SEGA has praised its UK-based studios for being the foundation of their games lineup - and are as important to their success as the lurching Sonic franchise. Creative Assembly and Sports Interactive have recently brought us Total War: Shogun 2 and Football Manager 2011; demonstrating that our proud British developers are more than capable of producing world class game experiences. It's great to see UK studios get the credit they deserve after the recent doom and gloom surrounding Bizarre Creations and Realtime Worlds, and we have the full story after the jump.
Speaking to GamesIndustry, Gary Dunn, SEGA Europe's VP of Production, stated that "Our UK internal studios are probably the bedrock of our business" - and that Creative Assembly and Sports Interactive are performing at an astounding world-class level.
For the second year both Sports Interactive and Creative Assembly are outperforming their business plans from a profitability perspective. These guys are on top of the game, it's a real testimony to the games they make.
SEGA US president Mike Hayes was quick to agree - and points out that no-one could have predicted how integral the two studios would be to SEGA's long term success. They may be British studios through and through, but their influence is truly global in scale.
It's interesting: Creative Assembly are seen as the jewel in the crown of SEGA. That's an interesting thing, I don't think that would have been a thought about that fifteen years ago - but probably Creative Assembly has the consistent highest quality in terms of gaming for any studio, so SEGA's very proud of both.
I think SEGA's fortunate that we've got two excellent UK studios, but the point is the majority of sales, particularly for the Creative Assembly, really have to be outside of the UK. So it needs to have an international appeal - certainly with Total War we get that. I think we're in very, very good shape, actually.
However, in a note of caution, Hayes was quick to point out that nothing is ever certain in our turbulent industry. Bizarre Creations' demise proves that even veteran outfits can falter depending on the fickle market - but that the future is certainly bright for our home-grown talent. Creative Assembly's recently-announced Aliens title should be one to watch.
I would never, ever be foolish enough to say it's absolutely ring-fenced and perfect - you can't say that in our industry - but the brands that we have are international brands, they seem to be evergreen and I think working on the Alien license with what we have from a creativity point of view gives you a pretty good chance that you're going to have a commercial success with the project.
It's never a cast iron guarantee. So do we feel extremely optimistic about our two UK studios? We absolutely do, no doubt about it.
Hear hear. Naturally we'll keep an eye on both Sports Interactive and Creative Assembly over the months to come. [GI]