew up worshipping Sega, Game Gear was my first console, then Master System, Mega Drive, Mega CD, Saturn...had to go to PSX for a few years until the Dreamcast came out, then went Xbox as it seemed like Segas 'logical home'.

But to be honest, Sega only have themselves to blame for this. Sitting on some of the industries most cherished IP for years and doing nothing with it, or when they finally do they made a right collasal fuck up of it, like 'Shinobi GBA' - most of Sonic's post 16 bit output. Where the fuck was 'Streets of Rage IV? If there's one series that everyone loved back in the day, it was that one. The whole Shenmue 3 debacle. The fact that for the last 10 years they have been pimping out poorly emulated Mega Drive compilations, so they know people love those games, and doing nothing about it. I would've killed for a proper new, Joe Mushashi Shinobi game, not that PS2 abortion (and that's a decade old now to boot!) They could've done a wonderful updated version of Ristar, Alex Kidd or any other of the numerous brilliant platformers they were known for. Phantasy Star online could've been enormous if they kept the momentum going from the first couple of releases.

The fact now they are releasing Revenge of Shinobi for the 100th time this week on XBLA tells you everything you need to know about this lot. The Sega of today is just a name branding, kinda like SNK was after 2001.

But both companies are capable of incredible games, they just have shit marketing teams and the titles are so few and far between there's no momentum built up with gamers. King of Fighters XIII and Binary Domain are a couple of brilliant titles that have sold chronically bad. Also, why isn't Yakuza on the 360 yet?

If Sega does go mobile only we can kiss Shenmue III goodbye for good, but I don't think I will miss them anywhere near as much as i'd hoped.

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I don't see it happening either. All these doomsday scenarios sure are depressing, however.

Kof was Atlus and Rising Star, by the way - though I think you're just saying that fantastic games aren't getting marketed. Or even the budget they deserve in some cases - imagine Binary Domain (game of the year so far for me, strong possibility it'll remain so) with Max Payne 3's budget and marketing behind it but with no pressure to use that budget to appeal to MP3's intended audience.

Would it draw new players in on the graphical quality and production standards of the title alone, or would it remain niche? Probably the latter, sadly.

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Sega haven't done anything special in last 5 years and it is sad to see games industry losing lot of talents development team over last 15 years.

Oh come on, just because you don't follow games don't come up with that rubbish. Just looking over the past five years and some things that stand out are Binary Domain, Vanquish, Bayonetta, Yakuza, House of the Dead Overkill, Alpha Protocol, Virtua Tennis 4, Madworld, Condemned 2, Valkyria Chronicles, Sonic & SEGA Allstars Racing. All pretty good, some of them pretty damn special.

They've also given us some great downloadable games like Daytona, Renegade Ops, Guardian Heroes, After Burner Climax, Outrun, SEGA Rally. Sure some of them are remakes but they're great remakes. I think I've played Daytona online more than any other racing game this generation.

I think the gaming landscape would be a much worse place without SEGA publishing some of those games. Particularly the Platinum stuff.

In conclusion, everyone go buy Binary Domain. Just do it. Everyone should do it. It's dirt cheap, has the best robot sidekick and no one gets mopey about their dead wife.

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Maybe Sony can take in the Yakuza team? The Yakuza series is a Sony exclusive anyway and they have a pretty big following in Japan at least. A new Yakuza title at or close to launch of the PS4 in Japan would bring in a decent amount of sales. But most importantly, I need my Yakuza fix - bad.

I'm not too worried about the Yakuza games. They're one of the most popu;lar games and biggest sellers in Japan, with radio/film adaptations, and are made by Segas Chief Creative Officer who's also on the board of directors.

Even if Sega Japan went tits-up (unlikely) there'll more than likely be more Yakuza titles.

Wether or not they'd ever see the light of day outside Japan's another matter, but half the fun of being a Yakuza player's waiting with baited breath to see if they're being translated. So far all but one have made it.

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I would've killed for a proper new, Joe Mushashi Shinobi game, not that PS2 abortion (and that's a decade old now to boot!)

Take it the 3DS game passed you by, then? It's everything you say you want from a Shinobi sequel.

I sort of agree with your points, although you're a bit rabid (I've been obsessed with Sega output since sitting in a hydraulic cab to play Space Harrier in 1987, but I'd never try to argue the GG, Master System, Saturn and maybe even MD had better exclusives than the PS1).

I'm just worried what'll happen to their IP if the ship goes down, but they're determined to shoehorn their significant output onto mobile devices.

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Oh come on, just because you don't follow games don't come up with that rubbish. Just looking over the past five years and some things that stand out are Binary Domain, Vanquish, Bayonetta, Yakuza, House of the Dead Overkill, Alpha Protocol, Virtua Tennis 4, Madworld, Condemned 2, Valkyria Chronicles, Sonic & SEGA Allstars Racing. All pretty good, some of them pretty damn special.

