ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL -- Sega Amusements USA is consolidating and reorganizing as part of a larger effort to create cost savings and greater efficiencies. To implement the strategy, the American affiliate of Japan's Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. will technically cease operations on July 31. However, according to officials close to Sega Amusements USA, the restructuring is simply a matter of reassigning corporate entities with an eye toward savings.
Sega's U.S. workforce will be reduced from 15 full-time people to 12. Operations will relocate on Aug. 1 to a smaller facility in Wood Dale, IL, one mile from present Sega Amusements USA headquarters here.
All email addresses, fax and phone numbers will remain the same. Sega Amusements USA's website is undergoing an upgrade to fireproof it against hacking of the type that occurred in recent weeks at the Sega Japan sites, but it will remain active at the same address -- SegaArcade.com.
"This is a good move for Sega and our customers. It will reduce significant overhead by cutting facilities cost and consolidating management," a senior level Sega official told VT. "But American operators will still call the same numbers and talk to the same people they deal with now. From the operator's point of view, it will be business as usual."
Parts and service for North and South America will be taken over by PlayIt Amusements, a new company led by Hiram Gonzalez, who is chief financial officer at Sega Amusements USA. PlayIt Amusements will support past, present and future Sega lines and all product brought into the U.S. under the Sega banner. It will also support equipment that is made by third-party developers but marketed and sold by Sega. The new KeyMaster, which is sourced from a Korean manufacturer, is an example of one of many third-party machines represented by Sega.
Sega's Peter Gustafson, Tom Keil and Vince Moreno will continue to handle sales, the official said. However, the U.S. marketing and sales effort will officially be under the direction of Sega Amusements Europe, based in London. As of Aug. 1 that company will cover North and South America in addition to its European territories.
Products will ship from the point of manufacture. For example, the Grid driving videogames will ship from the UK and Sonic redemption games will ship from Wisconsin, where a subcontractor builds them.
Sega has added a lot of third-party product to its amusement machine lineup over the past year, and the new organization will continue to develop this area. These include redemption novelties, coin pushers, prize merchandisers and photobooths. Overseas, Sega Europe represents products made by Andamiro, Fantasy Entertainment and ICE, among other factories, but these lines, represented by U.S.-based distributors, will not be sold in the U.S. by Sega's European division or PlayIt Amusements.
More information on Sega amusement products can be had by emailing to Tom.Keil, Vince.Moreno or Peter.Gustafson, all @sau.sega.com.