Visualizza versione completa : Arriva il zirco (Simon Jeffery interview inside)

City Hunter
31-07-2008, 00.09.52
Dal sito finanziario Forbes, un'intervista al nostro caro Jeffery.
Ci sono alcuni punti interessanti.

Vi posto l'articolo completo.

The Sega Genesis console once had a rabid fan base. Simon Jeffrey, president of Sega of America, recalls a time--about 20 years ago--when Sega was cool and known for producing "edgy" content.

Now, like some awkward adolescent, Sega (other-otc: SEGNF.PK - news - people ) has been spurned by its old fans for churning out ill-received Sonic-branded games and kid-focused content.

After its Dreamcast console failed to chisel out a space for itself in the videogame marketplace, Sega bailed out of the hardware business in 2001 to focus on game publishing. It's been a battle ever since. While Sega's portfolio of Sonic games and licensed fare such as "Iron Man" may not resonate with the company's fans, the strategy has been paying off: Sega now is consistently among the top six publishers in terms of market share, which Jeffrey says is growing annually. And with a firm base to work off, Sega can finally focus on reinventing itself.

Forbes.com sat down with Jeffrey to discuss the future of the company

Già nel cappello si capisce che ne sanno di più dei fan Sega un sito finanziario che la nostra cara dirigenza, ok non interrompo più :tsk:

Forbes.com: Who do you see as Sega's competitors?

Simon Jeffrey: Over the last few years we've been competitive with the likes of Capcom, Midway and Eidos. We've doubled our market share year on year. We're now looking at THQ as our nearest competitor in terms of market share. We don't intend to be an Activision or an Electronic Arts--one of those juggernauts. We're actually really happy where we are. We can be small and agile and yet extremely profitable and successful. It really feels like this year we're competing with the next tier up, and THQ is a good company for us to model ourselves on and go after in terms of market share.

What's your plan of action?

We have a strategic road map that identifies areas we want to play in and the number of acquisitions we want to look at. We're fairly detailed about that--it's been one of the ingredients in our recent success. We've tried to look backward before we look forward. We look at everything that we have done wrong and the industry has done wrong, as well as looking at the companies who have grown successfully and figure out what they've done to grow successfully.

How do you view Activision now that its merger with "World of Warcraft" developer Blizzard Entertainment will create the largest company in the videogames industry?

[Activision Chief Executive] Bobby Kotick is one of the smartest people in the business. The way he's constructed Activision is really admirable. So many companies in this business want to be No. 1 right away. They want to grow, and they want to grow right now. They blow it because they burn out.

Bobby has grown Activision in stages over a long number of years to get to this point. And it's very calculating and very clever the way he's done that. Activision has also managed to be the first company in this business to market games properly. Anyone who can turn a hardcore brand like "Call of Duty" into a 10 million unit seller … is outstanding. I think that Activision is going to take some catching and their profitability is unmatched.

With Activision's success in mind, how do you view Electronic Arts' ongoing attempt to acquire Take-Two Interactive?

It feels like EA kind of needs [Take-Two], but it probably shouldn't have made it so public that it really needed it. I think that it's losing some investor confidence; the stock price is at a three-year low. And it seems like EA has been the petulant child instead of the professional market leader. However it's EA, and it's really good at coming back.

Looking at these two juggernauts--Activision and EA--where has Sega learned the most lessons?

I think from everywhere. We're in the fortunate position of being fairly comfortable [as] the No. 6 publisher. We don't feel like we're forced to compete. We're not forced to try to make rash acquisitions just to get to No. 1--that affords us to sit back and look at what's going on everywhere.

Again, I think one of the issues and mistakes that this very young industry has had over the last decade has been not spending enough time to reflect on what's going on. That's something which we're really trying to be very cognizant of and be aware of what's going on in the marketplace and be reactive to it.

Where do you want Sega to be in five years?

Five years is a long time in this business, but I really hope we're going to be a top-five publisher. I can't believe us not being a top-five publisher on a global basis, not just in North America. I think that's something [that] will be tremendous.

Where I would really like for us to be is at the cutting edge of every platform, to be the go-to publisher for Sony with its next system and with Microsoft with its next system. We kind of are like that with Nintendo right now, and thanks to our relationship with Apple, we are kind of like that on the iPhone at the moment. But I want to really get that same kind of recognition with Microsoft and Sony. We have solid relationships, but when they're launching a new platform I want them to come to Sega to build their killer app.

How are you going to get there? Through acquisitions? Development deals?

