SEGA Sammy Holdings has released a corporate memo about structural reform within the company, which includes inevitable layoffs and a plan that focuses on “Digital Games”. Unfortunately, they define Digital Games as “smartphones and PC online gaming” rather than “more super cool PC ports like Valkyria Chronicles.”
This official word about SEGA’s fresh interest in PC online stuff may well explain why SEGA-owned Creative Assembly is developing titles like the tablet-geared (and online) Total War Battles: Kingdoms and MOBA-ish Total War: Arena alongside traditional games like Total War: Attila.
It’s a similar corporate model proposed by Square Enix a few years back, which caused understandable concern among fans of Enix-controlled titles like Hitman, Just Cause, Deus Ex and others. However, after a brief free-to-play scare, Just Cause 3 appears to have emerged as a title with a traditional pricing structure.
SEGA will hopefully allow companies like Creative Assembly, Relic and Sports Interactive to continue making games which play to their strengths, rather than being shoe-horned into a mobile or online-only shape. Maybe there’s someone there who’s loud and influential enough to point out how well Valkyria Chronicles did, and get the ball rolling on some more quality PC ports from the back catalogue.
The memo states that SEGA plans to close the SEGA US offices in San Francisco, and re-locate them to Southern California. Staff solicited for “voluntary retirement” across the SEGA Sammy group (mostly in the “amusement businesses” or arcade side of things) will number around 300. Others, it says, will be moved across to the Digital side of the business.