Following its suite of console announcements last week, including From Software's Chrome Hounds
for Xbox 360, the current-gen Sonic Riders
, and a new Sonic the Hedgehog game for next-gen consoles from series originator Yuji Naka, publisher Sega has also continued an aggressive expansion by announcing a new partnership with developer Petroglyph to create an original real-time strategy franchise for the PC.
Petroglyph employs many veterans of the now defunct Westwood Studios, who helped create the real-time strategy genre with titles such as Dune II
and Command & Conquer
. The company is currently working on Star Wars: Empire at War
for LucasArts, and its product for Sega is described as a “modern military / sci-fi themed RTS franchise”.
The move is the latest in a long string of Western signings for Sega, which has included developers such as Silicon Knights, Secret Level, Monolith Production (for Condemned
), Psuedo Interactive (for Full Auto
), Sports Interactive (for the Football Manager
series) and The Creative Assembly, which the company acquired outright for the Total War
series. None of these titles or developers would traditionally have been seen as natural Sega products, and seem to show a genuine effort to expand the company’s portfolio.
“Sega is moving aggressively toward a leadership position in the RTS category and the team at Petroglyph is behind some of the finest games in the genre,” said Simon Jeffery, President and COO, Sega of America. “We continue to rebuild Sega as a leading publisher by collaborating with only the very best developers in North America and Europe.”
At the same time Sega of Japan has also announced, according to Japanese reports translated by consumer site GameSpot, that it will publish THQ titles in Japan and act as publisher for future Chunsoft titles. The THQ deal will begin with the release of Juiced
and Destroy All Humans!
, which are expected to be renamed for the Japanese market and released early next year. Four more, currently unnamed, titles are also scheduled to follow. Sega already has a strong working relationship with THQ in the West, where the company publishes Game Boy Advance titles using Sega's IP.
The deal with sometime Dragon Quest
developer Chunsoft will begin with no Yoru 2: Kangokutou no Warabe-Uta PSP Special Edition
and Machi: Unmei no Kousaten PSP Special Edition
– both ports of existing Chunsoft PS2 titles and also not due for release until next spring. Further titles, including Fushigi no Dungeon: Fuurai no Shiren DS
for the Nintendo DS, are also planned as part of the publishing deal.