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US product is top priority for Sega

Publisher targets acquisitions or partnerships for aggressive expansion over the next 3-5 years

After considerable success in Europe and Japan, Sega's next top priority is developing products specifically for the North American audience.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Sega West president Mike Hayes said that he's been charged with finding hit games for the company, and is willing to go down the acquisition route if it means getting the right product for the market.

"What I need to do is find games that are more appropriate for the American territory," offered Hayes. "That is very much where the focus for the company is going to be, whether that is in acquisition or working with developers on commissions to create more product for the American market."

He admitted the company cannot yet go toe-to-toe with the big franchises from Activision, EA and Ubisoft, but it wants to create the equivalent success it's achieved with European-specific titles from regional developers such as The Creative Assembly's Total War and Sports Interactive's Football Manager.

"Where those brands may be less successful in the US is where we have a bigger task in pulling Sega back to the position it was," said Hayes. "We want Sega in the US to be in as good a position as it is in Europe. We're very well balanced in Europe with good PC products, we're certainly very good in the mass market, and with 360 and PS3 we know we can't compete with Ubisoft, Activision and EA.

The company has already invested in titles such as Bayonetta and Aliens Vs Preadator and the latest from Platinum Games, Vanquish.

"We're never complacent. We're happy with our position in Europe, but I need to be able to build the American business quite aggressively over the next three to five years," he concluded.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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