Sega and Electronic Arts have signed an agreement in which the former will distribute the latter’s titles in Japan. EA said in a statement that it aims to increase its sales in Japan by using Sega’s distribution channels. Sega has similar deals with Japanese publishers, such as Alchemist, Codemasters, Cyberfront, and Arc System Works.
The first title to be distributed under this agreement is Shadow of the Damned, which is due for release September 22 in Japan and was released in the US and UK last month. Sega will be distributing all of EA’s titles in the Japanese market by August, and EA has plans to distribute FIFA and Battlefield 3 in the region as well.
Analysis: Given EA’s hope of expanding into the Japanese market, they chose well towards that end, given Sega’s size and influence in Japan and their experience in distribution deals with other companies. At the same time, this deal also works towards Sega’s desire to focus more on product than brand, as it gives them other products to market that they can’t fall back on their brand to push. In that sense, this partnership can prove mutually beneficial, and it would give Japanese gamers access to games that previously haven’t seen US shores, such as the aforementioned Battlefield 3 and FIFA.