As the holder of some the most beloved franchises in video games, there is massive pressure for Sega Networks not only make fans' happy with how it handles the popular franchises but to blow expectations out of the water, president and CEO Haruki Satomi told Polygon.
"That is a big challenge, how to meet our fans expectations. Not only to meet, but exceed their expectations and create a ‘wow moment, 'Oh! this is wow!'" he explained, saying that the pressure to appease fans and deliver a quality product does not diminish just because it is a big company with a lot of funding. "And that's the type of title Sega needs to provide to consumers."
The company also aims to provide quality games with its IPs to attract new gamers and appeal to a broader audience in order to expand its audience in the mobile space. The latest mobile games that leverage Sega's IP includes the revisiting of three well-known franchises. One is the next entry in Sega's Super Monkey Ball series as a Peggle-like and Pachinko-influenced mobile title called Super Monkey Ball Bounce.
The line-up also includes the resurrection of an old arcade and Dreamcast game with Crazy Taxi: City Rush as a touch-screen driving, endless runner. Lastly, Sonic Jump Fever, a take on Sonic Jump that was first released to mobile devices in 2005, where players compete for high scores in vertical jumping challenges and races. All three are coming to Android and iOS for free this summer.
Sega reported ongoing success in the digital game market for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, and an increased demand for social networking and smartphone games. It was a direct indication that company is successfully on its way to focus on the development of more mobile titles and deliver socially connected games across numerous platforms.
"I think our biggest challenge is staying as nimble as possible. It is a very fast moving business," Chris Olsen vice president of Sega Digital Business said. "There are new devices and operating systems we are constantly pushing what the development teams can accomplish with them."
Sega is keeping an eye on emerging tech, such as Google Glass, but won't act on anything until a product gets traction in the marketplace. "Like some sort of Google Glass type experience we will if it does but we are not going to do it for the thousand of Google Glass users who are using it. We are going to wait and see if the market picks up a bit," he said.
Sega's vision is to be a leader within the smartphone and tablet game space within the next few years but it means that it is also up against the myriad of smaller and faster independent developers.
"There are so many companies in the market, it's not just companies like us, EA or Konami we can identify," Satomi said. "We are fighting against anyone. We need to beat them one by one to be a leading player. Our vision is to be a top global smartphone game provider in a couple of years."
Satomi continued that Sega is progressing towards its goal in Japan. In order to be successful in America, according to Olsen, the company will take a combination of seeing what works in Japan, integrating it and seeing what could work in the region.