A round of layoffs have hit Sega America. According to Sega of America president and COO Masanao Maeda, the layoffs are due to "challenging economic climate and significant changes within the interactive gaming industry." According to the company, they are streamlining in order to focus on strong Sega IP, specifically, the Sonic the Hedgehog, Total War, Football Manager and the Aliens franchises.
According to IGN's sources, the QA department has been hit hardest, and is being shut down for North America. SEGA Europe will be doing the QA for remaining SEGA titles. Again, according to IGN, positions in marketing, design, social, and development have also been axed.
Maeda issued a statement saying:
"Due to the challenging economic climate and significant changes within the interactive gaming industry, SEGA has made the decision to consolidate its publishing business in order to focus on developing digital content and driving its existing IP such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Total War, Football Manager and the Aliens franchise. This realignment of the business around existing and digital IP is a necessity to ensure that SEGA continues to invest and enhance its digital business offering, whilst reducing its reliance on traditional packaged goods.
"The SEGA consumer business is expected to post operating loss due to the challenging economic climate and significant changes in the home video game software market environment in the US and Europe.
"It is essential to streamline [our] organization in the field of home video game software, while shifting to a structure that corresponds to a change in environment, including strengthening development in the field of digital content.
"We decided to narrow down sales titles to strong IPs such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Football Manager, Total War and Aliens which are expected to continue posting solid earnings. In accordance with this, we are cancelling the development of some game software titles."
Although rumors are flying around the internet that Sega America has totally closed its doors, right now, we have no confirmation of this, and Game Informer is explicitly stating that this isn't the case. We'll let you know more when we know more.