While the global bastard that is the COVID-19 pandemic still looms over the planet, video game companies continue to struggle with the rapidly changing industry. Of course, it’s been especially hard on the arcade industry, and SEGA Sammy has been making some changes over the past few years.
Case in point, last August, SEGA announced it would close its famous SEGA Akihabara Building 2, located in Akihabara, Tokyo. A few months later, in November, SEGA Sammy sold a majority of its shares in its SEGA Entertainment division (the company that creates and operates its arcades) to Genda, Inc. – a Japanese amusement rental business.
Now, SEGA Sammy announced SEGA Amusements International is being acquired by its management team. The new holding company — Kaizen Entertainment — will be led by CEO Paul Williams and will retain the SEGA Amusements International name under a royalty agreement with SEGA Corporation.
According to Williams, business will otherwise remain as usual with everything that distributors, operators and players see will remain the same.
“I am extremely pleased to have concluded this deal, which secures the future of my team of employees who have supported me over the years,” Williams said. “We will continue to work closely with our friends and colleagues at SEGA Japan to develop amusement games for the western market, alongside game development with our in-house R&D team headed by Patrick Michael.”
“These products in conjunction with the games from our third-party suppliers will ensure that we remain at the very pinnacle of game development, manufacture and distribution to the amusement sector, ” he said. “ We have a pipeline of product in development and to be shortly released that will deliver a series of blockbuster games.”Translated from Sega Sammy Press Release20210325_subsidiary_j_final.pdf (segasammy.co.jp)
Paul Williams, CEO of Kaizen Entertainment, isn’t a random person coming to save the day. Recent arcade titles Transformers: Shadows Rising, and Mission: Impossible Arcade were done in house with publishing by SEGA. In doing this, he’s saving jobs and money for the company, which could be a blessing in the long run.