Shock as Sega Visual Concepts Studios Sold to Take 2

Companies forge closer bond with sales, distribution.

Posted by Staff
Sega Sammy Holdings has announced it has reached an agreement with Take 2 for the outright sale of the former Sega studio Visual Concepts, sending a shockwave across the Sega fanbase.

SSH agreed to transfer all common stock and related assets of Visual Concepts, the developer of the ESPN 2K5 series of games, to Take 2 in a deal estimated to be worth $24 million.

"SEGA is proud that it has fostered such a strong and critically-acclaimed sports franchise," said Hisao Oguchi, president, SEGA Corporation. "We remain committed to the North American market, focusing on delivering innovative products that are equally as profitable as they are desirable to the western gamer."

"The ESPN Videogames line has not been a key profit driver in the North American market for SEGA," said Naoya Tsurumi, CEO of SEGA of America. "While SEGA recognizes the strength and depth of the ESPN Videogames franchise, we must remain committed to growing content that will help boost revenues across all western territories."

The news follows the recently announced agreement which will see SEGA distribute select Take 2-published software titles in the Asian region, including Japan.


NiktheGreek 25 Jan 2005 20:17
Good call. The studio has been totally sports-only since Floigan Bros., and since the usefulness of the studio in wake of the NFL deal was lost, it's probably for the best.
Joji 26 Jan 2005 12:58
This was the sort of thing I feared would happen to Sega from the moment I heard of Sammy buying Sega.

If their output is purely sports titles then that should prove interesting to see what Take 2 have in mind for them to do. Well it just be sports games or more than that?

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NiktheGreek 26 Jan 2005 17:31
My guess is, given that Take 2 has purchased Indie Built (previously Microsoft's developer for the XSN sports games) and Major League Baseball exclusivity, they'll be doing sports.

Don't fear for Sega, it's the best possible move they could have made at this point. The market doesn't lose Visual Concepts sports titles (they've merely been sold on), Sega doesn't have to directly fight a largely losing battle with EA and is $24 million richer.
Ditto 26 Jan 2005 17:55
Kinda like Nintendo making a good call in getting rid of Rare.
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