Sega certainly isn’t the same great company as it was back in its console days, and it isn’t even the same as it was a few years ago. The company is struggling to retain trust with gamers and customers by releasing broken games, games that no one wants or has asked for (Sonic Boom, anyone?), and focusing on mobile markets.
Sega CEO Hajime Satomi has stated that the company has leaned a lot about better business practices from developer/publisher Atlus, which Sega recently acquired. Sega has realized that there is more of a demand for Japanese-developed titles in the West than they had realized in the past. They’re also going back on their statements about focusing solely on PC and mobile, stating that they need to stay with the home console market, along with those other markets, to stay relevant longer. Sega wants to stop disappointing its customers and start releasing quality and exciting titles again to all markets. Hajime Satomi had this to say to Famitsu:
“As far as the Western market goes, we learned a lot from Atlus. If we can make a title with proper quality, I believe there’s a good chance for it to do well even in the West for players that like to play Japanese games. I’ve been talking to the employees about how we should start putting serious consideration into quality from this point on. Especially in North America and Europe, where it’s always been more of a focus on schedules, I believe that if we can’t maintain quality, it would be better to not release anything at all. We did our best to build a relationship of mutual trust with older fans of Sega, but looking back, there’ve been some titles that have partially betrayed that [trust] in the past 10 years.”
Satomi seems to be implying that Sega is having a complete business shift. Famitsu continued by asking if it’s safe to expect a high quality title for home consoles later this year. Satomi said that he can’t say for sure yet, but creating quality content is most important for the company now. Sega wants to return to the quality and trust they had in the glory days of the early 90’s. He had this to say:
“Sega in the ‘90s was known for its ‘brand, but after that, we’ve lost trust, and we were left with nothing but ‘reputation. For this reason, we’d like to win back the customers’ trust, and become a ‘brand,’ once again. Since we’re seriously considering quality, I can’t make that promise for the time being, but I believe we will announce something for home console at Tokyo Game Show.”
I’m glad that a quality company like Atlus was able to get Sega’s mind out of the gutter. Let’s hope that they have higher quality content for consoles coming soon. No more Sonic 06 or Sonic Boom-type disasters, please.