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Sonic 4: Why we did what we did.

I didn’t want to make this post, in all honesty.

However, over the past 24 hours, there’s been a reaction from the larger Internet community who can’t seem to understand why we took the step of removing all Sonic 4 discussion on both our forums and IRC and there’s largely been a backlash. I’d like to address some of this backlash, as it seems in our silence there has been misinformation, assumption and arrogance on why we did what we did.

From the first announcement of Project Needlemouse back in September, Sonic Retro has been abuzz over this game. A teaser trailer that really told us nothing at all generated hundreds of pages of discussion. It’s been really clear that this project was in part directly aimed towards our portion of the fanbase: the older members yearning for a return to the 2D classics. The people who wrote long, scholarly topics discussing the minutiae of level design. The people who studied the physics of the Mega Drive Sonic engines so thoroughly that they now know every difference between each one. The people who felt so passionately about the superiority of these games that they took apart these games in hopes of recreating the magic themselves in a way that they could share with people, who like themselves, loved this so much.

If you’ve watched the leaked videos released over this week, it should be pretty clear to you that on multiple levels, Sonic 4 is trying to answer these pleas. In the nearly ten years I’ve been part of the Sonic fandom, I see quite a bit of things that were asked for showing up in these videos. Do not think that Sega is unaware of the things that were written over time. Sega is well aware of Retro and has been for years.

That’s why, when Sonic 4 was formally announced, Sega approached us in the hopes of working with us to help them. As they had been used to taking feedback from the site for years passively, the idea was that we would help in creating an active feedback cycle that would get the community involved in the series. When we spoke to representatives, we were looking forward to establishing a relationship that would lead to things that would ultimately help the Sonic fan community: not only would our feedback and criticism be used in a major way, we would be able to gain access to things that we cannot now get under current procedures. This was essentially a trial balloon to show that the fans who were truly passionate about Sonic would be helpful to the process rather than a hindrance.

The agreement made between Sega and Sonic Retro concerning the inevitable issue of information and asset leaks was simple: we agreed that while it would be near-impossible to stifle forum conversation (and in fact that if we did so, it would simply move elsewhere, given the nature of the Internet), we could help in minimizing leak impact by not publishing leaks on our front page. This seemed like a reasonable accommodation and we agreed. Moreover, the staff of the site privately discussed what we felt would be OK as a leak, given that said leaks, while providing valuable early feedback and whetting fan appetites, could potentially damage our relationship with Sega or even bring legal repercussions, seeing as this is not exactly a game released 16 years ago.

Because the leaks we had experienced prior to this week fell under things we felt were non-damaging and potentially helpful (early video, text of achievements, pictures, music), we took no direct action. Nearly all of these leaks also originated at Sonic Retro and this was something we did not have a problem with, as we did speak to each person who leaked these assets privately. However, throughout this past week, one of our members decided to continue leaking videos to a point where essentially the entire game was shown, and we felt that crossed a line that we could no longer morally support and pulled discussion entirely.

There have been several rebuttals to this action, and I’d like to address that now. The first is that we did not ban this member upon their leaks. The fact is that if you’re reading this on a connection, you have at least some familiarity with how discussion spreads on the Internet. If we had suppressed the links this member posted, we would look dumb: when people see something they know is valuable, they right-click-save and proceed to spread it everywhere. In fact, this is what happened with the last few leaks, as the member chose to leak in IRC rather than post. People are eager to put up mirrors and share with friends and sites, and that’s only normal. For us to clamp down on this member would simply mean that he would move to another medium or forum, and the discussion would still come back to Retro anyway. It’s better to hold the upper hand to strike when needed than to do so too soon.

The second has to do with our front page posting. If you look through our posts, you will see that barring one post by a moderator who was not fully briefed about how to handle front page posts in this situation, all our “leaked” material are relatively low-impact. Once this moderator was informed of the procedure on Sonic 4, they removed the link.

We have never in our history received a cease & desist order from Sega in spite of the things we do on this website, and that is something we are proud of. The way we try to handle the Sonic franchise is one with respect; we do not condone piracy of Sonic games and believe whatever game copying and modification should be done out of research and desire to know more about Sonic than simply skirting the law. The reason at the end of the day that we enjoy looking at prototypes is not to boost our e-credibility or because we enjoy playing buggy, half-finished games; it’s because we want to know everything about the development process and see what was left on the cutting room floor.

