Many have speculated the detrimental effect the digital age would have on the gaming industry, and while there hasn’t been too much of an effect, Sega is amongst those willing to make changes over the rise of digital content. In an effort to cut down on unnecessary labor within the massive company, Sega will be implementing a series of closures in their European offices. Among the effected areas, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, and Benelux will experience closures and a realignment of where their products will be distributed from. Rather than have its own offices distribute to these areas, Sega will employee the help of the Koch Media group, 5 Star Games, and Level03 Distribution.
The announcement came at the hands of Sega Europe’s COO, Jurgen Post, who explains that “Sega is entering a new and exciting phase that will position the company as a content led organization maximizing sales with strong and balanced IP such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Total War, Football Manager, and the Aliens franchise. The company will benefit from a clear focus and realigned strategy for our digital business and packaged goods and we are confident that this will lead to a successful future.” From the sounds of it, Sega looks to put the bulk of its focus on digital content distribution, maybe even creating the bulk of its content to fit under the guise of digital content.
It’s about time the gaming industry hear of a closing that didn’t simply lead to the dissolving of a developer and the cancellation of future releases. Sega has already jumped on the digital age bandwagon with the release of the next installment in the episodic Sonic the Hedgehog 4, which featured the two-player co-op that brought to life Sonic’s loveable friend, Miles “Tails” Prower. While critics weren’t completely sold on Sonic’s new adventure, Sega is looking to public response to determine whether or not a third episode will be seen in the future.
Other titles on Sega’s “coming soon” list include Anarchy Reigns, Jet Set Radio, Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, Yakuza 5, Phantasy Star Online 2 and The Cave; of this listing, only three of them are digital content to be released on the Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. Also, missing from this list is the highly sought after console sequel of the companies beloved Shinobi series.
Of all it’s future releases, though, Sega will be banking on Alien: Colonial Marines, which should appeal to any fan of strategy first person shooters and the Alien franchise itself. Whether or not the game will be able to break the stigma of Alien video games that only Alien vs. Predator (2003) was able to overcome so far will be determined in February of 2013.