Sega Networks, the mobile arm of the classic gaming publisher and developer is looking to expand its influence in the West, by investing heavily in two mobile game developers and buying one out entirely. With plans to launch more than 30 free to play mobile titles in the near future, Sega also wants to capture some of the West’s most popular app based games and bring them to Japan under its own banner.
The developers it’s laid out more than a few sheckles for include Samurai Siege maker, Space Ape, which is currently working on its second major F2P game; the maker of Marvel Puzzle Quest, Boston-based Demiurge Studios and Ignited Artists, a mobile startup in San Francisco which hasn’t released a game as of yet. However with Sega now owning a majority stake in the developer, when it does release something it should see a large global release.
“We believe that a global, mass market audience for mobile games doesn’t vary too significantly in terms of the formula required for success,” said Sega Networks COO Minoru Iwaki in a chat with Gamasutra. “In our experience, the underlying game mechanics generally work on a global scale, but the difference in cultural tastes mostly drives how you approach the UI, art, writing, and other creative components of a game.”
Although these investments are no doubt exciting for Sega personnel, it may leave a bit of a sour taste in some mouths, as several hundred people were recently let go from the company as it changes its focus from boxed titles to smaller digital releases.
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KitGuru Says: This must be a bit of a hard blow for those that were so recently made redundant. Do you guys see this as a good move for Sega? Or it is sad to see such an iconic name reduced to investing in micro-transaction pushing F2P games?