This is partly why I find those accusing us of being upset over having some sort of exclusivity in the works or something so ridiculous. Barring a single leak involving achievement text and a video sent anonymously to GameVideos, every single reveal about Sonic 4 has come from…Sonic Retro. If we were concerned about exclusivity, we would be actively hocking the fact that these leaks came from us–“Come to Sonic Retro, where we can even beat the press!”–and would have no reason to pull discussion at all. Indeed, the fact that we did not do this seems to upset people.

The fact of the matter is that as a staff, we respect this franchise a bit more than that. I understand in a way that very few people can that there are many people upset over this game in the same way many people are excited for this game. As an administrator, I have read over 10,000 posts (yes, every single one!) concerning the Sonic Retro membership’s feeling on Sonic 4, in addition to other forums, blogs, gaming media and sources. I can articulate every positive and negative argument about the game in painful detail, because I have had to listen to people on both poles yelling in IRC channels, chat rooms and instant messages. It’s to a point where I haven’t even bothered giving my opinion publicly because I have been accused of being a Sonic 4 cheerleader and someone determined to see the game fail within 15 minutes of each other.

Regardless of your opinion on the game, though, I want to make one thing very clear: the people you think you are one-upping or hurting when leaks happen are not the people they are hurting. The fact of the matter is that Dimps or Iizuka is not really going to feel the repercussions of your blistering critique of the reuse of the Sonic Rush engine or your mocking of Mad Gear Zone as “Rehash of a Rehash Zone”–at least, not yet, anyway. The people you ARE hurting–the members of Sega of America and Sega of Europe who have reached out to the community and its sites–are the very people who are trying to make sure that your voices do eventually get heard by the developers, and that’s the real irony of all this. It is amazing at this point that Sega has decided NOT to throw their hands in the air and ignore us.  To say “oh, well Sega deserves this” is incredibly selfish and not sticking it to the man–at all. You can’t complain that the Sonic series has been an abused workhorse–something that for the record, I agree with–and then spit in the hand of the people reaching out to try to make it NOT SUCK. This isn’t going to happen overnight, guys. Sonic 4 isn’t going to magically be everything to everyone, nor could it be in all honesty. However, it CAN be improved, and to see people turn away from that to go with emotions of hate and spite really galls me both as an administrator and a fan of Sega.

With that being said, we do have a plan for how to handle Sonic 4 in the future, and we will eventually take off the current embargo on discussion. However, that can only happen if we have the cooperation of this community, and right now there seems to be more people who believe they are “entitled” to fucking things up. Protip: you don’t. I have tried to say this in the past with multiple warnings in the Sonic 4 thread and two Shark Week suspension sprees, but it seems the message didn’t get across. I did a faux-threat that upset people but the message didn’t get across. I pull discussion altogether…and the message isn’t getting across, as surprise, I’m a member of  most of the same places this community is doing their bitching in. Understand that pulling discussion was pretty much the last thing anyone wanted to do, and we tried to take as many steps as we could to prevent it, but we felt it necessary to help minimize the impact of the video leaks.

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78 Comments

  • Reply

    I am going to be honest here but I think it was left too late before you started a whole rage clean up, there was a new video leak like every day for an entire week! regardless of what the admin’s thought were fine at the time it was left until the end the entire game was out in video form. Banning the leaker would make these links appear elsewhere but the whole discussion was left unattended here at sonic retro, in fact most people who watched these leaks were told to come here for the url’s, especially from big gaming websites like neoGAF.

    Those shark week posts didn’t help either, that’s just rage showing through as a sticky thread, sorry.

    Maybe next time with episode II you could ask for no leaked footage to be linked at retro in a kind manner, maybe in the sonic 4 thread itself, if the url’s are posted at another website it’s not retro’s problem.

    • Reply

      wow…..

  • Reply

    Well, I only see this as a good thing in my opinion. I was pretty offended at pulling the thread at first, but now it only makes perfect sense to me, and I can see now why you’ve been doing all of it. All of this just makes me more excited about the game.

  • Reply

    It’s a shame that the fan-base is like this, it would be nice if everyone just acted mature about the whole thing.

    Still, it was a nice post, and I had a good read of it.

    Thankyou, SS.

  • Reply

    Most of us just wanted to see how the game played out, including me, without thinking about like this. Even though we were heavily teased by Sega, they have the “right” to do so.
    Thanks for raising this viewpoint, Sun.

    Atleast we have an idea about how shoddy PartnerNET is now, and why Microsoft must change their policies to not benefit fans like with Sonic 4.

