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LONDON -- Sega has announced that the four European offices -- in France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands -- and one in Australia will begin using third parties for more sales and distribution, effective July 1. By year's end, the five Sega branches in these regions will be closed entirely, triggering an unknown number of layoffs. In Europe, only an office in London will remain open into 2013.
Koch Media, the parent company of developer Deep Silver, will now take over distribution for Sega's titles in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France and Spain. Level03 Distribution and 5 Star Games will represent Sega in Australia and Benelux.
Sega executives said two of these distributorships are staffed by previous Sega managers, suggesting a smooth transition to third-party support.
Sega, which reported $86 million in losses last year, said the closures will further "streamline" the company. Sega's consumer division in Europe will now focus on content development. No changes are expected to Sega's amusement sales offices in the U.S.