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SEGA Admits to “Too Much Sonic” Again, Promises 3 More Games

SEGA’s VP of Sales and Marketing, Alan Pritchard, has been owning up to the fact that SEGA is “guilty of bringing too much Sonic product to market.”  When he first discussed SEGA’s Sonic problem exactly two months ago, there were three Sonic games coming to market, making his words pretty contradictory.  He’s back for a repeat performance and echoed that sentiment to GameInformer magazine in their December issue, announcing three more Sonic games for the “early part of the next calendar year.”  How does this guy admit to “too much Sonic” with a straight face?

Pritchard said (along with new Sonic brand manager David Corless a few months back, who somehow managed to say that, “Sonic fans aren’t hard to please,” but that it’s “hard to please [them]”) to GameInformer that the last three games (Colors, Sonic 4: Episode 1 and Sonic Free Riders) each had their own specific goals, praising their individual successes by saying “very well” after every verb.  “We have released Sonic 4 digitally, which has reviewed very well,” Pritchard said.  “Last week, we released Sonic Free Riders on Kinect. That’s us being involved in the launch of a platform. Historically, Sega does very well in the launch timeframe of platforms. We did very well at the launch of PS3 and Wii. Free Riders was really about being a part of the launch of Kinect. Then, we have Colors, which is our pure Sonic gaming experience.”

He said later that Colors is their “pure platforming Sonic.”  So, wait, Colors is the “pure platformer” and not the game entirely in 2D that’s a sequel to the classic platforming games?  What does that make Sonic 4 then? “Pure shit?”  SEGA does “very well” in “being involved in the launch” of new platforms?  Instead of just “being involved,” how about making a good game?

Pritchard continued to bask in the glory of Colors by stating that it had “some high scores” and was “the highest pre-selling pure Sonic title we’ve had ever.”

As for the aforementioned three new Sonic games?  Well, we can safely assume that Sonic 4: Episode 2 is in the mix, as well as that rumored Sonic Anniversary game.  The third game?  Look for a new “party” game featuring Mario & Sonic.  “Where we’re trying to move now is — we have Mario & Sonic, which is our party Sonic title,” Pritchard said.  Whether or not if it’s another sports-related title has yet to be determined.

SEGA will also continue redundantly releasing their past glory in the form of their Dreamcast library, which has already been releasing on XBLA/PSN over the past few months.  “We are looking to bring some of the old Dreamcast games to market digitally and packaged. The titles are still to be announced. The Ultimate Genesis Collection did huge numbers on PS3 and 360, so it’s an important part of our business. We’ve already been releasing some Dreamcast games digitally; Crazy Taxi [for one].”  In the age of digital distribution, you’d think these compilation discs would stop.  If you just have to release a disc, at least make it an anniversary with bonuses or something.

I appreciate what SEGA’s trying to do to improve Sonic’s image, but you can’t do that with so many titles coming to retail in such a small window.  I’d take one, well-done Sonic game over a handful of mediocre ones.  You could tell by the end of both Colors games that the developers were starting to get stretched thin, especially Dimps.  If SEGA wants to commit to brand improvement, the words have to match the product.  SEGA West has been saying the opposite of what Japan has been putting out over the last year, most of it coming after the “de-listing” of games.  That is not how you instill trust in your fans.  SEGA West has obviously had a change in heart over their brand image, but they ultimately don’t make the games, so we’re probably going to be stuck here for a while.

Alternatively, just stop talking so much, yo.  Real talk.

[via GameInformer: Sonic | Dreamcast]

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40 Comments

  • Reply

    Little soon for eps 2, eh? Also, this confirms Gamestop’s Sega Dreamcast Collection.

    • Reply

      A little soon? Isn’t the point of an episodic game is that they produce the content at a faster rate?

      • Reply

        Not in Halflife’s case.

        • Reply

          The main reason I RQGE at Valve tbh.

        • Reply

          I don’t know if you knew this, but…Gabe Newell is fat.

          *buh-dum pssh*

  • Reply

    Yeah your right……Looks like I am gonna be grabbing that. But I wanna hear more about Sonic Anniversary. That got my attention.

  • Reply

    Real talk, nigga

  • Reply

    I’m actually looking forward to the next Mario and Sonic installment. My prediction is that it’s going to be another Olympic Games game, or it could be something different. It can’t be a sports (Tennis, Soccer, etc) game, obviously because Nintendo’s next Mario game is yet another sports game.

    Sonic 4 Episode 2 will be interesting, but I do not want to see anyone else except Sonic, Eggman, and Metal Sonic in the game.

    I’ve also got a feeling they will probably make a sequel to Colo(u)rs, so that’s something to look forward to.

