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Sega's Q1 results show software sales drop of 60.5%

Publisher releases 17 SKUs compared to 37 in 2008; blames drop on lack of major titles during period

First quarter financial results from Sega Sammy Holdings have revealed sales amounting JPY 60.4 billion (USD 636 million) for the period; a drop of 19 per cent on last year. The figures result in a net loss of JPY 10.3 billion (USD 108 million), compared with a net loss of JPY 10.5 billion (USD 111 million) for the same period in the previous fiscal year.

Of the company's four businesses, its consumer sector - which encompasses games and animated films - saw one of the biggest drops in profit, down 41 per cent on the previous year. Overall, sales there hit JPY 18 billion (USD 190 million), compared to JPY 30.5 billion (USD 321 million) the year prior.

Breaking down profits and losses experienced by the sector, entertainment software accounted for 60.5 per cent of its overall drop, while network gaming grew 2.1 per cent. These decreased sales on last year, said Sega, was in part down to fewer major titles being released and expanded operating loss.

While leading titles were in shorter supply, there were a handful of significant releases. Virtua Tennis 2009 was shown to have sold 790,000 units since release; The Conduit: 150,000 and Japanese PSP title Hatsune Miku - Project Diva: 90,000.

Overall though, the company has released far fewer games compared to the same period in 2008 - in total 17 SKUs against 37 the year previous. Only two PlayStation 3 titles were released, against eight in 2008, and three Nintendo DS titles, compared to nine the year before.

Looking ahead to the second half of the fiscal year, Sega expects to launch Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games and Bayonetta. Additionally it pledges to reduce research and development costs and content expenses continuously to deliver an estimated sales forecast of JPY 136 billion (USD 1.5 billion) for the complete year; a total slightly up on the figure of JPY 131.3 billion (USD 1.4 billion) achieved in 2008.

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Kath Brice

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