Today Sega thanks our news pages. First, for being the target of unfair labor practices alleged by his union workers, and now, oh, for talking about the possibility of making movies based on the Persona and Yakuza series. A bit of an awkward transition, but you play the hand you’re dealing with.
Chief operating officer Shuji Utsumi mentioned the company’s transmedia ambitions in a recent conversation with CNBC, saying that the phenomenal success of the Sonic the Hedgehog films has Sega thinking about its other popular projects and what can be done with them.
“We have other IPs (besides Sonic),” Utsumi said, highlighting Persona and Yakuza as series that could be adapted. “We’re trying to get into a lot of different categories… all these IP addresses could soon end up somewhere other than gaming.”
For Utsumi, “Somewhere Else But Games” means movies, yes, it’s an option that Sega has previously offered for the Persona series, but it doesn’t end there. In a line that makes me feel decidedly Neolithic, Utusmi suggested that the deicide-y teen hijinks of Persona and the hilarious ultra-violence of Yakuza could also be transferred somewhere “like Roblox,” the free gaming platform played by millions of people every year. day.
Utsumi probably could have picked a better time to talk about Roblox—it was most recently in the news about a class-action lawsuit brought against him by parents concerned about sexual content and grooming—but it’s indicative of how big the media is Sega. ambitions extend to the most popular franchises. It’s also an indication of how gigantic Roblox has become: so big that it’s not really a competitor to Sega, but a different form of media alongside film and television.
So get ready to see the Joker and Kiryu on the big screen and on the mobile phones of all the kids in your life. Perhaps other Sega products will get there as well. While Utsumi only mentioned Persona and Yakuza by name, he did say that Sega is “thinking about reviving other classic IPs.” Alex Kidd will finally get the attention he deserves.