There are probably many of you who weren’t even born when a speedy blue hedgehog first ran across our screen to the sound of ‘SEGA!’ And with Nintendo splashing out on celebrating twenty five years of Mario, you would think that Sega would be all too happy to cash in on one of their few franchises still popular in the gaming world. However, they have been a little on the quiet front regarding this.
Although a Sonic game for the 3DS has been rumoured for this year there has been no news as to whether this game will be released to coincide with this milestone. Nintendo are not even listing Sonic on the 3DS as a current release and even Sega’s official website doesn’t list it. The other option is of course another Sonic Compilation or a new Sonic game. So far Sega are keeping their cards very close to their chests.
Last year Sega’s VP of sales and marketing Alan Pritchard said to expect three major Sonic related announcements. Yet none have been made. Apart from the possible release on the Nintendo 3DS, it was believed that with the relative commercial success and varied critical acclaim of Sonic 4 Episode One that Episode Two would be released this year. However when asked about their plans Sega opted to stay quiet, offering only a “no comment” response.
Sega brand manager Ken Balough has said that fans of the game “won’t have to wait years” for the next episode of digital platformer Sonic the Hedgehog 4. Though he did go on to comment that “Episode II is in early development now. We already had some ideas fleshed out on development for Episode I in fact. No, you definitely won’t have to wait years and years a la Duke Nukem Forever.”
Whether it will be ready in time for Sonic’s June Birthday will remain to be seen. Though when talking about Episode Two he did acknowledge that the previous game was not perfect “I certainly cannot deny there were some elements [in Episode 1] that could have been done better – and I could say that about most games I’ve worked on. That’s why Episode II gives us that opportunity to address them (or as much as possible).”
Sega have already created a special Sonic Twentieth Anniversary Website (albeit only for Sega Japan) which again does not reveal what these three big announcements will be. It will be sad if Sega do not honour this milestone in some way, even if it is with just a Sonic collection. Some speculate that a collection of Sonic games from the Sega Mega CD-Dreamcast era would be the next logical step seeing as all of the Sonic games are available in some form either on Xbox Live, Virtual Console or the Sega Megadrive Collections.
The Sonic the Hedgehog series of games including Sonic 1-4, Sonic Heroes, Adventure and so on have sold Seventy million units worldwide across a variety of consoles from the Sega Master System to the latest releases on the Playstation3, Xbox 360 and Wii. How Sega choose to commemorate this landmark for their spiky mascot (if at all) we shall have to wait and see.