Why Sega doesn't care when Sonic sucks

  • by Alicia Ashby, OMGNintendo.com
  • January 07, 2009 00:00 AM PST

It's the money, stupid. And enough gamers buy crappy Sonic games for Sega not to care, according to an anonymous Sega employee.

Boss Rush was an anonymous blog, currently deleted, run by someone who actually turned out to be Sonic Europe employee Ben Andac (who is no longer with the company). Among other things, he clearly knew about the impending "Werehog" gimmick of Sonic Unleashed a full year before the game's trademark was even registered. On the subject of Sonic the Hedgehog games, Andac had this to say, as preserved by archive.org:

Instead of using the re-structuring for good Sonic Team became complacent slaves of their earlier successes. Their primary goal now is purely business driven: to please the managing directors wth good ROIs; this is not so abnormal - it is a business after all - but they leave little room for creativity and originality in their particular brand of working practices.

... Clearly the blame does not lay squarely at Naka and Sonic Team's door - the direction of Sega (or rather Sammy) as a corporation; the narrow-minded short-term annual business-plan practices and development processes (i.e. tight development schedule) that demand yearly churning out of Sonic products all play a major part...

So that's why Sonic is constantly in roughly three or four games a year, despite few of them being any good. To Sega, the Sonic franchise is now a money train the company is willing to ride all the way to shovelware station. As long as gamers keep buying lousy games starring Sonic, nothing is going to change.

Comments [23]

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Tellumendil

It's a shame really. the first couple of Sonic games during the 2D era were awesome.

ClassZeroCommando

Yeah i agree Sega lost it's way, kudos to Ben Andac proving what most people already knew

goldberg_evan

This is expected. Any game with the name Sonic, Mario, Master Chief, etc. anyone will buy. If they want to get their loyalty back after people read this article they should re-release the 2D ports that were on Genesis for next-gen consoles.

ChokaDaChicken

that is a dam shame , I've loved sonic for a long time but after reading this I'm pissed. Omg well money makes the world go round and sega don't give a dam about the customer. So it seems.

donkeykong57

I've only played the Sonic Unleashed demo and I really enjoyed it. I experienced a little nostalgia and the game seemed to return Sonic to his roots while making the game "modern". Although, I hear the "Werehog" gimmick holds it back to the extreme. Pretty sad.

I haven't truely enjoyed a Sonic title since Adventure for the Dreamcast.

ClassZeroCommando

donkeykong57 wrote:

I've only played the Sonic Unleashed demo and I really enjoyed it. I experienced a little nostalgia and the game seemed to return Sonic to his roots while making the game "modern". Although, I hear the "Werehog" gimmick holds it back to the extreme. Pretty sad.
I haven't truely enjoyed a Sonic title since Adventure for the Dreamcast.

yeah me too sonic adventure was great

eday_2010

goldberg_evan wrote:

This is expected. Any game with the name Sonic, Mario, Master Chief, etc. anyone will buy.

the difference is that Nintendo and Microsoft don't release subpar games with their head character in them every year. Nintendo isn't afraid to delay a Mario platformer for years if it isn't good enough, whereas Sega will shove Sonic Games out the door. I made the mistake of buying Unleashed before trying it. It's not a terrible game, but it's not that much fun. The night stages are too repetitive, and the day stages, which everyone said were great, aren't that great. They are too fast to allow you to control Sonic properly. It doesn't help that he acts like he's on ice when you try to stop or change directions. They are trying to do too much with too many moves, when running and jumping are sufficient. Sonic doesn't work in 3D, yet Sega keeps churning out 3D games. Giving the Super SF II HD Remix treatment to the Genesis games would mean actually putting out something good and setting Sonic's standards high again, instead of keeping the mediocre standard that still sells games. I wish these games would sell poorly so Sega would give their heads a shake and put out something good.

As a 3rd party publisher, Sega sucks. They were the best when the were 1st party on their own hardware, but now they blend in with the rest of the publishers, except those publishers put out great games every so often.

pytliks

great story. As many have already said, it's a shame because Sonic used to be the shizit (yes I used a snoop dog term) on genesis. But, like Ben said, it's a business, and so long as fans are still buying their crap they'll keep squatting it out.

shotgunzzzz

Can they just mahe a Sonic game with just sonic plz it would be a lot better, Sonic unleashed's sonic levels kicked ass

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