  • Reply

    This is generally more or less the reason I don’t post on here anymore :(

    I’m glad what has happened, has happened; I was getting utterly sick of reading all the Negative hate comments etc, so I Stopped all together – I’m sure I’m no the only one.

    It’s just a Game at the end of the day… Maybe the best release I get in life, but it dosen’t change the fact its just a game.

    I want the game to be good, And I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. I also feel sorry it got to this point :(

  • Reply

    @Scarred Sun
    No matter what decision you make, you will always end up with people who will be upset. (i’m not one of them).

    All your work and effort is being appreciated, keep up the good work.

    • Reply

      The funny thing is, it took the person who sucked at sonic 4 in those leaks to make me want to play it. Because i just wanted to kick his a** at it. So anyway, as a long time sega fan I was curious, but i wasn’t stupid enough to delve to far (first level was good enough). Now that those videos were leaked everyone will feel bad for what has happened and in truth, the mystery of the video maker and the real life stuff has just added my props to this game. I Think this whole deal should make Sega come out good in a long run. Much cash awaits you Sega, i garuntee it. But my little company Project X might suprisingly come up as some new competition to your franchise of Sonic. Just wait and see. 😉

  • Reply

    I’m sorry. at first I thought that there was nothing wrong about this, but now i see what was going on and now i understand. i do kinda wish you had told us sooner though.

  • Reply

    Thanks for this post, Scarred Sun, I think the community needed something like this to straighten out this ordeal. I’m also really glad that I’m not the only one with the opinion that the leaks have gone too far. I really don’t have much else to say, other than that this really is (or at least used to be before Sonic 4) the most well-respected segment of the Sonic fanbase (“Sonadow?” REALLY, YOUTUBE??), but now that people obviously can’t keep their fan-dicks in their pants, they’re ruining it for themselves.

    And for the record, I haven’t and do not plan to watch the Mad Gear/ending whatever videos. Even my sister said that would be taking it too far.

  • Reply

    I had been watching Sonic Retro for years now, but I just now decided to join as a member in hopes of discussing Sonic 4 with fellow fans. I had no idea that it’s gotten this bad, even with the leaks. I would’ve been happy with 30 seconds of gameplay from Splash Hill, but the entire game? That’s just too far. I’m glad you did what you did. Hopefully you’ll be able to continue the Sonic 4 thread soon, with a more mature level of discussion, and hopefully I will get the chance to be apart of it.

  • Reply

    Well said. Thanks, SS. This helps a lot to understand the situation.

    It seems to me the problem originates with PartnerNET, and how easy it is for some people who are not strictly developers or journalists to access it, thus leading to a few members posting leaked footage and precipitating this whole mess. However, the community is how it is, and while I was against putting all the blame on the community at large when limits could have been imposed, I think I can see now it wouldn’t have mattered much and enough was done as it is. The community has time and again proven themselves to be uncontrollably obstinate and spoiled, with a few notable but inconsequential exceptions. Unfortunately it comes with the territory, but I hope to see that change in the future for both Sonic fans and SEGA fans in general.

    Like you said, threats and imposed bans aren’t very effective to get people to change their behaviors or attitudes. You’ve already done more than most by having a screening process for registering members, and I think removing the Sonic 4 thread sends a clearer message than any Shark Week advisory or threats of perma-bans. It stops people in their tracks and says, “Enough is enough. Too many people have taken Sonic 4 waaay too far, and now everybody’s on time-out.” Roughly 700 pages of bitching and whining is far past enough.

    If I may make a suggestion: Perhaps there could be a page-limit imposed on all threads, where when the thread reaches a certain extreme number of pages (let’s say, 100, 250, or 500), it’s to be evaluated by a moderator or administrator based on quality-management guidelines for community activity/behavior. If the thread passes, then it can keep going. If not, it’s closed or junked. I think we can both agree the Sonic 4 thread didn’t need to go passed much farther than 500, and if people really wanted to post cool stuff like music remixes and midis, a separate thread could always be made to accommodate such creative activity.

  • Reply

    I perfectly understand your decision to pull the thread. Although I didn’t post much in the Sonic 4 topic, I did go to read it every day and I agree, the amount of bitching I saw in it was unbelievable and to be frank, it really disgusted me that some so called ‘ fans ‘ would stoop so low over the stupidest of things.

    I think when you reopen discussion on the topic of Sonic 4, you should set up the topic that posts will need to be approved by a moderator before they appear. That might be one way to handle it but apart from that, I don’t really know what else can help.

