There is no getting around the fact that Sega has been on a steady decline since the failure of the Sega CD and 32X add-ons for its most well-known console. They managed to take North American shores by storm with the Sega Genesis and one hell of an aggressive marketing campaign spearheaded by former president Thomas Kalinske. Yet, the company hasn’t been able to keep that brilliant spurt of momentum going over the years. As consumers stopped referring to consoles by “bits” and 2D gaming was on its way out. Sega became less and less of a household name until ultimately falling back into third party publishing by the sixth generation of consoles.
Sega has managed to facilitate a strong presence in the arcade scene overseas, but that too is coming to an end, as we reported back in August. I’d love for the company responsible for making my incredibly rough childhood to make this grand comeback. Many others have hoped- just how many “Dreamcast 2 is coming!” rumors have there been again? Along with a struggle for relevance, the pandemic has continued to have a drastic effect on the company. The latest is even more concerning than the closure of one of the company’s most iconic arcade centers.
“In order to recover earnings at an early stage and achieve sustainable growth in the future, we consider that it is necessary to promote cost-reduction centered on fixed expenses and build an even more efficient system and decided to call for voluntary retirement of employees.” states a recent Notice of Forecast document produced by parent company Sega Sammy.
The request then comes in that 650 employees voluntarily retire. The top executives take a slashing pay cut to their salaries. These orders go into effect as soon as November of this year. Sega Sammy has also reported that it will be selling about 85.1 percent of its shares by December 30.
Sega Sammy has stated that “We expect to record approximately 10 billion yen as extraordinary losses (structural reform expenses) in fiscal year ending March 2021.”
Admittedly, world events have not been kind to the working class nor the companies that hire them, regardless of if they’ve been pushing shopping carts. Some even dealing with real-life Robotniks or developing video games. Considering Sega hasn’t been making the most sound decisions regarding their most iconic IP or even their ongoing efforts to release their back catalog of legacy content to new consoles. I’m not surprised that this is happening. It stings, but it was inevitable.
What more can we expect with the horrible chain of news related to the company that put speed-shoes on hedgehogs and plopped monkeys into rolling balls? There are at least some things to look forward to in the coming year. Balan Wonderworld, the brainchild of both Yuji Naka and Naoto Oshima, still appears to be set for a March 2021 release. Yakuza: Like a Dragon by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio dropped last week November 10 worldwide, also with a PS5 release in March 2021. Besides, the company’s long-forgotten pre-Sonic mascot will be making a comeback in what’s shaping up to be a beautiful recreation of “Alex Kidd in Miracle World” sometime in 2021.