I think at the moment, because of the climate, we're looking at development deals. However, if the right opportunity came along, we would happily be there. We still have plenty of cash in the bank and a willingness to spend it for the right thing. But recently there have been some insane developer acquisitions with some insane valuations, and suddenly all the developers think they're worth ten times what they actually are. They're all kind of talking silly currency right now. It's not a good climate for studio acquisitions.

That said, we're constantly looking to forge new relationships with development talent. A lot of the bigger, high-profile developers have been acquired. That's kind of a cyclical thing in the industry that fosters birth at the other end. You're getting a lot of start-ups on the other end from real high-end talent coming out of internal studios at the big publishers. We're really interested in fostering a lot of relationships with start-ups and existing talent.

What's the most exciting thing happening in the games industry right now?

The most interesting thing is the mass acceptance of gaming. It's gone from being kind of a nerdy, exclusive niche activity to probably the preeminent form of entertainment in North America. Pretty much every kid born in North America is going to be a gamer, which means that the market is only going to get bigger from here. I've been in the game business for 22 years, and that's the most noticeable thing: this tangible cultural feel that gaming is huge and everyone wants to be a part of it. I think the gaming business is in a healthy state right now. There will continue to be casualties, but that's just like every business.

City Hunter
31-07-2008, 00.13.08
Qui la seconda parte, si parla di MadWorld e di come far tornare Sega un marchio cool come ai tempi del megadrive

Set in a highly stylized virtual game show where the player is rewarded for killing fellow contestants, "MadWorld"--don't worry parents, it's destined for mature audiences--is a drastic departure from the usual fare gracing the cute, Mii-infested waters of Nintendo's (other-otc: NTDOY.PK - news - people ) Wii.

It's also a daring move on the part of Sega (other-otc: SEGNF.PK - news - people ), which plans to distribute "MadWorld" next year as central to the game company's current quest to reclaim its "cool."

"Sega used to be synonymous with cool," Sega of America President Simon Jeffrey told Forbes.com. "It's something Rockstar [maker of "Grand Theft Auto IV"] has. There's no reason Sega can't be cool."

To get back among the world's top game publishers, the Japanese gaming company has recently partnered with a slew of cutting-edge developers, including "MadWorld" creator Platinum Games.

Indeed, Sega, which once rivaled Nintendo in market might, has had a tough transition from console maker to multi-format publisher. After it bailed out of the console business in 2001, it languished--and didn't even make the list of top-20 publishers.

Scott Steinberg, founder of game consulting firm Embassy Multimedia Consultants, say Sega relied on past practices--porting Japanese titles and refreshing core game brands like Sonic.

But the market shifted away from Japan toward the U.S. and Europe, and Sega didn't follow up with games palatable to Western tastes. "They didn't embrace the change in the marketplace," Steinberg says. "It was hubris ... nostalgia can only carry you so far."

But Steinberg is hopeful about Sega's new partnerships with cutting-edge game developers. Sega has "a key gaming brand, the cash, the distribution, the marketing power, and [they] are finally putting money where their mouth is," he says. "[The games business] is a high stakes poker game. They've realized you can't bluff any more."

Sega wouldn't discuss the financial terms of its new game-developer partnerships, but there are signs that the partnerships might start paying off: Platinum Games' "MadWorld" was one of the few titles that generated buzz earlier this month at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

In addition to the developer partnerships, Jeffrey implemented other changes at Sega over the past three years that have boosted the company into the top six publishers. "They're gaining traction," Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter said in an e-mail. "Sega got in trouble with some bad games ("Golden Compass") and hurt their credibility a bit with some of the others ("Iron Man" and "Hulk") which got low scores even though sales were solid."

Says Jeffrey, "We've gotten to the stage now where we've been aiming to get to over the last three or four years, whereby our portfolio is balanced in the way we want it. It's got a good component of licensed product, a good component of Sega [intellectual property, such as "Sonic the Hedgehog," "Super Monkey Ball" and "Samba de Amigo"], and a good component of original stuff like the Platinum Games titles."

Other game developers with which Sega has recently partnered include Obsidian Entertainment, Silicon Knights and BioWare, which is currently finishing up a Sonic role-playing game slated for release on the Nintendo DS this fall.

It's a pet-project of Jeffrey's--one that he hopes will sell upwards of 1.5 million copies and open up Sonic to a whole new audience. It's also the first time the franchise has been handed over to an outside company.

Jeffrey also wants Sega to become a must-have content provider for Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ) and Sony (nyse: SNE - news - people ) consoles, appeal to everyone from hardcore gamers to families, and still remain distinctive. "Sega has always done stuff a little differently from everyone else," he says. "We want to maintain that difference.

