Before rumors begin to fly and get out of control let’s get one thing straight – Sega arcade games and official support for them are not going away in North America.
News has spread today that Sega Amusements USA would be closing it’s doors but here is exactly what is going on, just so everyone is on the same page. I had noticed that the Sega Amusements Website had been down for a while and this should explain why.
I got a hold of high up sources within the company to find out what was going on, so this information is legitimate (my thanks to them for quickly providing answers). Some changes are being made to the company, which has been based in Elk Grove Village, IL for some number of years. They will be moving out of the present building to a new location in Wood Dale, IL a short distance away. They also will be changing the name to Play It Amusements Inc. which is still going to be owned and operated by Sega, maintaining the same employees but in a new streamlined operation aimed at cutting operational costs. The information I received about this indicated was that the savings they expect to get out of the new plan here will result in “more competitive product pricing guidelines for future product releases”. Game sales will be handled through Sega Amusements Europe Ltd. offices with the Play It! Amusements Inc. offices in the US acting as the base for the sales of Sega games in North and South America. PIA will also continue to offer their technical service, warranty and support to current and future Sega games, as well as parts and game marketing.
Another thing I got was how the Sega R&D Europe team would be working closely with European and US developers to “ensure that product is designed quicker, more economically, efficiently and with product flexibility that better suits the western players in mind.”
So no need to be alarmed, Sega is not getting out of the arcade business in America, just changing some things about the way they do that business here. It sounds like it will be beneficial for both them and their customers so that is a good thing. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…