The Creative Assembly’s Hyenas – a sci-fi extraction shooter about robbing Martian billionaires, which Ed deemed “a surprising amount of fun” when he saw it at Gamescom – is no more. Sega have cancelled the forthcoming looter FPS together with several unannounced titles – a stripping-down of the publisher’s European business in response to financial losses Sega are blaming partly on Covid.
In a letter to investors from CEO and president Haruki Satomi, Sega announced that they expect to record a loss “in the Consumer area” for the fiscal year ending 31st March 2024, partly thanks to European social-distancing measures during the pandemic. “[T]he business environment surrounding the Consumer area has been rapidly changing, including reactionary decline from the stay-at-home demand in COVID-19 and the economic downturn due to inflation in European region, and profitability has been lowered mainly in European bases,” the letter begins.
“To promptly adapt to these changes in the environment and improve profitability, we have decided to implement structural reforms aimed at increasing efficiency, mainly at our European bases and reviewed the title portfolio in those bases,” it continues.
Hyenas is one of several titles from Sega’s European outfits that are getting the axe. The statement doesn’t specify whether the other, unannounced games are Creative Assembly projects. As a reminder, the publisher’s European studios include Football Manager developer Sports Interactive, mobile game developer Hardlight, Endless Space developer Amplitude, Two Point Hospital developer Two Point Studios and Rovio, creator of ye olde Angry Birds, which Sega bought only last month.
The Sega statement adds that “we will implement reduction of various fixed expenses at several group companies in relevant region, centered on the Creative Assembly Ltd. We expect to incur one-time expenses related to reduction of fixed expenses.” It’s not clear whether job losses are part of the picture.
There could be more “reductions” to follow. “We will continue to consider measures to improve profitability in European bases apart from above,” the letter goes on. “We will announce the specific details and impact from them as soon as we make [a] decision.”
The Creative Assembly remain best-known for the Total War series – Total War: Pharaoh releases in October. Hyenas was their first big public stab at a brand new thing since 2014’s very well-received Alien Isolation.
I’ve asked Sega for more comment. Thanks for passing it on, Eurogamer. Best of luck to any developers affected.