- Sega had an active year in 2023 with multiple game releases, including re-releases and new titles in AAA franchises, but sales during the holiday season were sluggish.
- Sega attributed the weak sales to factors such as the worsening economic environment in Europe and the United States and inflating game development costs.
- Despite the slow sales, Sega has a strong game lineup planned for 2024, including new entries in classic franchises, but it doesn’t expect these games to prevent sales and profits from falling below expectations.
A recent financial report from Sega has indicated that its sales of new games during the Holidays were rather sluggish. Sega had an incredibly active 2023, publishing roughly 15 titles from its catalog of IPs. Some of these were re-releases and smaller-scale titles, like ports of Persona 4 Golden to other consoles, the Etrian Odyssey collection, and Samba de Amigo: Party Central.
2023 also saw the release of brand-new Sega titles in its most prominent AAA franchises, including Sonic Superstars, Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, and Persona 5 Tactica. Other releases in the year included games from Sega’s European branch, like Creative Assembly’s Total War: Pharaoh or Amplitude Studios’ Endless Dungeon. Despite 2023 being a good year for Sega releases, it was also reportedly a slow year in terms of new game sales, especially during the 2023 holiday period.
Sega of America Is Laying Off Staff
Sega of America is set to lay off staff in the coming months, amid a continuing trend of mass job cuts for many developers in the gaming industry.
According to Sega’s latest financial report, despite having a rise in overall sales and profit, there was a decrease in sales for new titles. As a result of these weaker sales, Sega adjusted its sales and profit forecast for the upcoming financial year. “In the Consumer area, although we released some new titles in Q3, including Sonic Superstars, Endless Dungeon, and Total War: Pharaoh, sales went sluggish during the holiday sales season,” said Sega. “As a result of these factors, etc., both sales and ordinary income are expected to be lower than previous forecast.” These reports do not include the record-breaking sales numbers for Persona 3 Reload and Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth.
Sega’s Reasoning for Weak Sales
Sega states that sales in Europe and the United States are the main areas that were struggling, citing that the “worsening economic environment” has reached a plateau, among other factors. Inflating game development costs were also cited in this report, stating that there is an “urgent” need to respond to this changing environment. Sega expects the game market to continue growing, along with its platform diversity, allowing for games to be published and maintained in the long term.
In the Consumer area, although we released some new titles in Q3, including Sonic Superstars, Endless Dungeon, and Total War: Pharaoh, sales went sluggish during the holiday sales season. As a result of these factors, etc., both sales and ordinary income are expected to be lower than previous forecast.
While there weren’t any specific games pointed out as a reason why sales were slow in Holiday 2023, Sega did mention back in November that Sonic Superstars‘ sales fell below expectations, likely due to it releasing around the same time as Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. Wonder. Despite its lackluster sales, Sonic Superstars is expected to continue getting DLC content later in 2024, with a new Shadow the Hedgehog costume being added to celebrate the newly announced Sonic X Shadow Generations.
Sega’s game output for 2024 is looking to be pretty strong. Aside from the aforementioned releases of Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth and Persona 3 Reload, Sega has new entries in its classic back catalog lined up, including a new Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, and Streets of Rage game. That being said, Sega has also stated that it does not expect these games or the upcoming Unicorn Overlord by Atlus to prevent sales and profits from ending up being below expectations.