UPDATE: SEGA Games CEO Haruki Satomi has issued an additional quote in response to the reception of the Famitsu interview.
“Seeing our fans across the world respond to our recent interview with Famitsu, lets us know we’ve made the right first step in acknowledging who we are and where we want to be. SEGA is dedicated to bringing you quality gaming experiences and becoming a brand you love and trust again.”
Original story follows:
It seems as though the disappointment surrounding Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric wasn’t exclusive to consumers, after SEGA Games CEO and President Haruki Satomi has pledged to regain the trust of its audience following a string of middling console releases.
As a matter of fact, the executive even went so far as to say that the Japanese company – once an industry giant across both hardware and software – has “betrayed” the fanbase, and that the overriding goal now is to return to winning ways as soon as possible. Speaking in an interview with Japanese video game magazine Famitsu (via Siliconera), Satomi offered a candid mea culpa to fans on the current status of SEGA, all the while hinting that a new console title may be revealed during Tokyo Game Show in September.
“I’ve been talking to the employees about how we should start putting serious consideration into quality from this point on,” said Satomi. “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.
“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. We did our best to build a relationship of mutual trust with older fans of Sega, but looking back, there have been some titles that partially betrayed that [trust] in the past 10 years.”
Should Satomi’s long-term plan come to fruition, all of this will culminate in SEGA regaining its status as an industry brand, but that potential ascendancy hasn’t been without problems of its own. Back in January, the Japanese publisher announced that it was laying off around 300 staff from its San Francisco arm – redundancies that impacted Total War and the Football Manager series.
Still, the fact that SEGA has offered a statement of intent is music to our ears. Despite its fall from grace, the company remains one of the most prestigious devs in the industry, and any hope of a return to form – no matter how small – ought to be welcomed with open arms.