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Red Entertainment cuts ties with Sega

Japanese studio Red Entertainment has undertaken a management buyout, reclaiming its independent status and severing most of its ties to Sega in the process.

Japanese development studio Red Entertainment has gone through a management buyout, reclaiming its independent status by purchasing a major portion of its stock from former parent company SEGA.

The studio, famous for its Sakura Taisen series in the East and titles including Blood Will Tell and Gungrave Overdose in the West, reacquired 2700 shares of its stock from Sega on November 30th, accounting for 59.2 per cent of the 4588 shares outstanding for the company.

Sakura Taisen producer Hiroi Ouji had hinted earlier that Red Entertainment would be looking to regain its independent status as the company prepares for the next generation of consoles - with the possibility that it would opt for developing software on Microsoft's Xbox 360 instead of Sony's PS3.

Ouji maintains that development costs for the Xbox 360 will be far lower than those for the PS3, but Red Entertainment's titles have only appeared on Sega consoles and the PS2 during its tenure as a SEGA-controlled studio.

In addition to developing for Microsoft's new machine, Red Entertainment intends to make a determined move into the online games market as well as producing mobile gaming titles - both of which are imporant and growing sectors, especially in the Japanese market.

Red's merchandising arm, which is largely focused on producing a wide range of goods based on the Sakura Taisen franchise, will continue to function as normal, and the company has stated that it will maintain strong links with Sega - which may well mean that it will continue to work on the cash cow Sakura Taisen series, which has spawned movies and TV adaptations as well as multiple games across several different console platforms.

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