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Sega development studios 2018 restructure? Also, (a new incarnation of) CS2 working on a new IP?

#1 User is offline Beltway 

Posted 16 December 2018 - 10:28 PM

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Earlier today at ResetERA, Null Pointer (a member who has been verified by Era site staff as a senior localization producer at Atlus) had this to say in a thread about Sega's [current] development studios:


Hey guys, I just noticed this thread since it got floated up, and wanted to point out that some of the info in the OP is a couple years out of date and is more accurate for SEGA circa 2013 or so, not 2018 (going on 2019). Just hitting the broad strokes, CS3 doesn't exist anymore (absorbed into the other two studios), and the current heads of CS1 and CS2 are Sato-san and Kasahara-san, respectively. Online, while it does have some mobile related stuff, is not "the mobile studio", and it is headed by a gentleman named Segawa-san. SEGA Interactive (AM) studios are a little vague to me, but those are a totally different company than SEGA Games.

Edit: I use SEGA Retro as a quick reference from time to time and appreciate when it's accurate.

To quickly summarize for those who don't want to check the link or can't see the quoted reply: assuming what Null says is true, CS3 is gone, with its staff folded into the remaining CS1 and CS2 groups, both of which also have new studio overheads (Daisuke Sato for CS1, Eigo Kasahara for CS2). (Sega's Online division also has a new lead (Sagawa) and may not be strictly concerned with mobile projects.)

Recall that as of late...
- CS1 was/is the "Yakuza" division (Yakuza series by internal Yakuza group, the Fist of the North Star and [upcoming] Judgement spinoffs) and was/is overseen by Toshihiro Nagoshi.
- CS2 was/is the "Sonic" division (Sonic series by Sonic Team group, Mario and Sonic Olympics, Puyo Puyo) and was/is [generally] overseen by Takashi Iizuka.
- CS3 was/is the "Miscellaneous"group that handled other projects (including but not limited to Project DIVA, Valkyria Chronicles, Shining, and M2's 3D Classics re-releases) and/is was overseen by Akira Nishino.

(Please correct me if I'm wrong with any of the information above.)

In addition, 4gamer yesterday also released a article about Sega Games, talking about the hiring process and the available job positions the company had. The article also included this notable bit (English translation by Google translate and original Japanese text included below), which says CS2 may be at work on a original property:


The second CS studio is handling various SEGA Games IP works such as "Sonic the Hedgehog" series, "Puyo Puyo" series, "Sakura Wars" series. It is unusual for a single staff member to be involved in multiple projects at the same time, but it seems that there are cases where staff who worked on "Sonic" participates in the new work of "Puyo Puyo" next time.
In addition, the studio is also working on a new IP, but for that reason it was revealed that the "challenge budget" was set up at SEGA Games.



The article also mentions Sega Games relocated to a new office in Osaki, Tokyo, back in August; which was done to consolidate various groups working in the Tokyo metropolitan area into one location. (4gamer linked to an article where they covered the new office's opening exhibition in September.)

A more precise translation is appreciated, although at least one poster at Era says the "new IP" translation is accurate.

Taking both reports into account and assuming they are both correct; this signals a significant change in in paradigm shift of Sega's focus with their games. With CS3 as a division dissolved and CS1 firmly established in Yakuza games, this points to CS2 taking CS3's mantle of working on general projects, especially with the report of that division working on a new IP. This also raises some pretty important questions as to the importance and management of the Sonic series as a whole, but I'm saving that response for another thread in the Sonic subforum. Moreover, it might also explain the numerous amount of classic Sega IP revivals --either through sequels or remakes-- outsourced to different companies, rather than production being handled by Sega in-house (such as Shenmue III, the Wonder Boy: Dragon's Trap remake, Streets of Rage 4, and the announced remakes of Panzer Dragoon 1 and 2, among others).
This post has been edited by Yeow: 17 December 2018 - 12:27 AM

#2 User is offline Black Squirrel 

Posted 17 December 2018 - 04:16 PM

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View PostYeow, on 16 December 2018 - 10:28 PM, said:

(Please correct me if I'm wrong with any of the information above.)

I think most, if not everything documented about Sega's internal development studios is wrong. We had a lad who was making 490234092348 pages on Sega Retro and I hadn't the patience to fact-check it all - it's all... "sorta right", but it needs revisiting (and more importantly, a truckload of references to back up the claims).

