Sonic Doom: Sega Plans Massive Cuts
Sega, a company that helped define the video game industry in the early 90s, has announced plans to restructure with a series of cuts that will see the company withdraw from the console gaming market.
Around 300 jobs are likely to be lost as the firm shifts its focus towards the flourishing mobile market and merchandising of the iconic Sonic brand.
The cuts will also see the closure of Sega’s San Francisco base. The company stated: “In the U.S., Sega of America, based in San Francisco will be relocated to Southern California by this summer and its existing office in San Francisco will be closed thereafter, which results in reducing fixed expenses, mainly in corporate functions. In addition, the Sonic and merchandising businesses will be reinforced to establish a structure which can generate stable profits.”
It’s no secret that both Sega and the Sonic franchise has been in the doldrums for over a decade; Sonic ’06 is one of the most derided games in recent memory, and Sonic Team somehow managed to find new lows with 2014’s Sonic Boom. Combine that with the circumstances surrounding the release of Aliens: Colonial Marines, and it’s easy to see how Sega has managed find itself in the mire.
But Sonic is an icon of the industry, and a company mascot that once went toe-to-toe with the portly plumber himself. It’s a sad day when an industry monolith has to step back from the platforms and experiences that it helped define in favour of a mobile market that lacks the nostalgic affection that console gamers undoubtedly have for the fast blue hedgehog.
Here’s hoping the likes of Nintendo will be able to purchase some of Sega’s better properties – most notably the Bayonetta franchise – although it’s unlikely we’ll see Sonic himself moving to pastures new anytime soon.