Look Who's Talking

Gamers concerned about Working Designs' future with Sega got a response from Sega of America this week.

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Sega fans who read usenet newsgroups regularly should already be familiar with the situation between Working Designs and Sega of America.

Working Designs, after running into difficulty with SoA regarding space inside Sega's booth at E3, was placed in an out-of-the-way, out-of-sight, out-of-mind position inaccessible from Sega's main area. This, in conjunction with other difficulties, led Working Designs to decide to stop producing Saturn titles after Lunar: Silver Star Story.

Well, gamers concerned about Working Designs' future with Sega got a response from Sega of America this week.

In the Sega Speaks section of the company's web site - dedicated to answering reader mail - Sega of America explains its position on the story. Surprisingly absent was a "this was just a big misunderstanding" tone. It would seem that this response, instead, is meant to put a Sega spin on the events of E3.

Here is the excerpt from Sega's web page:

Reader Question: What happened between Sega and Working Designs at E3? Will Sega of America apologize?

Sega's Response: Here's the actual timetable of events. In January, Sega decided that no third party would have "condos" - exclusive areas with meeting rooms - on the Sega of America E3 show floor. We made this decision to be fair to everyone, since we obviously couldn't offer free space to every Sega partner. Our third party group informed all companies which inquired about this policy. In February, SOA had determined exactly the amount of floor space we would utilize - deciding not to use the entire space we were allocated. SOA started talking to other companies about sub-leasing our extra space. Gretchen Eichinger, Group Director of Third Party Licensing for Sega, learned from Lee McEnany, Vice President of Communications, that we had space available to sell. Eichinger immediately called Working Designs from McEnany's office to let them know that indeed SOA had space to sell. She then faxed Working Designs a floor plan. Working Designs accepted the space. Up to and during the show, Sega heard nothing about Working Designs being disappointed with anything regarding the show. Unfortunately, instead of talking directly with Sega regarding their issues, Victor Ireland chose to launch an attack stating is dissatisfaction in public on Internet bulletin boards and web sites, which we fell is highly improper and unprofessional. It was not until Sega placed a call to Working Designs earlier this week that we were able to address the issues in person, which is what we believe Working Designs should have done from the beginning if they had concerns about their space at the show.

Reader Question: Since Working Designs will end development for the Saturn after Magic Night Ray Earth and Lunar, will Sega be bringing out Grandia here under the Sega label?

Sega's Response: Sega has not determined whether or not it will publish Grandia in the US. We are working closely with GameArts to evaluate the feasibility of bringing this title to the US.

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