Following Sega Europe’s announcement of the acquisition of developers Sports Interactive, officials from Sega of America have announced that the North American division has acquired San Francisco-based developer Secret Level.
As with Sports Interactive, the two companies already enjoy a close relationship, with Secret Level working, appropriately enough, in secret on the revival of an old Sega franchise
for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The name of the franchise has still not been revealed, but Sega has evidentially been impressed enough with the progress to acquire the studio outright.
According to Sega Of America president and COO Simon Jeffery, “We looked long and hard at building an internal studio from scratch, but were so impressed with the team at Secret Level and their next-gen technology that we decided to create our internal development infrastructure through a direct acquisition, one that could fulfill our dynamic growth plans and produce high quality games.”
Secret Level was founded in 1999, and is known for developing a version of the Unreal Engine for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, as well as the console version of America's Army
, the Xbox port of Final Fight: Streetwise
and Magic: The Gathering: Battlegrounds
. The developer also holds “Tools & Middleware" licenses from both Sony and Microsoft.
“In recent years, Sega has rebalanced its development strategy to be more Western focused,” said Naoya Tsurumi, CEO, Sega of America and Sega Europe. “On the heels of our first, successful studio acquisition with The Creative Assembly, the addition of this development powerhouse further moves SEGA toward its goal of becoming a leading next-generation publisher.”
According to Jeremy Gordon, president of Secret Level, “Sega’s incredible library of IP and global publishing muscle will enable us to realize our full technical and creative potential. It’s become clear that a combined Sega and Secret Level are greater than the sum of our parts.”