Sega President Oguchi Talks Shenmue Online and More
12.19.04 - 4:01 PM

In a recent interview, Sega president and chief operating officer Hisao Oguchi talked about various topics including future merger and acquisition activities as well as Shenmue Online. Regarding the release of the PC-based online RPG, Oguchi mentioned producer Yu Suzuki was aiming for a summer 2005 release in Japan. Addressing rumors suggesting Sega was looking at re-entering the hardware market, he said an entry into this competitive market would be difficult and his company would contine to focus its entire attention on software development. In order to better evaluate the needs for the different markets, Sega was in the process of setting up teams in the various regions to conduct market research. Since pirated software was easy to come by in the Asia-Pacific region, Oguchi explained that online games were more profitable than standard games. He also dispelled rumors that Sega had ever entered negotiations with Microsoft regarding a merger or takeover. For future merger and acquisition activities, Sega has set its sights on Taiwan. Due to the high level of technology in the possession of Taiwanese companies, Oguchi said his company was very interested in taking over an unspecified company there. Regarding the next generation of hardware, the Sega president, pointing to rising development costs, expects many smaller companies to develop software for Nintendo's Revolution platform.

Shenmue Online has been confirmed for releases in Japan, South Korea and mainland China so far.

Chris Winkler

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