SEGA rules out postponing Sonic Frontiers as game series sells over one million units in latest reported quarter

There are no plans to postpone Sonic Frontiers, SEGA promised to investors this past week amid a mix of opinions from the public about the upcoming title, contrasted by strong numbers from the blue blur’s video game portfolio.


The numbers

The Sonic series sold around 1.4 million video game-related units during the first quarter of fiscal year of 2023, up by 400,000 units when compared to the same period at the previous fiscal year. The numbers recorded sales from early April to late June of calendar year 2022, which took into account the influence of the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 film, and a little bit of unit sales of Sonic Origins following the 23 June release.

SeriesThis quarter (FY2023 – Q1)The same quarter last year (FY2022 – Q1)
Sonic the Hedgehog1.4 million1 million
Yakuza470 thousand700 thousand
Total War420 thousand600 thousand
Persona270 thousand400 thousand
A summary of the top earnings in the Consumer Entertainment Area’s ‘Full Game’ segment for the first quarter of fiscal year 2023. The earnings, which account for physically and digitally packaged video game titles, cumulate every quarter. (SEGASammy)

Despite an overall decrease of repeat sales compared to the same period last year, SEGA’s parent company signalled no change to their forecast, as the company expect free-to-play titles and new full-game titles like Sonic Frontiers to reign in a slew of positive numbers in the future.

Impact of the return of social and economic activities

The last quarter was representative of a “cool down” amongst consumers, SEGASammy described in a statement to investors. They said it was due to the normalization of social and economic activities after a period of isolation in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the company still believed that the gaming market will continue to expand and revitalize in the coming future.

Although the recent market trends seem to be cooling down due to the impact of changes in consumer behavior following the normalization of social and economic activities, there has been a growing expectation of the continued revitalization and growth of the game market on a global scale in the future.

SEGASammy

Even though SEGA’s presence in the arcade and amusement machines industries were performing to expectations, they were not immune to worldwide supply chain impacts and price hikes on raw material. As a result, net sales in the Entertainment Contents were ¥52,778 billion JPY, approximately an increase of 11.3% for the same period in the previous fiscal year, and the ordinary income was of ¥8,142 billion JPY, a decrease of 4.6% for the same period in the previous fiscal year of 2022.

Even though first quarter sales decreased compared to previous periods, the overall sales trend is noticeably increasing year-to-year. (SEGASammy)

SEGASammy believed that there will not be any meaningful impact that would drastically change the forecasts for their current gaming sales. Though, they said that the “higher development costs and longer development time” for current games, associated with the impact of growing inflation and increasing human resource mobility, will require monitoring from the Japanese entertainment giant.

Q&A with investors about Sonic the Hedgehog franchise

In Q&A held with investors by SEGASammy executives Koichi Fukazawa and Makoto Takahashi, the topic of Sonic the Hedgehog was brought up a few times. The company said they have high hopes for the upcoming Frontiers video game, especially after the box office success of Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog, a film that generated a positive impact for the franchise.

We have high expectation for Sonic Frontiers, the mainstay title that is scheduled to be launched this winter. In the previous film, repeat sales of Sonic titles grew and Sonic’s licensing business was also positively affected after the film was released. The same effect is expected in the film this time, which has become a bigger hit than the previous one, and while aiming to expand the reach of Sonic IP, we also want to aim for the upside for the new title.

SEGASammy

SEGA was also questioned about the mixed reactions to Sonic Frontiers following its’ gameplay debut in early July, and how it planned to deal with the feedback. The company was firm that they will not delay the game, and that the trajectory was set for a release near the end of this year.

We do not consider postponing the launch at this point. Within the communication with users, we intend to reflect the parts that can be reflected within the development timeline and to build empathy with users. Sonic IP is a mainstay title we will sell over the long term in the future, and we will continue to strengthen it in the next fiscal year onwards as well.

SEGASammy

The next quarterly report from SEGA’s parent company will be announced in late October or early November, preceded by a full integrated report in September.

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