Relic Entertainment going independent, with SEGA also laying off 240 employees in Europe

Sega continues its business restructuring, which affects its European teams. The Japanese publisher has just announced new layoffs and the sale of Company of Heroes developer Relic Entertainment.

SEGA lays off 240 employees across its European studios, Relic Entertainment goes independent

Company of Heroes 3

Relic Entertainment goes independent for the first time in 20 years

  • In a notice regarding its structural reform, Sega announced that all shares of Relic will be transferred to a holding company established by UK investment firm Emona Capital. The financial terms of the deal remain undisclosed.
  • As of December 31, 2023, the studio’s total assets were valued at C$ 71.5 million ($52.6 million), with net profit of C$8.28 million ($6 million).
  • Following the divestment of Relic Entertainment, Sega will recognize ¥4.7 billion ($31 million) as extraordinary losses.
  • The Company of Heroes maker issued a statement, saying that an external investor bought its shares from the Japanese company. As a result, the studio will become an independently-run developer.
  • “We may be out of the SEGA business, but we remain friends and colleagues,” the company said. “We are excited about the next chapter for Relic, and we hope you will join us in creating new experiences for our fans worldwide.”

  • Founded in 1997, Relic Entertainment is best know for its portfolio of strategy games, including series such as Company of Heroes, Homeworld, and Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War. In 2004, it was acquired by THQ for $10 million. After the publisher went bankrupt, the studio was sold to Sega for $26.6 million, and the Homeworld IP was acquired by Gearbox.

Layoffs and portfolio review

  • As part of its restructuring, Sega decided to lay off 240 employees in Europe, mainly from Creative Assembly, Hardlight, and SEGA Europe.
  • It is unclear how many roles will be terminated at each studio, but Sega Europe head Jurgen Post apologized to employees and noted that the cuts were necessary “to secure the future of our games business.”
  • “We need to streamline, focus on what we are good at, and position ourselves as best we can for the road ahead,” he said (via IGN). “In order to do that, we need to respond to the changing economic landscape and the challenges we’re facing in the way we develop our products and bring them to market.”
  • In addition to layoffs, Sega also wrote down some games in development at its European subsidiaries. Details remain undisclosed, but Post told IGN that Creative Assembly has “multiple projects in development,” including the next Total War game and an unannounced title.
  • Sega announced a restructuring of its gaming business in Europe last September, laying off 250 people at several subsidiaries and cancelling Creative Assembly’s live service shooter Hyenas.
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