Sega Sammy posts $108 million April-June loss

Publisher's gaming division revenues plummet 40%; Conduit racks up 150,000 in sales as Virtua Tennis serves up 790,000; PS2 support apparently discontinued.

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Not even Sonic the Hedgehog can outrun the global economic crisis. Sega Sammy, the parent company of Sonic publisher, Sega, today posted its results for its first fiscal quarter, which ended June 30. Like many other publishers trying to navigate the current recession-marred market, the results were far worse than those of a year ago.

Unfortunately, High Voltage's game was not a cash conduit.
Unfortunately, High Voltage's game was not a cash conduit.

Sega Sammy's overall sales for the quarter dipped 19 percent year-over-year to ¥60.46 billion ($635.4 million) for a net loss of ¥10.29 billion ($108.1 million). The previous June quarter's net loss was a slightly worse at ¥10.53 billion ($110.6 million). The company's consumer business--which includes home game sales, toys, mobile phone content, and animated films--posted particularly poor numbers, with sales declining nearly 41 percent to ¥18.01 billion ($189.2 million) for a loss of ¥4.5 billion ($47.29 million).

In addition to games, Sega Sammy also produces pachinko machines and operates arcades and other amusement centers. The Pachinko and Pachislot division had revenues of ¥19.75 billion ($207.5 million) and posted a loss of ¥1.04 billion ($10.9 million)--an improvement on its ¥4.35 billion ($45.71 million) shortfall during the April-June 2008 quarter.

Despite the bad news, the company is optimistic about a turnaround. Even though it's expecting to rack up a net loss of ¥14.5 billion ($15.3 million) in the first half of its fiscal year (ending September 30), Sega Sammy is projecting to finish the year with ¥15 billion ($157.6 million) in net income.

As for Sega's gaming business, the reported contained a few items of note. The publisher appears to be done supporting the PlayStation 2, as it projected no releases on the platform for its entire current fiscal year, down from 10 the previous year. Support for the DS also looks to be scaled back somewhat, as Nintendo's handheld is slated to receive 21 Sega games this fiscal year, down from 30 the year prior. Projected support for all other platforms was within three games of last year's numbers.

Finally, Sega Sammy released some combined North American and European sales figures for its recent releases. High Voltage's Wii first-person shooter The Conduit sold 150,000 copies between the two continents, while Virtua Tennis 2009 racked up 790,000 sales across the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, and PC. During its first month on sale in the US, The Conduit managed to sell 72,000 copies.

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