LOS ANGELES--May 12, 1999--Sega(R) Enterprises, Ltd. today announced
it is accelerating its purchase of San Rafael, California video game
developer Visual Concepts Entertainment, Inc.
The deal to acquire Visual Concepts, which was initially announced in
September 1997, will take effect immediately and will give Sega full
control of the prolific software company. In conjunction with the
acquisition, president of Visual Concepts, Gregory A. Thomas, will be
appointed vice president of product development for Sega of America.
Financial details surrounding the deal were not disclosed.
Visual Concepts is currently developing several titles for Sega's new
video game machine, Sega Dreamcast(TM), including football, basketball
and a character-based adventure game. Prior to the acquisition, Sega
owned a minority share in the company, giving it exclusive rights to
games created for any Sega video game consoles. Visual Concepts is best
known for creating the top-selling hockey game of 1997, "NHL Hockey
'97(TM)," which was published by Electronic Arts. The company's track
record of hit titles also includes "Madden NFL '94(TM)," "Madden
'95(TM)," "Clay Fighter(TM)," "Taz-Mania(TM)," and "EA Sports Presents
MLBPA Baseball(TM) and "NBA Action `98(TM)."
"This is a significant acquisition for Sega," said Bernard Stolar,
president and COO of Sega of America. "We are looking to further expand
development for Sega Dreamcast titles here in the United States. The
Visual Concepts deal gives us instant access to an incredible pool of
game development talent that has a proven track record for creating
Sega also announced this morning that it would be looking to expand
the game development operation at Visual Concepts, including hiring new
employees to meet the anticipated demand for Sega Dreamcast games. The
company's Sega Dreamcast football and basketball titles will be
available at the launch of the video game system in the US on September
"We really believe in Sega and the Sega Dreamcast platform," said
Gregory A. Thomas, president of Visual Concepts Entertainment, Inc. "We
look forward to working with Bernie Stolar and the great teams here in
the US, Japan and Europe. Sega is on track to return as a dominant
player in the video game industry, and we are excited to be a
significant part of that."
As vice president of product development, Thomas will oversee all
Sega of America internally developed (first-party) game titles created
for Sega Dreamcast and manage acquisitions, working closely with both of
Sega of Japan and Sega of America.
Visual Concepts is a privately held software development firm based
in San Rafael, Calif. The company was founded in 1988 and has developed
games for the leading video game publishers in the business, including
Sega, Electronic Arts, Konami, Interplay, Namco and Sunsoft, for all
major 16- and 32-bit video game consoles.