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Sega Europe Acquires Sports Interactive

Officials from Sega Holdings Europe have announced that the company has acquired London based development studio Sports Interactive, creators of soccer management franchi...
Officials from Sega Holdings Europe have announced that the company has acquired London based development studio Sports Interactive, creators of soccer management franchise Football Manager (aka Worldwide Soccer Manager). Sports Interactive was founded in 1994 by brothers Paul and Oliver Collyer, who initially found fame with the Championship Manager series for Eidos Interactive – which became the best selling PC series of all time in the UK. In February 2004, Sega signed a five year publishing deal with Sports Interactive, after the developer suffered from “creative differences” with Eidos. With only two titles in the franchise so far released, the Football Manager series has already sold in excess of 1.5 million copies, and become the second fastest selling PC game of all time in the UK. The acquisition by Sega is unlikely to change the relationship between the two companies significantly, given the existing partnership, with Sega merely reconfirming further Football Manager games as well as NHL: Eastside Hockey Manager and Out of the Park Baseball. “Football Manager is an extremely successful brand for Sega and one of the most significant titles for our European line-up,” commented Naoya Tsurumi, CEO of Sega Europe and Sega of America. “This acquisition illustrates that we are achieving our objectives and have our strategic planning up and running. Although we still have a lot more to do, we feel that this is yet another huge step towards strengthening our standing within the European market.” Miles Jacobson, Managing Director of Sports Interactive adds, “From our first meeting with Sega, it felt like “home”- they really understand development and it’s an honor to get to work with the overwhelming pool of talent from both the development and publishing side. The partner was right for the next chapter in Sports Interactive’s history, with more releases from the studio this year than ever before. Myself, Ov, Paul and the SI team are all really excited about the future.” The acquisition of Sports Interactive, together with today’s announcement from Sega of America concerning Secret Level, follows a number of other high profile Western signings by the Japanese publishers, as part of the company’s attempts to diversify its portfolio. These include the acquisition of Total War developer The Creative Assembly and recent publishing deals with Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II developer Obsidian, Star Wars: Empire at War developer Petroglyph, Eternal Darkness developer Silicon Knights and Project Gotham Racing creator Bizarre Creations.

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