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Sega continues UK investment with new Solihull studio

Team initially focused on Sony's PlayStation Vita; "The UK's super competitive" compared to other regions - Dunn

Sega has announced the opening of a new development studio based in Solihull, UK.

"We're currently signed off on 15 game developers in total, new hires," Gary Dunn, senior vice president of production at Sega, told GamesIndustry.biz. "Like many modern studios we want to keep fairly agile."

The studio's first project will be a game for Sony's new handheld, with Dunn stating: "The game we're starting to put into production is being produced on PlayStation Vita. That's not to say that's the only platform it'll be on, but it's certainly the platform we're starting out on."

We're not the cheapest place on the planet, but you look at the other major hubs of game development and the UK's super competitive

Gary Dunn, Sega

As well as new hires the studio includes Sega's special technology group, formed when Sega closed Sega Racing Studio in 2008. "What was less well reported is that we kept six of our brightest staff," explained Dunn. For 18 months their role was as a "crack team" helping developers get to grips with the then next generation technology.

Their focus then moved onto exploring the possibilities of new hardware, including the Wii U, Vita, and Kinect.

"The way we chose to look at it was to ask them to build prototypes. Think of the hardware feature set and say right, what the best way and the most innovative way we can use this feature set? From those prototypes came the Vita project." Despite the studio's past, Dunn could confirm that the new title won't be a racing game.

Dunn also said that Sega are happy to be investing in another UK studio. "I think we've got a really favourable pound at the moment. We're not the cheapest place on the planet, but you look at the other major hubs of game development, the US, Japan, Australia, and the UK's super competitive."

"And the UK's got some really good talent to pull from, which obviously we're well connected into. This'll be our third Sega studio in the UK."

The move comes shortly after Sega confirmed reinvestment in Total War team The Creative Assembly by opeing a new 10,000 square foot facility as it ramps up development of a new Aliens game.

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.

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