As of July 1st, Sega's various subsidiaries are due to be retracted back into the main SEGA organisation, in news that sits uncomfortably with the firm's super-loyal fanbase.
Studios including Amusement Vision and Hitmaker will close their websites, whilst other teams like AM2 will cut down non-essential web content, such as developer diaries and personal columns. This reintegration comes as a result of Sammy's recent takeover of Sega and concludes the debate as to the ultimate future of Sega as it once existed.
As regular SPOnG readers will know, Sega reacted aggressively to the suggestion that its involvement with Sammy would result in any developmental restructure, with the ensuing rows between the press and Sega's PR wings reverberating across the industry. And as with the full buy-out of Sega by Sammy, the fears of fans have been realised to the letter. Sega Japan underlines that current projects will be seen through to completion, though a reduction in output and the reining in of untested, highly innovative projects - arguably Sega's defining property over the last decades - seems certain to come.
This news will also fan the flames of rumour that suggests Sega's studio heads will be departing the firm at some point in the near future. Yuji Naka, Yu Suzuki and Toshihiro Nagoshi have all been named as those likely to jump ship in favour of pursuing their videogame goals across a broad spectrum of the press - a move that, if realised, would surely spell the absolute end of the Sega that has been omnipresent in the games industry for as long as we can remember.
Stay tuned for further updates on all things Sega in the coming weeks.