Hey, What a surprise, the Sonic Chess Set has been delaied to the 20th of January 2010, but i seam to have found out why.. Let me explain..
Back in 1940, Marty Bromely, Lrving Bromberg and James Humpert, while living in Honolulu, Hawaii, founded the company 'Standard Games' to provide Coin-Operated Amusement (Games) for American Servicemen at the variouse military bases. By 1951, Marty Bromely had suggested that the company move to Tokyo, Japan, and in May 1952, registered the company under a new name 'Service Games of Japan'. In 1954, David Rosen (American) moved to Tokyo and created Rosen Enterprises Inc to export art and such like. A little later, he started to import coin-operated Instand Photo Booths and for some reason, they REALLY took off in Japan. In 1965, Rosen Enterprises Inc and Service Games merged to create SEGA Enterprises.
In 1969, Gulf&Western purchased Sega and Rose, who was currently SEGA CEO, remained and the company really did well, Even creating a large Screen TV range 'Sega-Vision'. SEGA were also booming in the video game arcades with many 'firsts' in the fields with games like Zaxxon and Hang-On.. In the Early 1980s, Sega got great revenues and released there first home console the SG-1000. When the Video Game Crash happened in 1983, Gulf&Western sold the US side of SEGA to Bally Manufacturing Corporation and the Japanese side was bought by Rosen, Hayao Nakayama, Esco Boueki and a group of investors. Nakayama became the new CEO of SEGA and Rosen was given charge of the US subsidiary. In 1984, the CSK Conglomerate bought SEGA Enterprises and renamed it SEGA Enterprises LTD, with it's HQ in Japan. Isao Okawa, a Friend of David Rosen and Chairman of CSK, became the new Chairman of SEGA. With Video Games coming back into fashion since the crash, in 1986, Sega of America was formed to handle the American side of things.
Skiping ahead a bit to before Okawa died in 2001, he gave the company a private donation of $695.7 Million as well as talking to Microsoft about a sale or merge with the XBox range, but these failed. In 2002, Sega's last console the 'DreamCast' and there stupid ideas of 'rebooting' alot of there product ranges had failed and Sega was in trouble with 5 Fiscal year of net lose in a go. SEGA was now in debt. In 2003, they had announced plans to merge with 'Sammy' but these fell though. Talks also happened with Namco, Bandai, Electronic Arts and Microsoft (for the second time). Sega decided to stop producing Consoles and moved just to software, affecting many of Sega's branchs. This led to them selling Sega's australian side to Infogrames. In August of 2003, Sammy bought CSK's shares in Sega and Chairman Hajime Satomi became the new head of SEGA. In 2004, Sammy bought the rest of Sega Corporation creating Sega Sammy Holdings. Sega Reabsored it's second party Studios and reordered things.
Well, i'll skip the rest. Needless to say, Sega is still in pretty bad shape as a company and due to it's new 'Make Money nothing else!' ideas and restructing, there are 3 main groups of Sega.. Sega of Japan, Sega of America and Sega of Europe.. Sega of Europe is pretty much controlled by Sega of Germany. Now the problem is, Sega of Europe and Sega of American get on all right but there games aren't great.. In fact, they never had been. Sega of Japan, however, like to keep tight control on some of there more 'profitable' ranges. While we have seen a raise in 'Retro Sonic' gear, Sega of Japan is know at stuff a state that you can't do a thing without there say so and they aren't in a great hurry to give it.. it at all. Even Sega of Germany (with a recent 'in a hurry' job) had to 'cheat' Sega of Japan in order to get something they needed/wanted.
I'm probebly not explaining this well, but it's tricky and a mix of 'insider' information (i'm not on the inside, god forbid) but things like the Chess set is being delaied because Sega of Japan is not even bothing to look at license requests and sometimes, they seam to be giving them, but then taking them back, or charging an AMAZINGLY high amount of money for them. Thus everything is in a mess. There are, of course, rumours that Sega have a new console on the way within the next two years (due to approved patents for Saturn & Megadrive like stuff) and Sega seams to be wanting to explain it's online gambling section too.. oh well..
In Short: The delay in the chess set is probebly due to SOJ not wanting to give final permission..