Sega departure first of many?

Could the resignation of Sega Wow president Rikiya Nakagawa be a result of the Sammy takeover? Insiders consider the possibility.

TOKYO--Sega confirmed today that Sega Wow development studio's Rikiya Nakagawa resigned his position as president of the subsidiary. Taking his place will be Kazunari Tsujimoto, a co-executive at the studio. According to Sega, Rikiya resigned his position due to personal reasons, with Sega and Tsujimoto both agreeing to the change.

Nakagawa joined Sega in 1984, the same year as Yu Suzuki. Working in the research and development division, Nakagawa produced a number of games such as The House of the Dead and the Dynamite Cop series. The division turned into a development studio named Wow Entertainment in 2000, when Sega decided to split its R&D teams into separate subsidiaries.

Nakagawa became the president of Wow Entertainment and kept his position after the studio merged with Overworks as a part of the company's further restructuring earlier this year.

Tsujimoto joined Sega after Nakagawa in 1987 and became an executive at Wow Entertainment in July of this year. He also maintained his title after the studio merged with Overworks.

As to why the 20-year veteran would choose to resign now, industry sources in Japan commented to GameSpot that certainly Nakagawa's departure could be linked to Sega's purchase by Sammy. If this is the case, sources said, Nakagawa might be the first in a series of defections by senior Sega employees. Top staff are both the most used to the status quo and the most likely to resent change and are in the best position to find new employers, start their own firms, or simply retire.

The other possibility is that after being at Sega for almost 20 years, Nakagawa was simply ready for a change. Now that his big project, Sega GT Online, is ready for release, he may have thought it would be a good time to make a move.

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