Shuji Utsumi is now President, COO and Representative Director of SEGA Corporation, CEO of SEGA America, and CEO of SEGA Europe, following the announcement of a corporate restructuring of the company by its parent company SEGA Sammy on January 9, 2024.
Utsumi is a veteran of the video game industry, and was one of the people behind the PlayStation’s launch in North America before going on to help launch the Dreamcast. He also worked in production on several popular SEGA game titles of that era, including Sonic Adventure, Space Channel 5, Samba de Amigo and more.
After spending the better part of two decades at companies like Disney Interactive and Q Entertainment, where he was instrumental in the development of games like Kingdom Hearts and Lumines, Utsumi returned to SEGA in 2020, where he has most recently been responsible for their consumer games and transmedia business, as well as holding a CEO role at SEGA of America and a chairman position at SEGA Europe.
In the last few years Utsumi has also been part of the production team on titles like Puyo Puyo Tetris 2, Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown and Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania, as well as Sonic the Hedgehog game entries like Sonic Origins, Sonic Frontiers, The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Superstars.
At The Game Awards 2023, SEGA showed a trailer that announced it had plans to revive at least five of its classic properties, showing a list of names including Crazy Taxi, Golden Axe, Jet Set Radio, Shinobi and Streets of Rage. The company intends to do this with both internally developed game titles and through partnerships with outside development teams, and with the involvement of as many of the series’ original creators as is possible. This is a strategy that has been spearheaded by Utsumi, according to his December interview with The Washington Post.
SEGA Sammy recently made other changes to the leadership structure of SEGA Europe, including bringing back Jurgen Post as COO of its western studios.