Sega to Axe 300 Jobs as Focus Turns to PC and Mobile
UPDATE: Sega suggests development studios are not directly affected; Future of console games business unclear.
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Sega has begun a sweeping restructure operation as the publisher attempts to "drastically improve profitability," with more than 300 jobs put at risk, along with a new focus away from games consoles.
The corporation issued a notice to investors on Friday explaining that it expects to make just $34 million in net profit by the end of the financial year; a nosedive in performance compared to the $260 million it made the year prior.
Around 300 staff are scheduled to be made redundant, while Sega's San Francisco office will be relocated--likely by summer--to southern California.
[Update: Sega Europe has issued a statement to GameSpot suggesting that its development teams, such as Sports Interactive and The Creative Assembly, might not be affected by the consultation process. Though the details were not explicitly clear at this early stage, Sega Europe has suggested that the focus of the downsizing is on the publishing business.
“We are under consultation with a limited number of staff in the European publishing business and will be able to confirm decisions regarding any potential redundancies in the coming weeks.” Update Ends]
The struggling publisher, which formed in the 1940s and shifted its business into video games by the late '80s, will also reposition its business to center it around "smartphone and PC online gaming."
Although drastic measures, Sega has been planning this shift in business since May 2014. To what extent this will further narrow its games console business is unclear. Sega's key releases of 2014 were Alien: Isolation, Rome 2 Total War, and Sonic Boom.
The corporation said: "SEGA has positioned Digital Games, particularly smartphone and PC online gaming, as a growth area and has determined to implement the following measures in order to constantly post profits by improving management efficiency while promptly promoting redistribution of management resources."