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Stung By Slow NFL2K3 Sales, Sega Profit Outlook Plunges

Citing slow sales of Sega Sports NFL 2K3, Sega today cut its profit forecast for the current fiscal year from 18 billion yen to five billion ($41 million) -- a whopping 72 percent cut.
It also reduced its global software sales goal from 20 million units to 12.6 million -- less than it sold last year. Sega said the revision was due largely to poor U.S. sales of NFL 2K3. Released in August, the game has sold 300,000 copies so far -- well short of the 1.6 million copies it expected to sell after its $17.5 million advertising campaign. Sega president Hideki Sato admitted "a total defeat" to EA's Madden NFL 2003. "We miscalculated financial targets for this year because of over-confidence stemming from results last year and a lack of experience as a third-party software publisher," Sato told a news conference. Tetsu Kayama, Sega's COO, said the company will try to stabilize its finances through a reduction in the number of projects it's working on, and spending less in promoting its games. Shares of the company are now trading at a 22-month low of 1,212 yen.

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