Times are still tough, and the pinch of the economy has been especially hard on the video game industry. Unless a studio’s game has broken sales records world-wide, chances are they’ve had to let at least some part of their work force go (well, except for Infinity Ward, but that’s another story).
SEGA West is the latest company to feel the squeeze, and as such, they’ve chosen to reformat to focus on smaller-scale downloadable titles. Unfortunately, downsizing also means redundancy, so 73 people from SEGA have lost their jobs. Although SEGA West President Mike Hayes is adamant that this move is solely an initiative taken by the high-ups in the Western branches, SEGA’s parent company recently went on record with their concerns over lack-luster North American sales.
At any rate, Hayes’ section of SEGA is now focusing on the downloadable market place. Mr. Hayes mentioned that, with the performance of Super Monkey Ball on the iPhone and the upcoming release of Sonic 4, they’ve seen great feed back with regards to the re-inventing of existing intellectual properties. He goes on to say that, with the resurgence of popular SEGA IPs, the challenge is to do more than just reinvent familiar brands. He does mention that the company expects to make some new IP announcements in the coming months.
With the iPad seeing a global launch in the next few weeks, this is also a brand new market for game companies to spread into, and SEGA West is excited about the opportunities offered by the device. What do you guys think of this new move by SEGA? It sucks that people had to lose their jobs, but SEGA is a business, and they have to stay afloat. With Sonic 4 still in production, do you think they’re putting all their eggs in one basket?
Source: Industry Gamers