Is Sega of America going down? Reports surfaced on Wednesday that the company had laid off its entire public relations and marketing departments and was holding off any additional product releases until 1999.
On Thursday, GS News spoke to three different sources who confirmed this information, and one added that SoA's US product development (which includes software development) staff had also been let go. Sources say that the number of people to be let go is high, but no one had a rough guess as to how many employees at SoA have received or will receive pink slips.
We contacted Sega of America for comment on the matter. Dan Stevens, director of marketing and public relations for Sega of America, responded to our inquiry with, "We're still here and kicking. We haven't made any announcements about a staff reduction. We're working on some cool games for the Saturn - Burning Rangers, House of the Dead, Panzer Saga, Shining Force 3, Winter Heat - shipping between Feb and May."
Of course, that's not what we're hearing. Other sources report that the company will not be releasing any new products after what's announced, until 1999. If true, this will be the first sign that Sega has gone dormant because of a failed system. You may remember that Sega supported the Master System after the Genesis was released, even though the Master System was being phased out.
We'll keep you updated on the situation at Sega of America as information becomes available.