  • Reply

    So what happens to the member(s) that initially leaked the game via IRC and Sonic Retro? I’ve heard a lot of discussion here and there that Sega’s legal department should flog them left and right with lawsuits to make sure this “never happens again.” You say that they were not banned, but does that ALSO mean that Sonic Retro didn’t hand over their IP address, email, and contact info to Sega’s Legal Department? After the line was crossed, and the site stopped posting their leaks…were they fed to Sega’s Legal Hounds?

  • Reply

    You are easily the most mature, aware, and resonable Sonic fan I know: you’ve done the right thing, and Im sure SEGA really appriciates what your doing. I have seen the leaks, and people really just react poorly. They need to learn that Sega DOES listen, and that this is NOT going to happen overnight. Sonic fans get really sensitive over this stuff, and they need to breathe and think about what is really happening.
    So a tip of the hat to you, SS

  • Reply

    Very well-written, cleared up a lot. Good post. I’m glad something’s being done regarding the leaks, just wish it hadn’t taken so long, though I can understand why it did. :/

    Best of luck to you handling the situation going forward and here’s hoping that Sega continues to reach out to the community.

  • Reply

    It’s nice to know that there are some mature sonic fans out there, really the ENTIRE GAME was leaked way to so the maturity level of this fanbase, but what’s done is done hopefully sega can see that this section of the fanbase is still worth looking at.

  • Reply

    I have been a fan of Retro for quite some time now, but never really bothered to get involved with the community aspect of it until recently. With the release of Sonic 4, my interest in Sonic news and information was piqued and I began frequenting the site – particularly its Sonic 4 discussion threads.

    I have to applaud you for the way you’ve handled this. In the past few weeks I have seen almost the entirety of a fanbase reveal its true colors, and what I have seen is, sadly, not pretty. But people like you and posts like this are a shining example of maturity and professionalism that I truly respect.

    I hope this post gets the message across to your users, and that things eventually calm down and get sorted out for you. It would be sad to see such a strong community crumble to shit over something as ridiculous as all this.

  • Reply

    Well…I agree. Smart move…

    The leaks of the game, yeah, I saw them all. Every second of every video. And even though the videos are probably of the BETA version of the game, I have to say SEGA did just fine.

    And yes, I have been, to put it bluntly, pissed at SEGA for allowing all the content to be slipped out right between their fingers, but I have gotten over that. 24 hours of thinking and considering things and I feel happier now about Sonic 4 than ever before.

    So here is the bottom line. Considering the ENTIRE leaked video line up was of the BETA version of the game, MOST of the music in the game has yet to be 100% completed. That is why the music of each stage is still so short and loops so quickly. They still have what? Three or four, maybe even FIVE months left to change the music of each stage and lengthen it. That can be easily done with all the employees working on the game. And that goes for the Sonic model too. The animations will change and be better by the time the game is released.

    In my opinion, the version of the game we saw in the leaked walk through is probably only 80% to 85% complete at the most. When we see 100%, I have a feeling Sonic 4 will be a paradise for all players and fans. Give SEGA a chance to finish development COMPLETELY before blowing your tops off and putting them down. You have seen the BETA version. Also called the TESTING version. And from the way IT looks, just wait until everybody see’s the FINISHED version. Just keep your pants on everybody until Sonic 4 is released this Summer.

  • Reply

    With all due respect, Scarred Sun, I don’t buy it.

    Yes, you’re right that those leaks would have just gone elsewhere, but so what? If infinity truly wanted to leak the game (and he obviously did, and anyone could tell this would have happened after he started posting videos after leaking the soundtrack), he would have done it anywhere that would have listened. But at least then you couldn’t be implicated in it. All you had to do was say “posting those leaks makes us look bad; take it somewhere else” and it would have been done; it wouldn’t have stopped the leaks nothing would have. This game was going to be leaked whether you liked it or not. The fact that you refused to do anything about it until it was all over and responded with what looks to most people to be an abject hissy fit just makes you look like you’re trying to cover up something.

    And from the perspective of a casual observer, that something you were trying to cover up is that you wanted this to happen. You claim that if you really cared about the notoriety you would have done more to trumpet the fact that all the leaks were coming from you, but isn’t that exactly what you did with your inaction? Links to the thread were posted left and right in the ginormous Sonic 4 thread on NeoGAF; Kotaku took the videos and referenced you guys. And you sat idly as the entire game was posted for all to see. It doesn’t matter how inevitable it was – you had the chance to stop Sonic Retro from having any part in the leaks and you did nothing. And maybe I’m wrong here, but it looks to me like you did nothing because you wanted to have it both ways; you wanted to be able to say that you guys helped make this game while profiting off the extra notoriety while Sega wasn’t looking. And when it blew up in your face and the reaction to the footage was (deservedly) negative, you tried to spin it as you’ve done here.

