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The Q Entertainment founder will take charge of Sega in the West as the company looks to capitalize on transmedia "megatrends."

Chris Kerr

January 10, 2024

2 Min Read
A neon Sega sign outside an arcade in Japan
Image via Unsplash / Jezael Melgoza

Q Entertainment founder Shuji Utsumi is the new CEO of Sega of America and Sega Europe.

Utsumi will also serve as the president and COO of those subsidiaries, having spent the past year steering the company's global consumer game and transmedia division as co-COO and president.

The veteran exec has been with Sega since May 2019 but had a previous stint with the company during the late '90s, initially joining as VP of product development.

Prior to that, Utsumi worked at Sony Computer Entertainment America and was notably one of the first three members of the U.S. division. He spent three years at the PlayStation maker as VP of product acqusition where he also oversaw business planning, and third-party relations.

After gaining experience at Sony and Sega, Utsumi established Q Entertainment in 2004 and turned the company into an award-winning developer and publisher, working on globally recognized titles like Lumines and Ninety-Nine Nights.

Utsumi shared news of his latest appointment on Linkedin and explained he'll officially step into the role in April.

Sega shuffles the deck to chase transmedia "megatrends"

The move is part of a broader corporate and boardroom reshuffle at Sega parent company Sega Sammy, which is taking place alongside an internal de-merger that Sega hopes will accelerate its transmedia strategy.

In another announcement posted on Sega Sammy's investor relations page, the company explained it will be integrating its Amusement Machine and Toy businesses to create a successor company called Sega Toys.

Those segments were previously housed within Sega's Entertainment Contents business, which is also home to its Consumer Game operations. By combining them to create Sega Toys, the Japanese company wants to enhance the reach and selling power of its main IPs–which include Sonic the Hedgehog, Like a Dragon, and Persona–by "combining the strengths of each business."

Sega feels Sonic in particular has achieved significant growth by crossing the multimedia divide (the lightning-fast hedgehog has starred in two Hollywood movies in recent years) and is keen to deliver similar success elsewhere by capitalizing on what it has dubbed transmedia "megatrends."

"In Sonic the Hedgehog series, one of our core IPs, we have achieved significant growth in the game, animation, merchandising, licensing and other businesses, starting with the blockbuster success of the movie, and has been accumulating expertise in transmedia development in the global market," said Sega.

"In the various entertainment scenes of modern society, the value of seamless experiences from the digital to the physical and real world is expanding greatly, and the community of people fostered there is showing unique development as pop culture symbolizing Japan, as represented by the term 'oshi-katsu (actions supporting one’s fave).' Such trend is also expected to expand at a global level in the future."

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About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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