Still from Paramount’s “Sonic the Hedgehog 2.”
After Sega’s blockbuster adaptation of its traditional Sonic the Hedgehog gaming franchise on the massive display, the corporate urged it needs to duplicate that success with different hit video video games in its arsenal.
Speaking with CNBC on the Web Summit tech convention in Libson, Portugal, Tuesday, Sega Chief Operating Officer Shuji Utsumi mentioned that the corporate is considering of bringing extra of its profitable mental property to different platforms, together with films and the gaming platform Roblox.
“Sonic is reviving,” Utsumi instructed CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal, alluding to the success of the Sonic the Hedgehog diversifications within the field workplace.
Sonic the Hedgehog grossed $306.8 million within the field workplace, changing into a blockbuster win for the franchise even after preliminary indignant response from followers over a poor rendition of the long-lasting character the primary time Sega revealed it to the world.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 did even higher, banking $405.4 million on the field workplace.
Now, Sega is seeking to translate that success into different recreation diversifications. That may not simply imply films, Utsumi cautioned, including that the corporate is different methods to deliver its IP to extra customers.
That might embrace bringing a Sonic expertise to the Roblox gaming platform, the place hundreds of thousands of individuals collect to construct video games and join with one another in huge on-line communities, in addition to cellular, too.
The firm not too long ago closed its acquisition of Rovio, the maker of the Angry Birds cellular recreation, for 706 million euros ($767.9 million).
“We have other major IPs,” Utsumi mentioned. “We are thinking of reviving other classical IPs too.”
Bringing Yakuza and Persona to extra platforms
Utsumi highlighted the Yakuza beat ’em up recreation and Persona role-playing recreation franchise as examples that may very well be tailored.
It comes as Sega is ready to launch a brand new Yakuza recreation, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, subsequent yr. The firm can also be launching two new Persona video games in 2024, too.
“As I say, we are trying to be in a lot of different categories, different areas like Roblox, movies,” Utsumi mentioned. “All these IPs can be somewhere else other than games soon.”
Sega not too long ago launched the newest iteration of its Yakuza recreation. Collectively, the Yakuza recreation collection has offered 21.1 million models since its debut in 2005, in line with Sega. Persona 5, the newest recreation within the franchise, has additionally seen appreciable success promoting over 9 million copies worldwide.
Yakuza is at present solely out there on PlayStation, Xbox and PC. Platforms. Persona is at present solely out there on Xbox, PlayStation, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
Buying extra studios
Sega can also be on the hunt for extra acquisitions because it seeks to broaden its possession of gaming studios, Utsumi mentioned.
Utsumi urged that the corporate would look to seek out extra acquisition targets as alternatives available in the market come up.
“As an entity of Sega Sammy, we are acquiring some of the companies. We just made an announcement [to buy Rovio]. We are still looking for opportunities for growth.”
Utsumi mentioned that European gaming studios are “struggling” for the time being as they work to recuperate from the gross sales droop that adopted the Covid-19 pandemic, as avid gamers emerged from lockdowns world wide and excessive inflation made individuals much less prepared to pay punchy costs for the newest titles.
“Japan studios are doing well. European studios are struggling,” Utsumi mentioned. “I say all European developers are in a difficult time right now. Once, it was a kind of bubble. Now, it’s adjustment time.”
However, he struck an optimistic word for the longer term: “I think it’s going to be coming back. As long as you have solid development studios and also solid IPs.”
Sega is not the primary firm that is regarded to duplicate the success of blockbuster leisure franchises on different types of media. Sony, Sega’s principal Japanese gaming rival, made a giant splash with its Spider-Man film franchise, which the corporate tailored into a number of prime video video games.
No Microsoft deal on the playing cards
Utsumi additionally addressed rumors of Microsoft curiosity to purchase the corporate.
The Redmond, Washington expertise large reportedly thought of buying Sega in addition to Bungie, the studio initially chargeable for Halo, the Verge reported earlier this yr, citing inside paperwork from a listening to within the Federal Trade Commission lawsuit searching for to dam Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
Sega’s operations chief dismissed the suggestion that Sega, which is owned by Sega Sammy Corporation, the corporate shaped from the merger of Sega and Sammy Corporation in 2004, had any intention of being offered to a different social gathering.
“Many companies are interested. We feel honored,” Utsumi instructed CNBC.
“We have attractive IPs and potentials. Companies owned by the owner. A strong owner. I don’t think that kind of transaction is going to happen.”