    I’d ask if it was all worth it, but considering the Sonic 4 you supposedly helped contribute to looks like the complete antithesis of the game we want, I think I already know the answer to that.

    • Reply

      Thank you for the most truthful and painfully honest post here. 

      Seriously, Ms. Sun. What the hell?

      • Reply

        Painfully honest? It’s a conspiracy theory! Why should we care what people think of the game? What do we have to gain? It’s all stupid. I don’t care if people link here because of the videos or not–they can link it from TSSZ for all I care.

    • Reply

      That is the most convoluted pile-of-rubbish evaluation of this fiasco that I’ve heard yet. And in that last paragraph, you make it sound like Sonic Retro is on the development team, you tool. They’re not. They were approached when the game was formally announced… which was two months ago. I have to ask, though, did you read all of that, or just skim it and jump to all sorts of crazy conclusions just because you didn’t like what you saw in the leaked footage and your instinct is to put everything related to it in the most negative way possible? Because I’m trying to work out the psychology behind this tin-foil-hat nonsense and that’s the only thing coming to mind.

  • Reply

    Thank you for posting this. Maybe these idiots with their bar-of-standard shoved right up their asses will actually shut up and understand SEGA’s situation.

    We’ve been complaining about the quality of new titles for the past decade, and when they finally reach out to us for assistance, we fuck up. Thanks guys.

  • Reply

    This could have been done a LONG time ago before there was any damn links, back when it was just stupid arguments. Could’ve also been done as soon as the big leaks came about. Didn’t have to come to the point with stickies everywhere with mods/admins finding new ways to put a swear word 90000 times in a single sentence. I’m glad it was finally closed and links are removed, just it should’ve seemed obvious to stamp it out right at the start.

    Just my two cents…

    • Reply

      I’m confused why people are offended by our use of swear words. First off, they are very good at portraying a very specific emotion–the emotion behind our reaction to this whole debacle. Ignoring that, though, I was under the impression that we were all mature and did understand the merit of swear words without getting horribly offended by them. Would it have really been better if our disdain was expressed through poetic vocabulary and wording? I don’t see how it makes anything better.

      And no, it didn’t really “seem” obvious. Nothing seemed “obvious” given the wildly dynamic nature of the situation going on. And, again, SEGA certainly doesn’t blame us for the leaks; this is what makes it especially interesting that everyone else does. Perspective, I guess?

      • Reply

        Honestly, using swear words is anything but mature. Just because we “understand the merit of swear words” doesn’t mean it should be overly abused. Authority doesn’t give people a free pass to go around using profanity. If that was the case, my boss/teachers should be cursing every time someone screws up. However, that isn’t how the world spins.

        • Reply

          It’s only “not how the world spins” because there’s a greater authority that forced those authorities not to swear, for obvious reasons. This is a fan forum, not a workplace or a schoolyard.

  • Reply

    I don’t really see how complaining is hurting those who you say are trying to get our feedback. Insults are one thing, but saying “Despite your task of interpreting and communicating what we want, this still sucks actually” is another.

    A blistering physics critique or mocking something as a rehash is what it is. If they want feedback, that’s it; truthful feelings. If that hurts the people trying to take our feedback, I don’t know what to suggest other than pass the job to someone else.

    My response here is partly fueled by how obvious some of the mistakes feel to me.

    Finally, apart from providing more of this feedback I’m not sure how this ties into the leaks.

    • Reply

      I think the important thing is that even if SEGA does not perfectly address these issues, they are listening, and they are trying to take into account the wide variety of responses to reach some sort of compromise. Not everybody is going to be pleased–the wide variance in opinions on how Sonic 4 “should” be proves this pretty well–but they’re definitely doing something. The effort now compared to the lack of effort before is definitely something notable and worth paying attention to.

      • Reply

        That is an important thing but I think the point I raised wasn’t addressed in your reply. Putting in an effort to observe feedback does not mean strong negative feedback (as long as it’s not personal abuse) should be seen as hurting them.

  • Reply

    I would point out part of the larger reaction are from people who finally got a taste of your incredibly homophobic personality. You’re an affront to the civilized world.

    • Reply

      Um, you do realize that I’m a lesbian and that Tweaker is gay, right?

      I literally have no idea what this is about.

