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Secret Sega game 'uses all PS Vita features', is original IP

"Totally original" action adventure concept coming from new UK studio

Sega has told CVG that its newly-announced UK studio is already hard at work on a PlayStation Vita game that is based on new IP and uses "all of the console's features".

As revealed this morning, Sega has opened a studio that has been born out of its secret Technology Group in the West Midlands. The venture is being headed up by former Sega Racing Studios chief and 16-year industry veteran Chris Southall.

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The studio's first title will be an action-adventure game, and is set to launch in late 2012.

"The Sega Technology Group is an internal set of people that we actually set up with six of the brightest minds from Sega's Racing Studio," Gary Dunn, VP of product development for Sega West told CVG. "One of their key tasks is to get onto new technology quickly to help the rest of the group. For instance, they made a relatively early PS3 game on 360. That experience was brought to bear helping our other studios around the globe for optimising for next-gen consoles.

"It's not just tech, it's artists and designers too, who provide product support around the globe. That group has been working at the forefront of technology. You name the new hardware - 3DS, Vita, Wii U, Kinect - its first experience in the Sega Corporation in that group, certainly in the Western world."

Dunn explained that the new Solihull studio was set up after Sega's publishing team saw one particularly clever prototype arrive out of the Technology Group.

"The Solihull studio doesn't mean the end of the tech group," he clarified. "Far from it - they'll feed off each other naturally high levels of innovation."

Dunn told us that the new Vita game - which Sega confirmed this morning was an action-adventure title - is only currently in pre-production.

"It's not a racing game, I can tell you that," added Dunn. "It's currently being developed on PlayStation Vita - but whether that's it's only platform will remain to be seen.

"What really impressed us was the way it uses the Vita's feature set - I genuinely couldn't put it into a current genre because of the way it uses all them. It's totally original."

That's quite a few features: Vita boasts touch-sensitivity on its back and front, twin analogue sticks, a gyroscope and cameras. Dunn confirmed that game wasn't based on a licence or an existing Sega franchise, and was a "completely new IP".

Sega is on a recruitment drive at the new West Midlands studio, and is hoping to have a team of 15 in place to work on the new title.

"In its first phase, we're looking for 15 game developers in total in the new studio - that's on top of the six from the Technology Group, who will fall back into there," explained Dunn. "We want people who can take brand new hardware and start prototyping, so as well as some fresh faces, we want lots of experienced people who are going to populate that idea.

"We're super-exited about this. When you look at the very nature of where this studio's been born and how they've been doing prototypes on the latest and greatest hardware. It's thrilling, to be honest.

"It won't be easy to find the right people, as despite some high-profile recent closures and redundancies, demand for the top developers still outweighs supply. But we've got a fantastic talent pool in Britain, so we're very optimistic."

The new studio is currently taking applications for a number of positions via the Sega UK website.

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