    • Reply

      “Sonic 4 Episode 2 will be interesting, but I do not want to see anyone else except Sonic, Eggman, and Metal Sonic in the game.”

      Will keeping the characters cut short really help improve the game? I mean Sega kept the characters cut short in Sonic Unleashed and Sonic 4 Ep.1 and that didn’t make those two games any better. It really doesn’t matter.

      • Reply

        I’m just saying that it shouldn’t go crazy with a bunch of characters showing up. I’d like to see Tails and Knuckles appear, personally.
        And I DO NOT want Amy in the next episodes.

        • Reply

          Amy’s just as important as Metal Sonic is to the franchise. I’d honestly not mind her being in, considering that there would be no voice acting or text dialogue. Ergo, there’s not much she’d be able to do to be annoying. And if she played how she did in Advance or similar, it would be a good thing imo.

          But nobody from games past Sonic CD and Sonic 3&K should show up. No Shadow, no Rouge, no Chaos, no Tikal, no Gamma, no Chip, no Marine, no Shade, no Cream, no Cheese, etc.

          Why? Because it’s a SEQUEL to 3. Sonic didn’t meet anyone else until Adventure, which is most definitively taking place AFTER the Sonic 4 story, if it is going to be historically correct to the canon.

          The Chaotix could probably get away with showing up, though.

        • Reply

          I’d really like to see Mighty in a new Sonic game. How could they forget him?

      • Reply

        ^This. Keeping the character scope small is nice, but it doesn’t have any bearing on how the game will play. Again, people really need to get their priorities in check.

        • Reply

          Amy popped up in a cameo in Sonic Unleashed. That about ruined it all for me. Luckily, I am the optimistic-type Sonic fan.

        • Reply

          It has a shitload of bearing if they keep with the “different characters should have shitty and unique gameplay styles that aren’t at all in line with tradtional Sonic gameplay” mentality they’ve consistently exhibited since 1999.

    • Reply

      HOPEFULLY (if Sega isn’t sick in the head anymore, but most likely Sonic Colors was an accident) they create a platformer Mario and Sonic game, with character interactions. I would bet if they did that Gamestop would be practically rich from that game alone.

      • Reply

        Right, because there’s a lot of love for Mario, put him in a good game with Sonic that’s a platformer and SEGA is beginning to get more looks at their mascot.

        • Reply

          That’s actually a good point. Though I’d be curious to see how it would do compared to Reach. According to the cashier at my Gamestop, Reach had a ton of preorders. I forget the exact number, but it was a shitload. If those were all just standard preorders, which I KNOW they weren’t, it was at least $40,000. At LEAST. And now to get back on track: Mario & Sonic platformer. YES.

        • Reply

          Thanks. Another thing I should mention is that it would do well because Mario basically represents the gaming culture. Sonic secondarily represents.

  • Reply

    Three more chronicles of mediocrity added to the epilogue of quality.

  • Reply

    That third game might be Sonic 3DS as well, you know. I would bet that’s more likely seeing as how it was already on the list of games being produced for the 3DS anyway.

  • Reply

    I dare say Sega of Japan needs a good ‘ol slap on the face.

  • Reply

    sigh @ the Mario & Sonic game being a party game… guess we’ll have to wait for Nintendo to make that.

  • Reply

    You really can’t fault Sega for being two-sided with the Sonic fanbase. After all, isn’t the fanbase a little contradictory itself?

    • Reply

      In terms of who wants what, yes, but that can go for any franchise, really. For instance, I like the new design on the old Pokémon, but I know a lot of people who prefer the “potatochu” design for Pika. SEGA is trying to appease both fanbases, which I get. In all honesty though, regarding S4E2 and 3, there’s only going to be 8 fun stages, since E1’s stages were essentially rehashes. Compare that to the predicessor Sonic 3 and Knuckles. I swear there was more than 8 levels. 14 at most IIRC (excluding the special stages and final boss).

    • Reply

      That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. A house divided against itself cannot stand. That’s pretty much the summation of why SEGA is/was a bad company and isn’t in the hardware business anymore. And while its nice SEGA listens to some legitimate and obvious criticisms for their games from the fanbase, they should in no way be expected to wait hand and foot on them. However if they say they’re going to do something, like make a proper sequel to S3&K, then they should do it and do it right. Otherwise we’ll hold it against them. Otherwise, SEGA are big boys. They should work together for mutual benefit and should know how to make good games that most every gamer will like, young or old, Sonic fan or not.

    • Reply

      Sorry, I meant to say “Anyways, SEGA are big boys,” not “Otherwise, “.

