Talking to Gamasutra at E3, Sega of America president Simon Jeffery has been discussing pulling back from a traditional Japanese reliance on “a small number of huge games”, and suggesting: “We’re trying to make sure that we don’t make the mistake of being yet another Japanese company trying to be a Japanese company in the West.”
As part of a larger Gamasutra interview, Jeffery, who has made strong Western-focused deals with companies such as Obsidian and BioWare in recent years, explained his business thinking on the matter as follows:
"We’ve strongly tried to make Sega of America feel like it’s not a Japanese company. We want to resonate better with gamers in the casual market a lot better than I think Japanese companies have been able to do traditionally in the last few years.
The output from Japan now seems to be very geared around a small number of huge games, that do resonate with the Western market, but most Japanese content just doesn’t anymore.
So that’s a big change from 5 or 6 years ago, it’s a pretty big change from the last generation. We’re trying to make sure that we don’t make the mistake of being yet another Japanese company trying to be a Japanese company in the West.
We want to build our success through building products in the West for the West, and so there are not very many Japanese staff in the office of Sega of America, and we have a lot of autonomy now."
Concluding, Jeffery noted that this strategy was both approved and encouraged by the Japanese owners of the company, understanding the differences in the markets:
“This was part of the initiative by Sega of Japan. They made the conscious initiative to have the Western operations have a Western management team in place.”
The full Gamasutra interview with Sega’s Simon Jeffery will be published on the site in the near future.