April 4, 2006

Sega buys Secret Level for $15 million

SAN FRANCISCO -- Sega Holdings of USA Inc. said on Monday it has paid $15 million for a video game developer that helped make the console versions of the military title "America's Army."

Sega Holdings, the U.S.-based arm of Japan's Sega Sammy Holdings Inc., said the acquisition of Secret Level Inc. was part of its effort to focus more on the U.S. and European video game markets.

"The addition of this development powerhouse further moves Sega toward its goal of becoming a leading next-generation publisher," Naoya Tsurumi, head of Sega's American and European operations, said in a statement.

San Francisco-based Secret Level also developed "Karaoke Revolution" for Microsoft Corp.'s  trading card game.

Along with France-based Ubisoft, Secret Level brought "America's Army," a free PC game backed by the U.S. Army as a recruiting tool, to the Xbox and Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 2.

The companies said Secret Level would be able to take advantage of Sega's broad portfolio of games, which include titles based on its Sonic the hedgehog character.