They've also given us some great downloadable games like Daytona, Renegade Ops, Guardian Heroes, After Burner Climax, Outrun, SEGA Rally. Sure some of them are remakes but they're great remakes. I think I've played Daytona online more than any other racing game this generation.

I think the gaming landscape would be a much worse place without SEGA publishing some of those games. Particularly the Platinum stuff.

In conclusion, everyone go buy Binary Domain. Just do it. Everyone should do it. It's dirt cheap, has the best robot sidekick and no one gets mopey about their dead wife.

I'm not a huge Sega fan, but I agree with most of this. It would be a damn shame if Sega left the console space.
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Binary Domain

Vanquish

Bayonetta

Yakuza

House of the Dead Overkill

Alpha Protocol

Virtua Tennis 4

Madworld

Condemned 2

Valkyria Chronicles

Sonic & SEGA Allstars Racing.

I love old-school Sega as much as the next gamer, but seriously, I don't find that a particularly stellar line-up. I've not played a fair few of them, given, but Binary Domain, Vanquish, Bayonetta - these were all action games that rated well with hardcore gamers but didn't exactly set the market alight. I thought House of the Dead Overkill quite poor, only helped along by its interesting presentation. Alpha Protocol I know very little about - though I know it wasn't massively successful. Madworld was a fiver everywhere a month after release, and I actually think that like House of the Dead it's a poor game with interesting presentation. Plus, has Virtua Tennis ever managed to better the first one yet?

To be honest, of that list, I only find Yakuza (huge in Japan and seems to do OK in the west), Valkyria Chronicles (has a big cult following and did well enough to merit several sequels) and Sonic Racing (which has good mass-market appeal, what with Sonic heading up the roster) worthy of a list that you could point to and say "Sega should be doing OK".

Plus, the article is focusing on European operations - many of the titles in that list came from non-Euro developers.

I was a massive Sega fan as a kid, and have fond memories of many of their best titles (and even some of their lesser-but-quirky ones). It bothers me that they're struggling.

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" This is partly a consequence of the ineffectiveness of Sega's strategy over the past several years of developing games by western developers"

Um, where'd they get that idea? SOJ/Sega-Sammy are the ones who've consistently made a loss, or squandered money on stupid projects. If SEGA goes under, it's primarily their fault.

And going by the rest of the comments here, I'm guessing 'AAA' is defined by marketing and branding more than the actual quality of the games? SEGA going under would be a loss to the game industry itself, given their readiness to publish some obscure titles. The hardcore fanboys can go fuck themselves.

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Wasn't 'AAA' always a marketing term, in its truest sense anyway?

It really only means a game that has been targeted for a huge marketing push in order to hit the broad market. Except people on message boards then decided it meant something else and bastardized it to mean virtually any game that the person writing wanted to apply it to.

As to the news it does seem weird. Every Sega financial report says the same thing, losses across the board except in the European PC market thanks to FM and Total War. Even if they do shutdown most of Sega Europe they would have to be monumentally stupid to take down Sports Interactive and Creative Assembly.

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I love old-school Sega as much as the next gamer, but seriously, I don't find that a particularly stellar line-up. I've not played a fair few of them, given, but Binary Domain, Vanquish, Bayonetta - these were all action games that rated well with hardcore gamers but didn't exactly set the market alight.

It's a brilliant line-up. I'd struggle to think of many third-party publishers with that level of consistency. But as we all know, quality doesn't always equate to sales.

Plus, has Virtua Tennis ever managed to better the first one yet?

3 was great, and 4 is my most-played Vita game by some distance.

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I love old-school Sega as much as the next gamer, but seriously, I don't find that a particularly stellar line-up. I've not played a fair few of them, given, but Binary Domain, Vanquish, Bayonetta - these were all action games that rated well with hardcore gamers but didn't exactly set the market alight. I thought House of the Dead Overkill quite poor, only helped along by its interesting presentation. Alpha Protocol I know very little about - though I know it wasn't massively successful. Madworld was a fiver everywhere a month after release, and I actually think that like House of the Dead it's a poor game with interesting presentation. Plus, has Virtua Tennis ever managed to better the first one yet?

To be honest, of that list, I only find Yakuza (huge in Japan and seems to do OK in the west), Valkyria Chronicles (has a big cult following and did well enough to merit several sequels) and Sonic Racing (which has good mass-market appeal, what with Sonic heading up the roster) worthy of a list that you could point to and say "Sega should be doing OK".

Plus, the article is focusing on European operations - many of the titles in that list came from non-Euro developers.

I was a massive Sega fan as a kid, and have fond memories of many of their best titles (and even some of their lesser-but-quirky ones). It bothers me that they're struggling.

I'd respectively suggest that you go and properly read the bayonetta and alpha protocol threads. Then play them.

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I'd respectively suggest that you go and properly read the bayonetta and alpha protocol threads. Then play them.

