Sega Sammy reports best financial performance for a decade, despite European studio disappointment

Sega has had its best financial performance for a decade, reporting total net sales this year of ¥389.6bn.

The figures come as part of a complete report into Sega Sammy’s 2023. Financial figures show from 2014 – 2023, with the past year having the highest figures of all for net sales, operating income, and ordinary income across the entire business.

Sega Sammy reports consolidated sales grew “significantly” by 21.4 percent, owing to growth in its Pachinko Business and Entertainment Contents Business (games and films).

Sonic Dream Team – Announce TrailerWatch on YouTube

Much of the success appears to be attributed to sales of Sonic Frontiers and box office takings for Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The Sonic series has now sold over 1.66bn units and downloads, up from 1.5bn this time last year.

In addition, the Like a Dragon series has sold 21.3m units (though this year’s Like a Dragon: Ishin was a more niche game for series fans), and the Persona series has sold 17.7m units.

The success of the Sonic series appears to be inspiring the company, as it aims to capitalise on its other popular IPs. Indeed, Sega’s co-COO Shuji Utsumi described the company as “a kind of Treasure Island” as it plans to revive a succession of legacy IPs.

Graph of Sega Sammy's Net Sales from 2014 - 2023

Graph of Sega Sammy operating income from 2014-2023

Sega Sammy’s net sales and operating income over the past decade | Image credit: Sega Sammy

As Sega Sammy CEO Haruki Satomi noted, however, these success stories are all from the Japanese side of the business.

“In the mainstay Consumer area, new Japan-based titles such as Sonic Frontiers and Persona 5 Royal (Remaster) are enjoying significant sales growth overseas,” he said. “On the other hand, the sales of new Europe-based titles that we had looked for failed to materialise, shedding a light on some issues.”

This is, seemingly, referencing the cancellation of looter shooter Hyenas last month from Creative Assembly.

Satomi continued: “In today’s game market, users increasingly tend to read numerous reviews and media information before they buy a game. Talked-about titles with high ratings can record phenomenal sales worldwide, but we see a growing number of cases where sales are sluggish for games that fail to catch the attention of users. The key to making hit games that generate huge sales is to create games that offer new, never before-seen experiences, increase engagement with users, and get widely talked about.”

Utsumi also referenced Sega’s “Super Game” as he looked to the future, something that was first mentioned in last year’s report. Then, it was described as a “large-scale global title” with the aim of attracting streamers, targeting a release by the fiscal year ending March 2026.

Now, Utsumi noted the company is “making steady headway” with the ambitious project. “As the name implies, a ‘Super Game’ involves the concept of a game that stands head and shoulders above normal games,” he said. “I encourage stakeholders to look forward to the fruit of our efforts, which include R&D to create a game that builds a whole worldview involving the entire gaming ecosystem, including not only players but also streamers who stream the game and their viewers.”

Sega’s next few releases include Like A Dragon: Ishin! and Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth, the latter with an Animal Crossing-style island mode, plus Sonic Dream Team exclusive to Apple Arcade.

The third Sonic the Hedgehog film is also due out in 2024, as is – presumably – more Sonic Prime on Netflix.

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