  • Reply

    @Tweaker
    On the topic of swearing, I’ll just say I’m all for swearing at idiots, just the overuse in some posts just makes me think ‘Really?………’

    Still stand by my original opinion. I will agree though that maybe I don’t quite see the full picture not exactly knowing the ins and outs of Sega.

  • Reply

    I want to say I’m against the swearing at people and I meant to write about that earlier. My belief is based on the fact that the community you insult is punished should it insult you back. That’s simply unfair. When people are being stupid the admin power is there to moderate with easy authority. It should not be accepted as a means of imbalanced insulting.

    From another perspective, it just drags the place right down. The atmosphere of the board just can’t rise past the temperament demonstrated by the people on top.

    This warrants its own thread though…

  • Reply

    It’s great that you guys did what you did. If you didn’t remove it people would still be flocking there as we speak to vent their stupidity. A lot of people should have used more restraint and self control, myself included.

  • Reply

    SS did a great job removing the Sonic 4 thread, it was really starting to give me a headache after a while anyway. Sheesh guys, when an Admin tells you to stop, and even creates not only one thread but two threads giving the members a warning, they aren’t joking. In the long run, Sonic 4 is just a video game, and yet everyone decided to be immature and call each other names. No wonder our fanbase has such a bad name. But I really hope this shows that some people need to get their acts together and act mature. 

    • Reply

      “..yet everyone decided to be immature and call each other names”

      Generalize much?

      • Reply

        Not really. I’d say a good deal of the prominent discussion was in that general reign. I lost count how many times we had to knock it back on track because people were utterly incapable of respecting each others’ opinions.

  • Reply

    Videogame footage of new games just hypes up people more. SEGA should thank those guys.

  • Reply

    […] Check out their site for the full story. […]

  • Reply

    I elect DimensionWarped community spokesperson.  He understands the Sonic formula and how to go about making a new 2D installment better than anyone.

  • Reply

    The Sonic fanbase is the absolute worst that I’ve ever seen. It consists almost entirely of unpleasable fucktards who bitch and moan at every given opportunity. And before you go about saying “WHY ARE YOU POSTING HERE”, I’m saying this because I used to be a fan of the series. These idiots are precisely why I left.

  • Reply

    And while I’m on the subject, swearing at your members is never a good idea after some serious shit goes down.

  • Reply

    Thank you for this post. After reading it, it shows a rational and thought out reason for pulling the thread, as opposed to the initial stickies which kind of gave the impression that it was based on rage alone, and nothing else. I mean, I figured that wasn’t the case, but it did SEEM that way.

    Not to say that any amount of anger would be unwarranted (I’d be just as pissed if this was my forum), but it is REALLY nice to know exactly why we can’t talk about the game.

  • Reply

    Wow, I wonder if things would have developed differently if Sega’s involvement with Retro had been known from the start. The real victims here are legitimate gameplay analysis, discussion, and general spergery. 

  • Reply

    HAS ANYBODY READ THE COMMENT “I” POSTED ABOVE?

  • Reply

    Sega should be listening to our concerns they should have been for years. We live in a consumer driven society and just because Sega and suddenly acknowledged that doesn’t change the fact that they’ve been ignoring us for years. Of course the obvious counter argument might be that the “Lame” Sonic games make plenty of money and they don’t need us. However even if we aren’t the biggest audience for Sonic we are still an important one and one that Sega could have been using for years to make profits. They didn’t they ignored us lots of people are angry about it. Now Sega has to deal with it. The fact that a specific part of the company is dealing with it doesn’t matter. Companies will always be looked at as a whole. Not their specific functions or who they hired to do what. Sega of America is a corporate entity and that corporate entity has been publishing lame Sonic games for years. Even now Sega doesn’t really care about us nor does any company. Companies care about their bottom line and that’s fine its how capitalism works. However your post Scarred Sun makes Sega sound like some sensitive friend who’s getting his feelings hurt. So everyone call Sega up and apologize maybe he’ll still want to be pals.

    • Reply

      You’re missing the point, Overbound. The point is that after so much time being ignored, someone snapped to their senses and started trying to get other people to snap to their senses and eventually it got to a point where there was a definite movement inside the company to *not* ignore the fanbase. That movement is a movement toward progress. Don’t you think we should be doing everything we can to help that progress along, or at least, NOT to undermine it?

