Japanese-headquartered Sonic The Hedgehog creator Sega has long been an innovative and compelling creator of games -- ahead of its time for much of its history.
Its transition from a hardware manufacturer (Game Gear, Genesis, Dreamcast) to a game pure publisher, however, has been a work in progress - particularly in terms of building up a robust western division with its own product slate.
But in the past couple of years, the company has improved its status -- to the point where the company is the sixth biggest publisher in the U.S., according to recent statistics. And the suitability of games for the Western market has also increased, thanks to studio acquisitions including San Francisco-based Secret Level and the UK-based The Creative Assembly.
But where to now? Gamasutra had a chance to sit down with the CEO of Sega Of America, Simon Jeffery, who has been instrumental in changing Sega's fortunes in the west. Topics included the transformation of the company's global development efforts, its acquisition of studios, and the importance of big-name talent (and the Sonic franchise) to its longevity and success -- and more.