Why Sega Are Dropping Console Games For Mobile


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Sega Networks, the division of Sega dedicated to mobile game development, recently published a report that sheds some light on the performance of their mobile titles. If you’re wondering why Sega are moving away from console games to focus on mobile, you’ll find the answers you were seeking below.


Sega say they have 5 titles in the top 50 ranked apps on Google Play, while on iOS they operated 8 of the top 50 ranked applications. Below is the presentation slide they use to highlight some of their mobile games, categorized by how successful they’ve been in the company’s eyes. Our breakdown of the slide can be found further down.



To summarize, anything below 50 million yen per-month is considered a failure, while the average “hit” title does about 100 million yen a month.


Big hits: Over 500 million yen per-month

  • Chain Chronicle (seeing growth)
  • Puyo Puyo Quest (seeing growth)


Titles like Chain Chronicles are classified as “big hits,” because they bring in over 500 million yen a month, and are still growing. Sega say that Chain Chronicles is available in 144 countries at present, and they expect it to remain one of their key titles in the coming fiscal year. Also in the big hits category, Puyo Puyo Quest is no slouch either, having achieved record high sales in December 2014, and 11 million downloads to date.


Hits: Over 100 million yen per-month

  • Ange Vierge (seeing growth)
  • Border Break: Gun Front Gale
  • Kingdom Conquest II
  • Clan Battle
  • Soccer Tsuku Shoot (seeing growth)
  • Dragon Parade (seeing growth)


Under the “hits” category, Ange Vierge and Soccer Tsuku Shoot are of particular interest. Ange Vierge saw record high sales in December 2014, and a TV anime tie-in is expected to lead to further growth. Meanwhile Soccer Tsuku Shoot is anticipated to see growth in 2015 as well.


Likely to be hits: Over 50 million yen per-month

  • Let’s Make a Professional Baseball Team!
  • Derby Owners Club
  • Phantom Tower Senki Griffon (seeing growth)
  • Treachery of Ciel Ark
  • Dragon Coins


Stalling titles: Over 30 million yen per-month

  • Oshare Code: Girls Holic
  • Makai Gakuen Catastrophe
  • Champion Football
  • Toki Labyrinth
  • Sealed Hero! Mine Island and the Sky Labyrinth


While Sega’s Sonic Dash game is not represented above, that title has seen 98 million downloads on a cumulative basis worldwide. Meanwhile, the entire Sonic series on mobile has seen 143.5 million downloads on a cumulative basis.


To put all of this in perspective, Sega Networks’ revenue forecast is 31.4 billion yen for the ongoing fiscal year (up 10.5 billion from the year prior) with the company having a large number of mobile titles they classify as hits. In contrast, traditional console games aren’t pulling their weight. Sega said in a separate report that digital games have been doing well, but packaged titles have been underperforming. For instance, in 2014, Sega launched Sonic Boom, which was received poorly and had sold less than 500,000 copies worldwide by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Phantasy Star Nova, a high-profile title in Japan, sold just 107,000 copies at launch, marking the lowest debut for a Phantasy Star game in years.


Additionally, The company recently launched Yakuza Zero in Japan, but said back in February that it expected “weak sales” of new titles.


Coming back to mobile, the situation is very different. In terms of growth, Sega feel that the potential scale of the Asian mobile market is 1 trillion yen, while the European and U.S. markets together amount to that figure as well. To try and tap into this potential, Sega plan to target South East Asia and South Asia, along with South America and EMEA territories. The company is targeting threefold growth in its overseas mobile segment for the coming fiscal year.


With regard to the mobile segment as a whole, 16 mainstay titles will continue to be operated, while about 20 new titles with “console quality” will be added to the lineup. Over half of these 20 console quality mobile titles are planned for release by September 2015. Oh, and five of the 20 console quality titles will be developed by Sega, rather than Sega Networks.

Ishaan Sahdev
About The Author
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.