It appears that SEGA has been on something of a buying spree, with an announcement just made this morning that the Japanese publisher has bought not one, but two leading western developers ? the UK?s Sports Interactive and the San Fran-based Secret Level, Inc.
Sports Interactive needs little introduction. Founded in 1994 by Paul and Oliver Collyer and operating from offices in Islington, North London they are the creative brains behind the hugely successful Football Manager series, the first two titles of which have so far sold in excess of 1.5 million copies - the second fastest selling PC game of all time in the UK.
For more on SI, check out our recent interview
with Sports Interactive?s MD, Miles Jacobson. Miles, who is very much on the ball both creatively and commercially, will no doubt be celebrating in style this week, as the ink dries on this groundbreaking deal for both his company and for SEGA.
Speaking about the deal, Miles had the following to say: ?From our first meeting with SEGA, it felt like 'home' - they really understand development and it?s an honour to get to work with the overwhelming pool of talent from both the development and publishing side. The partner was right for the next chapter in Sports Interactive?s history, with more releases from the studio this year than ever before. Myself, Ov, Paul and the SI team are all really excited about the future.?
Naoya Tsurumi, CEO of SEGA Europe and SEGA of America commented ?Football Manager is an extremely successful brand for SEGA and one of the most significant titles for our European line-up.?
Secret Level, best know for Americas Army: Rise of a Soldier, Magic: The Gathering Battlegrounds and Star Wars Jedi Starfighter, was founded in 1999. President, Jeremy Gordon, said ?SEGA?s incredible library of IP and global publishing muscle will enable us to realize our full technical and creative potential. It?s become clear that a combined SEGA and Secret Level are greater than the sum of our parts.?
It would seem that SEGA West, as the US and European offices are referred to internally, really is growing into a global publishing and development force to be reckoned with.
The first titles to be released from SEGA and Sports Interactive under the terms of the new partnership are the highly anticipated Football Manager 2006 on Xbox 360 and Football Manager Handheld for PSP, both headed for release at the end of next week, April 13th 2006. News is still to be announced onnew titles to be developed by SEGA and Secret Level.
Miles, the drinks are on you we believe. Oh, and about that little misunderstanding last year... hmm OK, we?ll get them in then.