It’s a tough and competitive world for video game developers and manufacturers, as Sega has admitted to a significant drop in sales during the fiscal year of 2011. Seeing little success in console gaming and an increased interest in mobile and digital gaming, the company looks to shift its focus to those key areas in hopes that they can turn their company around.
Falling from 18.7 to 17.2 million copies of games sold last year, Sega sales have seen better days. Software sales have declined in the US, but surprisingly have increased in Japan and Europe. The downturn in game sales was felt industry-wide in 2011, but Sega made it clear last month that they expected a loss of $86.5 million and a company restructuring was in the works.
Sega had launched some bigger titles last year with Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Sonic Generations, which saw success on the Wii, but failed to reach similar heights on other platforms. Nintendo’s console saw 3.05 million units sold, 2.45 million for the PS3, 1.79 on the 3DS, and only 1.54 million on Xbox 360. In 2012, the company predicts that it will see 2.43 million copies of their 12 new PS3 titles sold and 1.54 million copies of their 7 new Xbox 360 titles — there are no Wii or DS releases this year.
On the other end of the spectrum, digital and mobile sales have given Sega a new goal. Social and smartphone gaming will be the company’s main market for growth, similar to Sony’s shift in focus due to their massive $6.4 billion loss.
Sega Corporation will separate its gaming development from its online services, meaning Sega Networks will be born in July, led by Haruki Satomi. In essence the Sega Networks umbrella will cover the aggressive expansion into online and social games, while Sega Corporation will continue to lead the charge on the more traditional console projects.
Sega has also just announced that they will not be attending Gamescom in Germany this fall, adding their name to a long line of beleaguered publishers who have chosen to opt out:
“Unfortunately the release timing of our 2012 AAA titles and new projects don’t work with the mid- August scheduling of the show. The decision will not mean that Sega will never attend Gamescom in the future, this was simply a commercial decision made for 2012.”
Focusing on new projects and their big name titles could be what the company needs right now to try to regain some of their losses. Without any Wii releases this year, Sega will need to ensure that they have everything in place to achieve their expectations.
Ranters, what Sega titles are you anticipating this year? Any thoughts on what the company could do to save themselves from total disaster?
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