I have decided to post this as a separate update because being a Sonic fansite I know the vast majority of people are instantly going to think ‘how does this affect Sonic.’ I am not one of those people since in a situation like this you have to look at the whole picture and not part of it. But for the sake of those people here you are.
Today’s news that Sega of America is to downsize and 300 jobs are to go will impact the entire business, but with regards to Sonic, here is what Sega had to say.
Local organizations managing packaged game software in Western markets will be streamlined. In the U.S., Sega of America, Inc. 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.
Sonic will be reinforced to establish a structure which can generate stable profits… what does that mean you ask?
Well, it can mean a number of things. Here are a number of my own thoughts.
- As it stands right now, Sonic is not profitable in every region, it’s likely that Sonic products will be cut in some regions.
- Greater focus on digital download titles.
- Greater focus on a certain type of game.
- Greater focus on non game products.
- PC only franchise.
Basically it could mean absolutely anything… however, the key here is that they have said ‘stable profits.’ To me, this suggests that they are going to be VERY careful in the future with the Sonic brand, I think it’s safe to say that the days of exclusive deals are well and truly over, you are not going to see another Boom announcement/relaunch/master plan for a very long time. I doubt that there will even be much of a 25th anniversary next year either (I hope I am wrong with that).
Basically, they are going to be very careful with Sonic from now on, stable profits are the future, games like Sonic Jump and Sonic Dash generate stable profits, and with Sonic Runners on the way, that very well could be the future of the brand.