Sega have snapped up another PC strategy studio, today announcing they've bought Two Point Hospital developers Two Point Studios. They haven't stated the English studio's price, but I trust payment was made in the form of a giant novelty cheque. Sega note that Two Point have "several" unannounced projects in the pipeline, in a dry business-y way, while the studio themselves just shouted on Twitter that "You can bet your bottom this means new, exciting management sims coming from us!"
Sega have built an unlikely stock of PC strat-o-sim studios for a former console manufacturer. They also own Total War developers Creative Assembly, Football Manager mob Sports Interactive, Endless Space/Legend developers Amplitude Studios, and Dawn Of War & Company of Heroes gang Relic Entertainment. A few missteps aside, they seem to be doing pretty well and still releasing decent games? An unexpected custodian of traditional PC gaming.
They don't seem done yet either, saying their "Searchlight initiative" is still seeking studios "that fit with Sega's ethos to deliver new IP with strong franchise potential." I mean, technically Two Point Hospital is a new series, tho it is also just Theme Hospital isn't it.
Two Point Studios were founded by former Bullfrog Productions people Mark Webley and Gary Carr, who worked on Theme Hospital there, plus a pal who inconsiderately didn't work at Bullfrog so I have to give longwinded explantations rather than just say e.g. "a trio of former Bullfrog folks." Thanks for nothing, Ben Hymers, if that is your real name.
"It's a landmark step for Two Point Studios and we're thrilled to be joining the Sega family," Webley said in today's announcement. "We're looking forward to executing the next phase of our plans as we continue to evolve Two Point County."
I am suddenly reminded of how Nic Reuben ended our Two Point Hospital review:
"Back of the box take away, then: Yep. It's a good'un. Theme Hospital occupies a pretty special place in my gaming memories. The sense of relief and joy I got after my first hour with Two Point Hospital was palpable enough to turn into a pill, bottle, and then overcharge for. Plus, if they managed to wrangle this one, it means Two Point Dungeon isn't out of the realms of possibility..."
OH HO! Now my hopes are raised.