Times are a-changing for Sega, as it seems the company has grown tired of creating critically panned console games and are instead moving towards smartphone and online PC games.
The publisher/developer will be offering 300 of its staff voluntary retirement as it looks to downsize its current team, with Sega of America in particular facing big lay-offs as the company moves its office from San Francisco to Southern California, with 120 jobs expected to be lost during the transition. According to Sega, this move will not impact upon the current Sonic Boom TV series, nor will it affect their video game release schedule for the year.
A statement from Sega reads: “Local organisations managing packaged game software in Western markets will be streamlined.
“Voluntary retirement will be solicited in the aforementioned businesses to be withdrawn or consolidated and downsized, while at the same time personnel will be repositioned in digital games and growth areas of Group mainly as development personnel, in order to establish a structure which can constantly generate profits.”
Sonic Boom was a critical and commercial failure, perhaps spelling the end of Sega as we know it.
The company recently concluded its three-game exclusivity deal with Nintendo and its Wii U console, with the last release of this deal, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, being widely regarded as one of the worst console releases of last year.
Sega has already made moves into both smartphone and online PC gaming, with Sonic Runners scheduled to appear on iOS and Android at some point this year. It will be the first game developed by Sonic Team since Sonic Lost World, as little-known dev Big Red Button Studios took the reins from them for Sonic Boom.
Sega is probably regretting that decision now.