The most visible sign yet of Sega's decision to re-integrate its development subsidiaries back into the main company has come in the form of the closure or stripping down of the studios' individual websites, which is happening this week.
Both Hitmaker and Amusement Vision are to shut down their websites on July 1st, the date that the re-integration of the companies is meant to take place, while most other Sega studios will be removing things like diaries, personal columns and so on, leaving only bare informational sites.
The decision to merge the Sega studios back into the main company came as part of the company's preparation for its merger with new parent Sammy later this year. The Sammy merger - which will see both companies integrated under the new banner of Sega Sammy Holdings - is due to take place in October.
What's not clear is how the company plans to use the studios' identities going forward. Several of the Sega development studios - particularly Hitmaker and Amusement Vision, but to a lesser extent some of the other studios as well - have very strong reputations both within the industry, and with consumers.
So far the company had given no indication that their identities would be entirely subsumed by the re-merger, but the closure of the websites suggests that that could indeed be the case. More information about the fate of the studio identities should hopefully be revealed tomorrow in Japan, where further details of the Sega merger plans are expected to be announced at a Sammy shareholder meeting.
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