      • Reply

        Let me put this is more metaphorical terms… ten years ago two countries were at war. There was antagonism between the two after the war ended at a stalemate. Suddenly a new regime or a new political party or whatever you want to think of it as, comes to power in Country A. Country A begins tentatively reaching out to Country B because Country A recognizes that a mutually beneficial relationship might be formed, and Country B has been aware of that for a long time–in fact, Country B’s antagonism toward Country A is in no small part a result of Country A’s resistance to forming that relationship. Now would there be any gain in Country B now telling Country A to go fuck itself with a nuclear dildo, now that Country A is finally showing definite signs of sense?

        • Reply

          I’m not attempting to justify what’s been going on in the Sonic 4 thread, I actually don’t really know what’s been going on in the Sonic 4 thread beyond what SS said here. But to think that the consumer needs to appease Sega is laughable. Sega’s been ignoring large parts of its audience for years. Just because the suddenly learned a little public relations, Doesn’t mean anyone needs to be nice nice to them. Everyone should always be nice to everyone else of course. But to suggest this as a reason is just silly.

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          Nobody said anything about being “nice nice” to them. What we’re saying is that right now we need diplomacy, patience, and a lack of open malice. There’s a difference.

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      And what I’m saying is that even though in a perfect world everyone should be nice to everyone all the time. It almost never happens in forums. To expect otherwise is crazy.

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        That’s not even relevant to your original post. You were talking about SEGA and the fanbase and the attitudes between them and defending the attitude of “They deserve it.” You can’t just switch gears and talk about what should and shouldn’t be expected of Internet communities based on the apparent logic of “It’s the Internet.” :/

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          Its was never a “They deserve it” thing. Its more a “What did you expect given the circumstances.” I elaborated further by explaining one of these circumstances the internet. So even if I didn’t mention that particular circumstance in my post. Its still all too relevant.

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          If that’s what you meant to say, you worded it very, very badly.

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          As far as how people act on the interweb goes, “meant to say” was where my wording was messed up. Its more accurate to say that In addition to the above here’s an another reason for the issues.

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    Very good post, SS. Something needed to be done. I personally wouldn’t have taken it as far as to eliminate discussion all together on the game, but thats just me.

    But I do want to know one thing that was kinda implied here…

    We (Sonic Retro) are somehow Sega’s eyes into the fanbase?

    Sega was coming to US for answers…and now they won’t listen to US because of that ONE THREAD?

    … :.(
    Sega don’t go please…

  • Reply

    […] That post is now longer available (although Destructoid copied it), as it has now been replaced by this one. Very real and no longer jokey, it accompanies the banning of any discussion about Sonic 4 on their […]

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    […] Sonic fansite Sonic Retro has banned all discussion of Sonic 4. The reason is because the amount of leaks being posted in the forums were so great that the site’s admin felt it was hurting, not helping the game. At some point Sonic 4 discussion will be allowed again on the site, once a solution is figured out. (Sonic Retro) […]

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    That’s all well and good. When I read about this story (btw, congrats you made a few gaming news outlets, all of which gave you bad press) I didn’t care that you removed leaks or posts or anything. As website admins it’s your duty to uphold your agreements with Sega and personal values.

    The reason you got almost universally bad press was the mod attitudes. Copious uses of the F word and in general an immature attitude. Clearly, the person who wrote this front page post is much better versed in public relations.

    TL;DR: You can’t curse your community out and call them immature assholes and expect them to stay every long.

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    Wow… I had to comment on this when I saw it… first off, thumbs up to Sonic Retro, I agree with what you’ve done… the most surprising thing is that all of these people say they hate the game but they haven’t played it yet and if they hate it why are they bothering to argue about it…. I feel bad for both Sega and you folks at Sonic Retro that a few badniks ruined it for all us flickies (yes, that was a lame Sonic reference but i think it gets my point across)… I say we come back to this whole topic after we played the game and give Sega another chance!

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    I must say I agree 100% with the decision, and confess I did contribute a little to the midless bickering.
    Did the ‘really cool shit’ you guys had planned involve people from Sega?

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    Fair enough that you would want to take the leak down, but the mods really didn’t need to go all out like 12 year olds just after learning what “F*CK” really means.

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      Maybe that’s just how they express emotions of anger and exasperation. Kinda like how the rest of us express emotions of anger and exasperation…

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        How can you say that and expect people to be diplomatic at the same time?

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          To expand on that. Admins/Mods set the tone of a forum. The community as a whole will reflect this tone. I think we’re seeing that at Retro even outside the Sonic 4 thread. Once again I haven’t read that thread much so most of what I say mostly comes from other areas of the forums I’ve contributed to.

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          Pretty much everyone uses swearwords at Sonic Retro. It’s a largely uncensored community. There’s a difference between “using swearwords” and what you say while using them. I’d keep that difference in mind, if I were you.