I'm not criticising the quality of either of those games - just making the point that neither of them were runaway successes (though I don't think Bayonetta was a failure).
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Sonic Generations is the best Sonic game in years, it would be a shame if we didn't get more of that direction (to polish things further).

Dislike deKay having to repeatedly bash Sega about 5 times in one thread. Certainly, SEGA haven't been the wisest post Dreamcast-era and No Substance's post wrote that perfectly, but the posts are akin to hatred and trolling at this point, and probably thinking its funny for saying so. It isn't.

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I love old-school Sega as much as the next gamer, but seriously,I don't find that a particularly stellar line-up. I've not played a fair few of them, given, but Binary Domain, Vanquish, Bayonetta - these were all action games that rated well with hardcore gamers but didn't exactly set the market alight. I thought House of the Dead Overkill quite poor, only helped along by its interesting presentation. Alpha Protocol I know very little about - though I know it wasn't massively successful. Madworld was a fiver everywhere a month after release, and I actually think that like House of the Dead it's a poor game with interesting presentation. Plus, has Virtua Tennis ever managed to better the first one yet?

To be honest, of that list, I only find Yakuza (huge in Japan and seems to do OK in the west), Valkyria Chronicles (has a big cult following and did well enough to merit several sequels) and Sonic Racing (which has good mass-market appeal, what with Sonic heading up the roster) worthy of a list that you could point to and say "Sega should be doing OK".

Plus, the article is focusing on European operations - many of the titles in that list came from non-Euro developers.

I was a massive Sega fan as a kid, and have fond memories of many of their best titles (and even some of their lesser-but-quirky ones). It bothers me that they're struggling.

Well if it bothers you so much maybe you should start play their games, especially the ones that rated well with the hardcores.

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Sonic Generations is the best Sonic game in years, it would be a shame if we didn't get more of that direction (to polish things further).

Dislike deKay having to repeatedly bash Sega about 5 times in one thread. Certainly, SEGA haven't been the wisest post Dreamcast-era and No Substance's post wrote that perfectly, but the posts are akin to hatred and trolling at this point, and probably thinking its funny for saying so. It isn't.

I'm not bashing Sega. I genuinely couldn't name a great game they've made in two years. Binary Domain might be ace, but I'd never heard of it so that's half my point - they have shit games, or they have great games that people haven't heard of. Even Yakuza is mostly unknown outside of Japan.

You really should stop sticking up for Sonic Generations though. I wanted it to be ace as much as the next fan, but it really, really wasn't.

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Really the discussions about quality are all subjective, it's all about sales. If you look at Sega West, how many new IP's have made a profit and justified a sequel over the past 5 years ? I can't name a single one, although I guess you could argue that S&SR was a new IP.

I'd be relatively surprised if Sega Europe shuts up shop, I think its more likely all territory offices go and they sign a distribution deal with one of the other Japanese publishers. I'd guess Capcom or Konami would be first choice as they are close to both of those. If they do shut Sega Europe totally it would probably be to minimize the exposure to stock in channel by changing legal entity as they wouldn't want a drastically reduced operation saddled with liabilities that are impossible to overcome with a reduced product lineup.

At the end of it though, you come out the other side with a vastly reduced publisher relying on digital distribution and 2 or 3 physical products a year. I fear this is the route Atari pioneered - not creative or agile enough to take advantage of where the real digital money is, and rehashes of tired old physical IP that you don't have the cash to market properly.

I can't see this ending well.

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Well if it bothers you so much maybe you should start play their games, especially the ones that rated well with the hardcores.

Whilst it bothers me, I don't buy games because of who makes them - I buy them based on a combination of reviews, forum opinion and of course whether or not they happen to appeal based on what I see about them.

Titles like Alpha Protocol and Bayonetta didn't appeal to me. I might consider myself a "core gamer" but that doesn't mean I have a responsibility to buy every "hardcore" game that gets released.

EDIT: I'd say that this doesn't have much bearing on Sonic & Sega Racing - that's by Sumo, who aren't owned by Sega - they just do a lot of work for them.

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I'm not bashing Sega. I genuinely couldn't name a great game they've made in two years. Binary Domain might be ace, but I'd never heard of it so that's half my point - they have shit games, or they have great games that people haven't heard of. Even Yakuza is mostly unknown outside of Japan.

A lot of people wouldn't have heard of NiGHTS or Sega Rally at the time either. For me the problem with Sega is they just don't seem to have much of an identity anymore, a lot of the stuff they have isn't internally developed and of that that is nothing is a regular big hit. Seems like to be a big 'AAA' player these days you need to have a huge bankable franchise; FIFA, CoD, GTA, Assassins Creed etc, but nothing SEGA have done recently even touches those sales heights.

It's a fucking shame really and maybe is the Japanese creative doldrums summed up.

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For me the problem with Sega is they just don't seem to have much of an identity anymore...

I think there's some truth to this. I mean Total War is great but I still can never see it as a Sega game for some reason.

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