Sega Expects to Axe 200 Jobs as Profit Targets Slip

Employees to be given option to retire; video game division not directly affected.

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Sega has told investors that it will make significantly less money this financial year than initially expected.

The company originally forecasted net sales of $1.7 billion during the current financial year, but now expects $1.3 billion. This represents a 22 percent downturn.

Chief executive Hajime Satomi blamed weaker-than-expected business from its slot and pachinko machines.

Recently, Sega launched a Fist of the North Star (Pachisot Hokuto No Ken Tomo) and Bayonetta slot machines, but sales of these units were "not sufficient to offset the impact" of development and advertising costs.

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In a bid to improve profitability, Sega has said it will restructure the division. As part of this, it is offering voluntary retirement to "around 200" employees at its Taiyo subsidiary. Its video game division does not seem to have been impacted by the voluntary retirement plans.

Looking forward, Sega has said it still plans to launch the Onimusha 3 Jikuu Tenshou and Ryu Ga Gotoku Of The End pachinko machines.

In July 2015, Satomi said he believed the company betrayed the trust fans put in it over the last few years, and vowed to improve the quality of its video games to re-establishing Sega Games as a valuable brand.

"I've been talking to employees about how [Sega] should start putting serious consideration into quality from this point on," he said. "Particularly in North America and Europe, where it's always been more of a focus on schedules. I believe that if we can't maintain quality, it would be better to not release anything at all."

In September 2013, Sega acquired bankrupted publisher Index Corporation, parent company of Persona 4 developer Atlus. The following year, Index Corporation was separated from Atlus.

The Atlus team is currently working on Persona 5 with a team of 121 employees. At TGS 2015, Atlus revealed Persona 5 would be delayed and will now debut on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 in summer 2016 instead of the originally announced 2015 period.

Sega also recently announced two new Yakuza projects. The first, Yakuza Kiwami, is a remake of the first entry in the series for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The second is a Yakuza 6, a full sequel exclusively for PS4.

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