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          In fact I have kept that in mind. IMO swear words are fine as long they aren’t to attack people. Saying things like “FUCK YOU IT’S CANCELLED” or you fuckers have really done it. Are attacks on the community, which is fine but you can expect you community to attack things they are mad about too.

          Much different than how I use swearwords most of the time. Such as “that’s fucking cool” and the like. I may use them in ways not appropriate sometimes but the tone for the community has been set.

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          That doesn’t mean SS is a bad person or anything. She mostly says that stuff just to express strong emotions I think. But if you don’t know that it looks like an attack.

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          That FUCK YOU IT’S CANCELLED thing was an April Fool’s gag, wasn’t it? That was supposed to be over-the-top. I think SS even referenced that when it was stated that it was a joke. As for the tone of the community, I just think the community should be well-enough acquainted with the “local language” that profanity doesn’t make them jump to undue conclusions.

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          We can only hope.

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    I approve of this.

    Mainly because this is why I left the forums about two weeks ago. Once I saw “the member” that presented the video of Splash Hill Zone Act 1, I instantly knew that everything else would be leaked in the next coming weeks. This includes the release of the music page that spread across the internet in a heartbeat. I knew also that the surprise that SEGA is aiming for would forever be gone, because if we knew about everything the game offered before it was even released, who would buy it?

    This reminds me of Sonic Megamix when people wanted to get their hands on it. We, the community, are so spoiled just being able to hack Sonic 1 the way we can with the proper tools. I mean, what other games can be altered so heavily these days like the Sonic franchise? Once the game was released, there were some surprises, but because I was a heavy follower of the game, a lot of that giddy feeling wasn’t present because I had already seen video gameplay and screenshots all over the forums and the internet.

    I also left given the fact that April 1 was last Thursday, and we ALL know how the internet reacts to such a day! It’s blasphemy! 😀

    It would be nice to discuss Sonic 4, but it would have to be under even stricter moderation most likely. Of course, I wasn’t there when all the mayhem happened, but I was there when I read over 10,000 posts! I’m glad that action was taken and hope there isn’t any more drama (haha, right 😉 because of this.

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    Well, SEGA sure hid a half-a** job of “reaching out to classic fans”. Rush engine, bad level design, rehashes of rehashes of rehashes, SEGA thought they could fool us by naming Sonic Rush 3, Sonic the Hedgehog 4, but they can’t. i don’t under stand why they couldn’t just use the Sonic 3 engine! Ever think of that SEGA? I would be really happy if this game was called “Classic Sonic” , or “Sonic Rewind”, or “Sonic Sidescroll”, or even “Sonic Rush 3”, I would by it, and play it, and think it was fun, but if they name it Sonic 4, I scoff, and say “Yeah…riiiiiight”

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    Good for you, Scarred Sun – needed to be said and needed to be done. Sega owe all of us nothing, and anyone who thinks otherwise is misinformed.

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    Silly boys and girls. Its not Sonic 4, its Sonic 1 rehash. 😛

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    I can’t believe that this is how Sonic fans have been acting…..and to be honest, you make very good points Scared Sun. Sega came to Retro for feedback for a reason, and for that we should’ve given them the respect that they deserved, instead of just stabbing them in the back as though we were selfish jerks. I truly hope that Sega will continue to come to us for feedback on their projects, but then again, after hearing about all that you just said, I wouldn’t be all that surprised if Sega DID turn it’s back on us and the fans of the Sonic franchise. Anyway, I hope that we can resolve this issue soon, without much conflict if at all possible.

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    I have been playing Sonic since the very beginning in 1991 (I was only 6 at the time), and as a fan of the franchise who can proudly say he goes all the way back in the nearly 20 years since its conception, I am appalled at how the fanbase is acting towards Sega. Simply…appalled.

    Scarred Sun is right in every point. He did the right thing by making Sonic 4 discussion taboo: the very fact that Sega itself came to this site, the #1 best source for Sonic info on the entire Internet, for input on developing the game is PROOF ENOUGH that Sega values the fanbase, that they want to make a game that combines the old spirit of the 2D games with the new high-def 3D graphics.

    I have followed our favorite hedgehog for 19 years…and in all that time, I have never been as aghast at how the fans are acting towards the company that brought our Blue Blur to life as I am now. Please, for the sake of all Sonic fans worldwide, and especially for the sake of Sonic himself…get your acts together and support Sega instead of blasting them with flames and hate.

    –Shiro

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