Sega just reported their financial results for the nine months ending in December 2008. And they're not good reading. The company is losing money, and as a result, will be losing staff and arcades as well.
Across Sega Sammy Holdings as a whole - which includes Sammy's pachinko/pachislot machines, along with Sega's arcade machines and home video games - a downturn in revenue has led to the company revising its forecast for the financial year, with Sega now bracing for a USD$235,424,993 loss come March.
That's a lot of money. Businesses can't survive bleeding that kind of money. So belts are to be tightened across the company. And especially at Sega.
Firstly, 110 of Sega's Japanese arcade centres (presumably those in the 'burbs, not downtown Shinjuku) are to be closed or sold off.
Next, Sega will look to cut loose 560 of its 3100 employees. At the moment, this is being done via a policy of voluntary redundancies, with the first of these "volunteers" to cease employment in March 2009.
Finally, across both Sega and Sammy there will be a 20% reduction in research & development, "by consolidating titles to be developed". That means we'll likely see some upcoming Sega games canned.
There once was a time it was probably good to be a Sega employee. Especially one in Japan. Now does not seem to be one of those times.