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Sega officially out of the sports game

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January 25, 2005 2:00:13 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

Sega officially out of the sports game

[UPDATE] The Japanese publisher confirms it has sold off Visual Concepts and
its Kush subsidiary for a bargain price of $24 million.
When Sega entered into an agreement with Take-Two Interactive to copublish
its line of ESPN sports games last year, many industry watchers suspected
the publisher was planning to sell off its internal sports studio, Visual
Concepts. Those suspicions were confirmed just before Christmas when it was
revealed that part of the codistribution deal allowed Take-Two to buy Visual
Concepts, should it choose to do so.



Today, it appears the publisher has chosen to do just that. Following this
morning's announcement that Take-Two had secured exclusive third-party
publishing rights from the Major League Baseball Players' Association, Sega
confirmed to GameSpot that it is selling Visual Concepts to Take-Two.

According to sources, Sega parted with the critically esteemed developer of
ESPN NFL 2K5 and ESPN NBA 2K5 for just $24 million. That very low-sounding
price is likely due to Electronic Arts' impending monopoly of NFL game
rights and its 15-year exclusivity deal with ESPN, whose high-profile brand
name will no longer give Visual Concepts' games instant recognition.

Though the exact terms of the deal were not disclosed, Take-Two will become
the sole owner of Visual Concepts. It will also own VC's Kush Games
subsidiary, which developed ESPN NHL 2K5 and ESPN Major League Baseball 2K5.
Presumably, the studio will also create Take-Two's upcoming pro baseball
game.

"The ESPN Videogames line has not been a key profit driver in the North
American market for Sega," Naoya Tsurumi, CEO of Sega of America, said in a
statement. "While Sega recognizes the strength and depth of the ESPN
Videogames franchise, we must remain committed to growing content that will
help boost revenues across all western territories."

In addition to news of the sale of Visual Concepts is the disclosure of a
new agreement between Sega and Take-Two. The companies said Sega will
distribute "select Take-Two published software titles in the Asian region
including Japan," as well as bring sports titles developed by Visual
Concepts "to amusement machines produced and distributed by Sega Amusements"
in Asia. Certainly, an interesting twist to the news of the Visual Concepts
sell-off.

GameSpot will have more information on this story as it becomes available.



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Anonymous
January 26, 2005 12:10:29 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

"Geo" <geo2000@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:QJGdnUAjM7i35mvcRVn-jg@comcast.com...

<snip>

I knew it.... buncha non-creative quitters.
January 26, 2005 12:14:28 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.video.xbox (More info?)

* Green Shampoo Wrote in alt.games.video.xbox:

>
> "Geo" <geo2000@comcast.net> wrote in message
> news:QJGdnUAjM7i35mvcRVn-jg@comcast.com...
>
> <snip>
>
> I knew it.... buncha non-creative quitters.
>
>
>

I havent been following this that closely as I really have a very
small interest in sports games but...

Without the ability to use franchise licences wont the hardcore fans
just go to where they CAN get them? They already lowered the price to
increase the competion which likely hurt their bottom line to begin
with, why make the cut deeper?

If I have no idea what I am talking about, feel free to crrect me, as
I said, sports games are not my genre.

--
David
!