Cyberbiz brief

Vidgame maker Sega said it would cut about a fifth of its U.S. headquarters staff, or 90 jobs, as part of a reorganization of North American operations ahead of its merger with Japanese pinball power Sammy Corp.

Meanwhile, Sega is reportedly once again a possible purchase target for big U.S. vidgame companies looking to bolster their stables of game developers and franchise characters. Microsoft, rumored to be interested in purchasing Sega over the past two years, and Electronic Arts are keen on some or all of the gamemaker’s assets, though neither is in formal talks with the Japanese company.

Microsoft has been seeking additional game makers to flesh out the product pipeline for its Xbox vidgame console, and the company is reportedly showing particular interest in the sports titles created by inhouse Sega studio Visual Illusions. Titles such as “NFL 2K3” have been critically lauded, though Sega suffered a big financial beating this fall when the game failed to oust Electronic Arts’ longtime market leader, “Madden NFL,” from the top of the sports pile.

The Sammy merger has reportedly left some longtime Sega development talent unhappy, and they are considering leaving the company if the merger is finalized.

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