Dreamcast future uncertain as Sega links with rivals
Sega is considering ending production of its Dreamcast console and will instead make games for rivals Sony and Microsoft.
LONDON (Brand Republic) - Sega is considering ending production of its Dreamcast console and will instead make games for rivals Sony and Microsoft.
Dreamcast has faced stiff competition from Sony’s PlayStation2 and Nintendo’s Gameboy Advance, and Sega is expected to report its fourth annual consecutive loss in March.
The company has sold about 1.3m Dreamcast units in Europe, compared with 10m Sony PlayStations sold in the UK alone. Earlier this month, Sega’s European marketing director Jeremy Stern left after just six months with the company. Alison Turner, the recently appointed head of advertising, is taking up Stern’s duties, the first being an agency review following Sega’s split from Bartle Bogle Hegarty in December.
According to a report in Japanese newspaper Nikkei, the company is trying to reverse its fortunes with agreements to supply games software for Sony’s PlayStation2 and Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox.
None of the companies have confirmed the reports and a Sega US spokesman insisted that the company remained committed to the Dreamcast format. However, analysts reacted positively to the reports and Sega’s share price leapt by 18%.
The news comes as Microsoft prepares for the massive launch campaign for its Xbox console, including a £350m marketing blitz in Europe.
Manning, Selvage & Lee has been appointed to develop Microsoft’s PR strategy for the European launch, which is scheduled for early next year, and The Red Consultancy will take care of consumer PR for the UK launch.
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