Sega To Shift Focus To Digital And Social As Packaged Game Sales Decline


Sega have released their earnings report for last year. Here’s a look at how their major games performed:


Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (US/EU) – 3.28 million [Wii/3DS]

Sonic Generations (US/EU/JP) – 1.85 million [360/PS3/PC/3DS]

Virtua Tennis 4 (US/EU/JP) – 1.04 million [360/PS3/Wii/PC/Vita]

Football Manager 2012  (EU) – 710,000 [PC/PSP]

Yakuza: Dead Souls (US/EU/JP) – 550,000 [PS3]


Last year, Sega sold 17.2 million copies of packaged games, worldwide. For their ongoing fiscal year, they presently forecast a far lower 8.9 million. Of course, this estimate may change as the year goes on, but as previously reported, in the face of weak overseas sales, Sega are undergoing a major restructuring in order to focus on established brands.


Something of interest jumped out in Sega’s platform mix for the ongoing fiscal year, too. Sega estimate they’ll sell 380,000 units of software across three games on the Nintendo 3DS. Meanwhile, Sega estimate they’ll sell just 600,000 units of retail software across eight games on the PlayStation Vita. Next Hatsune Miku: Project Diva will be among Sega’s Vita releases this year, and should account for a fair portion of that 600K estimate.


This makes one wonder just how low sales of their other packaged Vita titles will be. Perhaps more of Sega’s Vita games will rely on digital revenue like Samurai & Dragon? For instance, Phantasy Star Online 2, which is scheduled for release sometime in 2013, will be a freely downloadable title powered by micro-transactions.


On a related note, while Sega’s packaged games business is suffering, their social games are thriving. One such title, Kingdom Conquest, has achieved 2.5 million downloads as of March. As a result, Sega said they will restructure themselves to focus on the development of digital and social games for mobiles, smartphones and PC.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.