Sega to license out key franchises?

I noticed the following news on yesterday…

We can reveal this morning that Sega is currently in the process of licensing out a massive range of its key intellectual properties, in some of the biggest news regarding the firm since the Sammy buy-out from earlier this year.

Sources at various development studios in the US and Europe have been privy to an invitation to tender for the rights to create updates to some of the biggest Sega franchises, though the full story is slightly more interesting.

One source told us, ?Sega of America has pitched the concept of westernising these franchises. So the ITTs have been given solely to studios in the States and Europe. The idea is to broaden the appeal of some under-exploited IP or to achieve greater sales of certain franchises outside of Japan.?

The list of IP that has been designated for western third-party development reads as follows:

House of the Dead
Golden Axe
Virtua Cop
Streets of Rage
Crazy Taxi
Altered Beast

Of the above, Sega designated House of the Dead as being the most important franchise. Golden Axe had the lowest priority. We can confirm that Travellers? Tales is in talks with Sega right now concerning one of the firm?s franchises that is not listed above.

There are two more games on the list from Sega, making a total of ten. At time of press, these were not available to SPOnG.

Expect updates and a slew of outsourcing announcements from Sega as the months roll on.


Panzer Dragoon may not be up there, but some pretty important stuff is, assuming that this is accurate info. NiGHTS caught my attention in particular; I’m quite a fan of the original game, and I honestly didn’t expect the series to be continued in any way. What are your thoughts on all this, though?

Damn, you beat me to it Lance.

So, Sega is going to liscence out some of its franchises to western developers in a bid to make its presence felt outside of Japan again. Many fans feel that “westernising” some of Sega’s greatest games may ruin them, but I feel that it’s about time that Sega started acting like the international company that it is instead of focusing on Japan first and foremost (remember, the latter type of mentality almost destroyed Sega).


you can all relax :wink:

I really hope they don’t make a shitty game but they probably will.

I wouldn’t mind Sega turning some of it’s franchises over to other developers, if these new developers did the job right. Looking at it in a positive light, if the games were developed it the west we’d be likely to get the games first (before Japan). On the other hand, I don’t think I’d like to see some of those franchises ‘westernised’ (in style). There’s a certain charm attached to some of them thanks to their Japanese origin.

Who knows… if this did happen then maybe the new developers would try and keep the games closer to the originals than Sega themselves would (Shining Force, anyone?)

alright, so i assume we’re thinking of this hypothetically?

well hypothetically, i think house of the dead, virtua cop, and crazy taxi could benefit from having certain western devs develop them.

golden axe and altered would most likely be nothing like their predecessors so it doesn’t really matter.

NiGHTS, streets of rage, and shinobi should only be handled by those who have an intimate understanding of the games (id et: the original creators). western developers certainly have their merits but i still find that the gameplay come off feeling “obtuse” rather than the perfectly detailed, finely tuned, “acute” feeling of eastern games. and NiGHTS, shinobi, and SoR are all things that i think need to be finely tuned, else they’ll play like bollocks*.

*i’m not european… but i’m learning

The mythical Mega Drive game pack - Golden Axe, Shinobi and SoR is marked in my heart like a heart.Good news if they get new games.

(Shinobi X doesn’t count…)

Nights is even better news.

If any of these were believable…
Like Thedium said…

Don’t forget that this Spong hardly the most reliable source, when it comes to news.
These are the guys that 1st clamed that Out Run II was only coming out for PS 2. And claimed there were the 1st to reveal the bonus tracks in Out Run II. Well we all know where they got that from.

Altered Beast won’t be handed out, seeing seeing as it’s in development In-House (Wow).

Can?t see Naka letting a 3rd party handle NiGHTS, when he won’t even let his own team work on the project (even though they want too).

I don’t want any project handed out. I don’t buy SEGA games for 3rd party’s to make them. I buy them becasue only SEGA can makes games like Out Run II, Ollie King

And I’m still trying to get over the Saturn HOTD port, that was handed out.

I’m all for leting 3rd party porting Chihiro games though, and updating some of the old Mega Drive games like a new Eternal Champions , Chakan,

Random thing concerning the topic : Well it’s not like the japanese have some genetic supremecy over western people.

The only thing good in having this games developed in Japan is if they are made by their original creators,Or some of them.

You said it Gehn!

I’m surprised that Streets of Rage is even on the list considering the fact that Sega of America hadn’t even heard of the famous series of Genesis brawlers when the original creators offered to make a new game for the Dreamcast…

How Sega can make such fatal mistakes without even realising it is beyond me.

I would love to see a new Nights, Panzer, Shenmue, and Skies of Arcadia. These are my favorite games of all time.

