Parent company, Sega Sammy Holdings, released an official notice stating that Kenji Matsubara, Sega president and chief publishing officer, would be resigning as of today, 31 July 2020. The document is brief, merely informing of the date of resignation and the reason being “for personal reasons”, alongside the usual legal jargon.
The Sega president had been with the company since 2014, as chief of technology for Sega’s Networks subsidiary. He then took on the role of Sega executive vice president in 2017, eventually being given the role of chief publishing officer in April 2020. With SEGA’s strong performance in the industry as of late, the reason for Matsubara’s resignation doesn’t seem to anything beyond said personal reasons. As of May 2020, Sega’s full year sales totaled $3.4 billion.
No news about Matsubara’s replacement has been announced yet. In the meantime, Sega’s strong financial performance is set to continue with the upcoming releases of Troy – A Total War Saga, set for 13 August 2020, and the western release of Yakuza: Like a Dragon, set for 13 November 2020.
The latest Yakuza title already released on 16 January 2020, in Japan and Asia, selling a combined total of 400,000 physical and digital copies as of March 2020. Like a Dragon even earned the highest digital entries of the Yakuza series so far, as mentioned by Sega’s executive director of the series, Toshihiro Nagoshi. If this is any indication of the upcoming western sales for Yakuza: Like a Dragon, then Sega’s high performance may continue just fine, even with its president’s sudden departure.