Japanese publisher and game developer powerhouse SEGA has announced that they are founding a new studio that will be located in Sapporo, which is located in Hokkaido, Japan. This news was announced by the company in Japanese, before being translated by Gamatsu.
This new development arm of SEGA was officially established on December 1, 2021, and is currently expected to function as a second main base of operation for the company outside their main headquarters which is located in Shinagawa City, Tokyo. The studio is being led by SEGA veteran Takaya Segawa.
Segawa has been employed by SEGA for over three decades to this point, having initially joined the company back in 1992. In the spring of 2021, Segawa became a senior executive for SEGA. He is perhaps best known to western audiences for his recent work on the popular MMO Phantasy Star Online 2, a sequel to the classic Dreamcast game.
This new branch of SEGA is expected to focus both on software development, as well as debugging new and upcoming projects from the company. Staff being hired locally will assist with testing builds, isolating bugs, and locating design flaws that will be brought to the attention of the main teams involved with the projects.
SEGA hopes that their new Sapporo studio will help bring in new employees to their company, as well as bolster the economy of the prefecture and its people. It will be interesting to see how this studio does affect the area moving forward.
The studio has several high-profile games coming in the future that could benefit from additional teams that debug them. A new open-world Sonic game, entitled Sonic Frontiers, is in development with a release planned for this year. We also know that RGG studio has both a new Yakuza game as well as a new IP set in that universe in the works, and Atlus has also begun developing Persona 6 though that is most likely a while off.