The CEO and President of SEGA, Hajime Satomi, has admitted in an interview with Japanese magazine Famitsu that he feels the company has “betrayed” the trust of their fans with several titles released, and how the focus of the company will now shift to quality releases to “win back the customers’ trust”.
Highlighting the acquisition of Atlus, Satomi discusses how they’ve learned from the Japanese developers and how their North American and European markets have in the past primarily focused on “schedules”, which leads him to the conclusion they are better to release nothing at all if they continued down that path.
“As far as the Western market goes, we learned a lot from Atlus. If we can make a title with proper quality, I believe there’s a good chance for it to do well even in the West for players that like to play Japanese games.”
“I’ve been talking to the employees about how we should start putting serious consideration into quality from this point on. Especially in North America and Europe, where it’s always been more of a focus on schedules, I believe that if we can’t maintain quality, it would be better to not release anything at all.”
Satomi follows by admitting the company has “partially betrayed” their older fans with select games.
“We did our best to build a relationship of mutual trust with older fans of Sega, but looking back, there’ve been some titles that have partially betrayed that [trust] in the past 10 years.”
Satomi could of course be partially referring the recently released Sonic Boom titles on Wii U and 3DS, which shipped just 490,000 copies combined back when we reported in February, making it the worst selling major Sonic game in history. The Wii U version’s reception was especially negative, scoring just 32 from critic aggregator Metacritic – thus making it the worst reviewed Wii U title of the year.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, as Satomi says there could be a new home console game announced at the Tokyo Game Show 2015, which is in September. Could we get our first glimpse at the 25th Anniversary title?
“Since we’re seriously considering quality, I can’t make that promise for the time being, but I believe we will announce something for home console at Tokyo Game Show,”
“Sega in the ‘90s was known for its ‘brand, but after that, we’ve lost trust, and we were left with nothing but reputation. For this reason, we’d like to win back the customers’ trust, and become a ‘brand,’ once again.”
How do you feel about the comments made by SEGA’s CEO?