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Monday, November 06, 2006 

Sonic booms in Europe

Sega Mobile is to go direct across Europe with the aim of becoming a top five mobile games publisher inside two years.
The company is in the process of setting up direct sales relationships with tier one operators in the major European territories and is looking to hire a senior exec to run the entire mobile operation. It expects to have a ten-strong team in place by spring 2007.

Sega is already a formidable presence in mobile having previously licensed eight titles to iFone (and latterly Glu Mobile, which bought iFone earlier this year). Its flagship product Sonic The Hedgehog has dominated recent charts and has sold over 700,000 units.

However, Sega clearly believes now is the time to take charge of its own destiny. Consequently, will is releasing its last three more licensed products, while Sega goes direct with Medieval Total War and Football Manager Quiz.

Alan Pritchard, UK MD of Sega, said: “Partnering with iFone and Glu has been great for us and taught us a lot about what works and what doesn’t in mobile. So we’re looking forward to this new era.”

Pritchard wants the new-look Sega Mobile to compete in generally overlooked areas such as Symbian smartphone gaming, original games content and working with handset manufacturers on various kinds of embedded products.

Although the Sonic brand is an evergreen that stands comparison with other all-time gaming greats like Tetris, Sega has other formidable licences in its armoury, such as Monkey Ball, Sega Rally, OutRun and the Virtua range.

Outside of Europe, Sega Mobile’s activities remain unchanged, with Sega US continuing to be run as a subsidiary of the Japanese operation.

Pedro "K2" Macêdo

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