The boss of Sega has admitted that the company has let down long term fans and hinted at new console game reveals this autumn.
If you’d told a Mega Drive owning teen from the ’90s that Sonic the Hedgehog would end up cameoing in Nintendo games and that Sega would become best known for PC strategy games you would’ve been laughed out of the playground.
But that’s been the truth of it for years now, with Sega all but abandoning its arcade and console heritage. But an unusually frank interview with CEO and president Hajime Satomi suggests that things may be about to change.
‘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,’ he told Japanese mag Famitsu, as translated by Siliconera.
‘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.’
It seems that the change of heart is due in part to Sega’s acquisition of Persona creator Atlus, which despite making quite niche, very obviously Japanese, games continues to enjoy considerable success in the West.
‘As far as the Western market goes, we learned a lot from Atlus,’ said Satomi. ‘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,’ he added. ‘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.’
All of which will be music to fans’ ears, especially as when asked if this new policy could see a major new game released this year he answered with the following:
‘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.’