Se siete riusciti a resistere fin qui :D , vi regalo il mio pezzo preferito col quale Jeffery chiude l'intervista

We don't want someone to look at Sega and say, 'What's the difference between Sega and THQ?' We want people to go, 'It's Sega!'"

siamo in una botte di ferro... :tsk:

31-07-2008, 00.25.27
Il riassunto è "Jeffery non vuole tornare all'hardware"?

31-07-2008, 00.40.25
competitive with the likes of Midway Eidos THQ

ma dove siam finiti
e come se la nike domani si mettesse a vendere al mercato settimanale con la bancarella e dice si son in concorrenza con mario e gigi delle 2 bancarelle piu avanti

31-07-2008, 00.47.14
Mmm visto che ormai hanno realizzato che è impossibile competere con mostri come Activiosn magari si interesseranno più alla qualità che alla quantità. Lasciando perdere roba come Golden Compass e Hulk e pensando più alle collaborazioni con Obsdian o Gearbox(tenendo conto che i giochi seri li deve fare SoJ a loro restano le collaborazioni serie).
Vero quello che dice sulle acquisizioni, anni fa Sega non spese tantissimo per prendersi talenti come i Creative Assembly o gli Sport Interactive, ora dopo tutti questi giri di soldi ognuno pretende 10 volte tanto anche i più cessi sulla piazza:asd:

Bah...vero qualcosina che dice sto Steinberg, SoJ deve pensare a giochi più seri, e più adatti al pubblico occidentale senza fare minchiate.
Devono iniziare a pensare come Capcom, non come Thq, magari riescono a capirlo.

31-07-2008, 00.56.45
Si ma SEGA non deve competere deve tornar a far il suo è basta non console ok ma giochi seri e validi come una volta se pensi di competere contro compagnie penose allora ti metti sul loro livello e crei merda anche tu.

Magari un passino indietro pensare un pochino in meno ai profitti che danno giochi come la bussola d oro etc e pensare un pò piu ai fan che sega ha ancora e che se fa un bel gioco lo comprano in duplice copia appena esce magari guadagnano il 10%in meno con quel gioco ma si rifanno la faccia per lo meno no.

City Hunter
31-07-2008, 11.25.22
Concordo con quello che dice STE, da un lato è un bene che Sega abbia abbandonato, anche se temporanemente, la corsa per i primi 3 posti, anche perchè per farlo bisognerebbe rinengare quel poco di segaro che c'è rimasto e diventare a tutti gli effetti delle case vuote stile EA, dall'altro è inaccetabile che una casa come Sega che ha fatto la storia del videogaming, si accontenti di un misero sesto posto, vicino a THQ, la vecchia Sega non l'avrebbe mai accettato.

Forse si sono accorti che non possono primeggiare con le capacità attuali soprattutto di SOA?

Ma la cosa negativa, è che per un misero sesto posto, Sega mi è già diventata una casa irriconoscibile da una THQ o Activision, altrochè.
Hanno già rinnegato i fan, lo stile Sega, i veri giochi, per due miseri spiccioli.

Almeno ci fosse la qualità, ci fossero giochi SEGA, non dico una console (che continuo a pensare che sia l'unica salvezza), ma così non si può andare avanti.

31-07-2008, 13.29.29
anche perchè per farlo bisognerebbe rinengare quel poco di segaro che c'è rimasto e diventare a tutti gli effetti delle case vuote stile EA,

come case vuote come EA!! Ma se è leader mondiale dei VG!!:asd:

informati prima di scrivere cetre castronerie!!:tsk:

City Hunter
31-07-2008, 13.51.59
Se permetti, gioco da una vita e so di cosa parlo.

EA è prima solo economicamente, qualitativamente è l'ultima in classifica...

31-07-2008, 14.44.28
Una volta esser leader voleva dire allo stesso tempo esser primi in qualità com erano SEGA Nintendo nel mercato 8 16 bit o Commodore Atari Spectrum nei primi PC.
Ora esser leader invece è l esatto opposto di prima.

31-07-2008, 15.05.26
come case vuote come EA!! Ma se è leader mondiale dei VG!!:asd:

informati prima di scrivere cetre castronerie!!:tsk:
Leader mondiale... Questa mi mancava...
Certo, c'è da vedere "leader" sotto che punto di vista, se intendi quel che intendo io ti dò ragione.

31-07-2008, 23.50.58
Ea però ultimamente qualitativamente è migliorata molto rispetto a 2-3 anni fa. Secondo me hanno capito che devono finirla di far sol porcate, spero che questa fine della corsa contro i giganti faccia capire anche a Sega di smetterla di tirar su merde per far numero e concentrarsi al contrario su giochi fatti bene.