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Sega: 'Diamond hunting' at Game Connection

Sega is always looking for a 'diamond in the rough' at Game Connection, says the company's director of artists and repertoire

Sega is always looking for a 'diamond in the rough' at Game Connection, says the company's director of artists and repertoire.

Game Connection, started in 2001 as an alternative to the trade shows, hopes to connect professionals with each other in a more casual atmosphere. It has since been established in Tokyo and Shanghai, and this year will be held in Lyon, France during the same week as GDC.

Sega is just one of many attendees whose goals are similar.

"I will say that we are always looking for great new, original IP with compelling gameplay hooks," Noah Musler, the company's director of artists and repertoire, told GamesIndustry.biz.

"That's the big thing, and sometimes those small, new start-up studios are a great place for that."

Despite the fact that several major development studios have been purchased this year, including Bizarre Creations, Bioware, Pandemic, and Traveller's Tales, Musler still thinks it is possible to remain independent if you manage your business properly.

"I think a comparison to the music industry is appropriate here. You've got artists and engineers and designers all working together to make a product. That's great. If you give them enough leeway, they are going to be able to do that and be successful.

"The issue is that it doesn't necessarily mean those guys know how to run a business. They might not know how to manage 40 people. That's a tough task for anyone," Musler said.

Even when big development studios get bought by competitors, publishers like Sega can find opportunities.

"Creative people come together, whether they're from other companies and have formed a new studio...which happens a lot when big studios get bought, some of the talent leaves, eventually...or it is a new start-up studio, fresh out of the garage and they've got a great idea."

"We're always looking for that kind of thing, and that's what I hope to find at Game Connection."

Musler realises that even well-established companies cannot rest on their laurels, but ought to avail themselves of new opportunities.

"The other aspect is, no matter how many great titles you have, no matter how many Sonic the Hedgehogs, or Mario and Sonics, or Condemned 2's you've got in your line-up, you always need new product, you always need more units, and some times there are great opportunistic acquisitions to be made," he said.

The full interview with Noah Musler can be read here.

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Mark Androvich

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