Megadrive guru backs Virgin Play

Former president of Sega Enterprises Hayao Nakayama, who oversaw the firm’s 1980s and 1990s hardware boom, has made a personal investment in video games publisher Virgin Play.

Nakayama established his reputation by managing the global success of both the Sega Master System and Megadrive (Genesis) – in addition to the firm’s then-burgeoning coin-op business.

The cash injection in Virgin Play – which is based in Spain – comes via Nakayama’s venture capital company Amuse Capital Inc.

In recent months, Virgin Play has secured high profile licensing rights for its publishing off-shoot V.2Play. These have included the signing of interactive licence rights for football team Real Madrid and internationally popular cartoons Pocoyo and Lola & Virginia.

The firm also owns homegrown IPs such as Crusaders: Thy Kingdom Come on PC and Mind Your Language on Nintendo DS.

Virgin Play said that investment from Nakayama represented ‘a turning point in giving us access to the lucrative Japanese market’.

Virgin Play SA President Tim Chaney said: The word ‘legend’ is overused in this business but Mr. Nakayama truly deserves the accolade. I have known him for over 20 years and I am never less than bewildered by his business acumen.

We see clearly the expansion of our business in Japan and throughout Asia and welcome the incremental high profile business we can achieve with the titles to be collected through Mr. Nakayama’s good connections and intelligence network in the industry.”

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