A portion of a VentureBeat interview with Sean Ratcliffe, vice president of marketing at Sega of America…
VB: Do you see this Mario & Sonic franchise as something that can continue beyond the Beijing and Vancouver Olympic Games?
SR: I think the key factor that decides the ongoing building of this franchise is basically success. Is the game successful? Are consumers happy with it? It’s quite a long list of people who are involved in making that game, from the IOC (International Olympic Committee) to ISM (International Sports Multimedia) to Nintendo to Sega. We see this as an ongoing franchise, but we can’t comment about future Olympic events. We’ve not spoken to the right people about that yet, and it would be wrong of us to sort of speculate around that. But clearly, this is a franchise that resonates well with gamers, and we’re very pleased of our success to date.
VB: Does this partnership with Nintendo open up the possibility of seeing those two characters together in something outside of an Olympics setting?
SR: Currently the plan is purely Olympic Games, and it would be wrong of me to speculate about whether there is going to be Mario & Sonic, this, that, or the other.
VB: Sega is also going after the core audience with games like House of the Dead: Overkill and Mad World. How are consumers responding to those Mature-rated titles?
SR: House of the Dead has done very well and has absolutely met our expectations. The first set of data for Mad World is very encouraging, as well.
VB: Do you see franchise potential for Mad World with sequels?
SR: If it resonates with the audience, yes, we absolutely want to make that into a franchise. I think it’s unique, and there are many aspects of that game which are sort of pushing boundaries. And it’s just great fun.