The problem is that Sega spun-off all its development teams into separate companies around 2000-ish... and then absorbed them all again. And then bits got merged with Sammy. And all the while they held onto brands like "AM2" and "Sonic Team", even though it didn't always make much sense. Historically people have made dodgy assumptions and even though I've been living and breathing this noise for nearly a decade, I'm totally confused.

When it comes to corporate structure, I think it's best to use Sega(-Sammy)'s official documents

One two.

I can believe there are three "consumer" divisions of "Sega Games", but there are other things going on in the network space, and "Sega Interactive" is doing totally different things when it comes to arcades. We're struggling to keep up with any of them.

Sega outsources work to smaller development studios (which are easier to keep track of), but I think that's more about spreading risk. It's not like the 80s and 90s where you can have 3480923 games being worked on at once - every AAA release requires a dedicated team of hundreds and multiple-year development cycles. Fewer projects = fewer (but larger) teams.

#3 User is offline 360 

Posted 18 December 2018 - 12:28 PM

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Well holy shit - if this is correct then it means "Sonic Team" in whatever current incarnation and studio format they're in and as we knew them are being let off the Sonic production line leash to work on a new IP - Nights and Burning Rangers-style. I think? Fucking wonderful given the rumours they're burnt out on Sonic. Presumably they're finally being given the creative freedom to work on something new that could potentially be as amazing as their previous non-Sonic efforts from forever ago if the blockade all this time is that they were never given freedom from the Sonic grind.

"New IP" also means it's something entirely new also. Very excited and interested to see more about this and do very much appreciate the heads up.

EDIT: No more 3D Sonic for another 4 years then it seems. Hopefully it means the next Sonic game is from the Mania team then.
This post has been edited by 360: 18 December 2018 - 12:29 PM

#4 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 19 December 2018 - 04:01 PM

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View Post360, on 18 December 2018 - 12:28 PM, said:

given the rumours they're burnt out on Sonic.
Did those rumors come from people who don't work at SEGA and don't know any current Sonic Team members personally? Cause I wouldn't trust them in that case. =|

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 04:11 PM

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Welp, and next they're burnt out on their business. Imagine you're in the midst of working your ass off when suddenly someone messes with your workplace like this. ARGH, NOT AGAIN. I hope this doesn't affect their brands in a bad way. Keep it light hearted. Now's a good time for a new IP.

#6 User is offline 360 

Posted 20 December 2018 - 11:03 PM

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View PostICEknight, on 19 December 2018 - 04:01 PM, said:

Did those rumors come from people who don't work at SEGA and don't know any current Sonic Team members personally? Cause I wouldn't trust them in that case. =|

Yeah with the games industry it is important to not believe everything given how many rumours are just untrue - so I do see your point.

I did some looking around and this was the rumour I was thinking of here. Given the prophecy of the Werehog in Unleashed coming true it does look like that was a genuine Sega employee. However what's more of an issue with it is just that it's so long ago (2007) meaning even if Sonic Team were burnt out then it has been 11 years - so that rumour may not be why Forces turned out the way it did. Also throwing a spanner in to the mix is that if the source was true - how did the Hedgehog Engine, Unleashed Day Stages, Colours and then Generations which were all fantastic happen in quick succession shortly thereafter? So the veracity of the rumour is indeed outdated and very questionable even it held a glimmer of truth at the time. So point taken.

Honestly what I'd give for "The Final Hours of Sonic Forces" and a behind the scenes look at what happened. Maybe we'll find out someday.
This post has been edited by 360: 20 December 2018 - 11:10 PM

#7 User is offline Vangar 

Posted 21 December 2018 - 07:41 PM

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View PostICEknight, on 19 December 2018 - 04:01 PM, said:

View Post360, on 18 December 2018 - 12:28 PM, said:

given the rumours they're burnt out on Sonic.
Did those rumors come from people who don't work at SEGA and don't know any current Sonic Team members personally? Cause I wouldn't trust them in that case. =|

I've been hearing this burnt out rumor since Sonic Colors, so I wouldn't really believe it.

#8 User is offline Prototype 

Posted 23 December 2018 - 04:58 AM

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It'd certainly make sense if they were burnt out, but I've never seen it confirmed. But for all we know it's just fans who are burnt out and are projecting to explain away subjectively poor decisions.

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