While the news does come from spong, it is possible. If Traveller’s Tales is looking into a game, i would assume it would be NiGHTS. Only because they have been making platformers for many years their latest being Crash Twinsanity. If it is true, i think Traveller’s Tales would do a great job with NiGHTS.

I would also like to see a new Golden Axe game for current generation consoles.

[quote=“GehnTheBerserker”]If any of these were believable…
Like Thedium said…[/quote]

Yeah, I figured it went without saying that this might not be 100% factual. :slight_smile: In fact I haven’t seen it reported on any other news sites yet, so there’s a reasonable chance that it’s not accurate; on the other hand though, it does sound fairly believable, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the truth is.

Anyway - going back to the hypothetical questions - I honestly don’t think that this would be a bad thing. Presumably this would be good for Sega financially, and from the gamers’ perspective we’d be getting sequels to some really classic games. Seeing as they’d be developed by different teams, they’d presumably bring some fresh new ideas to the old formulas, too.

I can understand the worry about moving these franchises away from Sega, but I’m not convinced that would be intrinsically bad. For one thing, the dev teams who created the older games presumably no longer exist in the same forms, with all the same key members; even if sequels to those games were handled by Sega, they wouldn’t strictly be the work of their creators. As for NiGHTS, I’ve really started losing confidence in Sonic Team’s abilities; Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Heroes seemed like mediocre sequels that were just made for the sake of it. Maybe they could deliver a quality NiGHTS sequel, but in their present state it strikes me that they might not.

The most important thing (as far as I can see) is that these franchises get carried on by teams who want to carry them on, who are enthusiastic about making updates to these classic games and who aren’t going to disappoint the existing fans. (The whole “westernising” aspect is something else entirely though, and I’m not quite sure what to make of it without more details).

I haven’t played that conversion, but I remember reading about it at the time; on the other hand though, good things can certainly come from passing licenses around. Look at Nintendo; they handed the Metroid license out to Retro Studios, and Metroid Prime ended up being one of the most important Gamecube games to date. They licensed the F-Zero franchise out to Sega (Amusement Vision) too, and F-Zero GX was about as good a sequel as could be asked for.

After playing Sonic Adventure 2, I came to the conclusion that even I could make a better 3D Sonic game. The Tales and Robotnik levels were simplistic and dull, and the scavenger hunts with Knuckles and Rouge were so mind-numbingly boring that I couldn’t wait to stop playing. If you played as either Sonic or Shadow for the majority of the game (as opposed to 1/3 of it), then it could better stand up to its critics.

Anyway… I’m more interested in Sega’s plans for the next generation consoles. I wonder if Sega will focus on developing games for a single console at first in an attempt to establish its brand, or if Sega has plans to develop games for all three next generation consoles. Eventually, Sega will have no choice but to support to most popular console, but Sega could play a pivotal role in helping a single console get a headstart.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Sega is already developing a launch title for one of the next generation consoles (although I personally doubt that Sega has any plans to help Sony continue to monopolise the games industry).

Problem is Lance even tho there are people enthusiastic about doing artistic things with specific series there is always the danger of changing things.

A good example is Orta.

Fair go, SEGA gave Tantalus a ridiculously short period of time to complete the game. Look at their ManxTT port for Saturn, that was decent (just not enough home features, but the graphics and speed are good).
If this were to occur I hope the dev teams would be given enough time and flexibility to make some good games. It’d be tragic if SEGA were to say, "we need a Shinobi game out in three months, Crazy Taxi in 5 months either comply or lose the license."
Im also concerned of substandard sequels. Crazy Tazi 3 was pretty poor seeing as it didnt introduce new ideas, would an external team be pressured, either by themselves or contractual obligations, to make the gamer a “certain way” hence limitng the possible outcomes?

I guess I wanna see it happen.

I agree Crazy Taxi 3 is like Tomb Raider 3 nothing new really.

That game was really, really, really bad. Really. It joins “Winter Heat” in the “Why the hell did SSM give this 90+%?” club.

I dont think its that bad. Granted half of the fun comes from wrapping your legs around a big plastic bike at the arcade.
I dunno, perhaps paying a miniscule $12 australian dollars made me less discerning somewhat.

I still reckon the HotD port suffered due to lack of time spent on refining the game. Loading halfway through levels is painful and really quite unforgivable, thankfully I only payed a paltry sum for that one too.

As for Winter heat, I havent played it myself, but perhaps it was the multiplayer that one them over. Ive given many games the benfit of the doubt if they can entertain my mates and I for a few hours.
Speaking of which, anyone played Mashed? multiplayer genius!

Well, I suppose this is a good thing for Panzer Dragoon. I guess since they aren’t trying to license PD out, that must mean they have plans in motion for it.