Why do you think you won the MCV Award for best digital distribution team?
Within the digital team we strive to not only be the best possible partner for our digital retailers and distributors, but also just as importantly for the end user too. We like to think that we are doing things the right way for long term success and not purely for short term benefits. The way we work with launches, added content and re-visiting our classic heritage has, I hope, been the reasons for our award.
Has changing the way people work in your department had anything to do with the award?
A few years ago the digital team was bolted on to the side of other departments with a couple of people at most working on the project, now we have a specific digital team of six looking after PC titles. There’s a separate console team that we work in tandem with, they manage all console titles and are seeing the same levels of growth as we are.
Does that mean senior management is placing a bigger emphasis on PC digital downloads?
Over the last 12 months the profile of the digital team has grown massively internally. Sega’s senior execs are as excited and interested in the emerging and ever-changing digital world as we are.
We also continue to have really great relationships with our fantastic PC studios, Creative Assembly and Sports Interactive. This enables us to be involved at all points of a product’s lifecycle which is incredibly helpful.
So what kind of share of Sega’s business does digital downloads now account for?
We can’t share exact details, but it alters widely on a title-by-title basis and also across territories. We manage the digital download business not just for the UK, but also Europe and North America, too. There are huge variances across these markets also.
Some of Sega’s biggest games, such as Football Manager and Shogun get boxed and digital releases. What is the split like for these titles in particular? Have you seen a decline at retail as digital becomes more popular?
As I mentioned before, splits vary title by title and across the globe. However, what digital does do is enable you to reach out to new territories, new payment models and new ways of playing and consuming PC games.
So what are your key titles for the next 12 months?
Shogun 2 is going to be a long term seller for us. We monitor the play hours across the Total War range and it’s just incredible the amount of time users are putting into the games. We’re also really excited to be working with Avalanche on Renegade Ops, the game is looking stunning, it harks back to a great era of shoot ‘em up destruction and mayhem and personally I can’t wait to see each build of it.
Beyond that, there’s a lot of other content and games that we’re working on, which of course I can’t talk about.
What about the challenges in bringing these digital products to market? How is Sega tackling them?
One big challenges is figuring out the potential of ‘things and stuff’, a new frontier where a lot of ideas are untried. Trying to establish what will work can be a real headache. The best way is to just do it.
With this strategy in mind, what’s next for Sega in the digital space?
We’ve got great products in the pipeline, but just as exciting is that whatever is next isn’t defined. There’s a whole host of opportunities and interesting ideas buzzing around out there. We’ll continue to be the best in the field of what’s next.