E3 2002: Sammy announces US division
Makers of the cult hit fighting series Guilty Gear, Japanese developer Sammy has announced that they will soon open their US division, Sammy Studios. Sammy Studios will reside in San Diego, California and serve as an in-house developer and publisher for all next-generation consoles, including the GameBoy Advance.
Sammy has been quite successful as of late, as the Tokyo based game maker has reported a revenue income of $1 billion for 2001. Sammy executives predict an even more profitable 2002, in light of the current expansion to the US. Sammy also plans on putting focus on coin-operated machines (arcades), to further help with income.
Sammy Studios will be operated by John Rowe, who was responsible in launching SNK's North American division. Rowe also co-founded Tradewest in 1986; they released games such as Double Dragon, Ikari Warriors, Ironman Stewart's Super Off-Road, and John Elway Quarterback. Rowe would later on become the head of product development over at Midway, and was in charge of the company's entry into the console field. The rest of Sammy Studios crew includes Emmanuel Valdez, lead artist and designer of the Ready 2 Rumble franchise; Farzad Varahramyan, senior production designer of the Oddworld series; Chris Ulm, co-founder of Malibu Comics (the original publisher of Men in Black and UltraForce), and creator/assistant director at Oddworld Inhabitants; Dave Wagner, lead programmer on titles including Ready 2 Rumble; and Brian Lowe, producer of NHL Hitz, Shadow Hearts, Gex: Enter the Gecko, and Mortal Kombat Trilogy.
"Sammy recognizes this as a great time to establish a strong industry base that encompasses both the burgeoning consumer video game market and coin-op arcade games," said John Rowe, president of Sammy Studios. "This new studio is intended to significantly grow Sammy's global entertainment business with the development and marketing of titles for all next-generation platforms, as well as explore opportunities in other areas of entertainment."
5/20/2002 Arnold Katayev