    • Reply

      SonikkuForever, “contradictory” is the wrong word. Each faction of the fanbase has its agenda and sticks to it. SEGA West tells us one thing and delivers another. -That’s- contradictory.

  • Reply

    I saw an article about a new Sonic game called Sonic Eclipse… Just putting that out there..

  • Reply

    Someone needs to learn about brand dynamics. Especially since one of these games is announced as a party game, filling a different niche in the market from a main line platformer. As for the other two… Well, two games in a year is not odd for an established franchise.

    I’m sorry to say, Slinger, but you’re reaching for reasons to criticize here. And the Dream sat release? I’m sorry, but making games no longer available to the wider public is not an example of thankless greed like you claim it to be.

    • Reply

      It’s not two games “in a year.” It’s “two to three games” in the “early part” of the year. There is potential for even more games in the latter half of 2011. SEGA has typically released 2-5 Sonic games per year lately and if they feel that they have over-saturated the market with those numbers, then releasing 2-3 games in a year is contrary to their own plan. I mean, the numbers are right there for ya. If 2-5 games are “too many Sonic games” in a year, then don’t release 2-3 Sonic games. It’s pretty simple.

      We had 3 Sonic games in 2010 (Colors, Sonic 4, Free Riders) within the span of a month. Three games… in a month. Four, really, since the DS & Wii version of Colors are separate games. Don’t you think that’s overkill? Four Sonic games in a month?

      I understand brand dynamics and the need to fill niches, but does anybody really need to fill the “party” niche on the Wii anymore? Don’t we have enough party games? It’s more mindless fluff.

      As for the Dreamcast releases, as well as “Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection,” they are “thankless greed.” All SEGA does is re-release and re-release and re-release old titles. Almost every Genesis game can be bought on any device you can think of. It’s all to cash-in on nostalgia. SEGA has more compilations than any company out there. Having them released digitally and at retail is redundant and unnecessary, as buying them on a disc is cheaper than downloading them individually. Most of the porting that’s involved is half-baked, too, with “Streets of Rage” for the iPhone being the worst offender.

      I understand where your points are coming from, but I don’t think I’m reaching here.

      • Reply

        Except that these niches don’t exist simply to fill the demands of an incredibly small and shrinking fan demographic. SEGA exists to make money. While there is some focus on artistry with any creative endeavor, that doesn’t change the fact that party games aren’t going to stop being made because people have enough of them anymore than that means we’re gonna stop getting First Person Shooters. Furthermore, Mario & Sonic doesn’t take ANY resources away from the rest of the franchise simply because it doesn’t overlap in terms of genre or direction at ALL. It’s like saying Marvel and DC animation take away from the comic books when that isn’t how it works.

        As for the Dreamcast games… please, dude. There’s a difference between another Genesis release and a release of the hugging Dreamcast. These games haven’t seen release in years, and _two_ being on virtual download doesn’t necessarily negate the potential for a release that would include more than just those two games. Furthermore, Sega’s additional porting is of the same business model as DVD formats. Each re-release follows a particular generation or hardware shift/redirection. And furthermore, offering something in a package is an alternative to buying multiple games is basic economics.

        And… to be honest, I see something hypocritical in a web-site that specializes in hacks and fangames criticizing a company for taking advantage of their past glory, when most of this stuff is inherently based on taking resources from those same games. I realize there’s something different between a mass retail release and a fan game, but seriously, man. With the digital age, the lines are getting more and more blurred, and while the Fan Game fandom isn’t something I’m against, I don’t think you have room to talk in this particular scenario.

        • Reply

          It would be hypocritical if we were turning a profit, but we’re not. That’s just you taking a potshot. SEGA had a chance to capitalize on their past glory with Sonic 4 and they blew it. It’s not a matter of doing it, it’s a matter of doing it well, which SEGA hasn’t done with anything Sonic related in years.

          You fail to realize that more Dreamcast games are coming down the digital pipe. It’s just two -now-, but there will be more. The reason I am filing it as a cash-crab is because the porting of the Dreamcast titles have been half-baked. Look how well Sonic Adventure has been ported. Not well. If the ports were good, I’d probably be singing a different tune. We’ve also had Genesis collections for two straight generations. I think I can make a safe assumption that next generation, we’re going to have another Dreamcast collection. It’s going to keep happening.

          I’m going to concede your point about the party games, thought. Sports Design R&D makes the M&S series and doesn’t inhibit the ability of ST to produce.

          Lay off the “furthermore,” though.

        • Reply

          I’m not sure what my word choice has to do with anything, mo matter how repetitive.

          Yes, and? There’s also the basic economics that buying a collection is a better deal than buying multiple games on their own. And if it keeps happening? Sure, fine. Whatever. Not everyone’s gonna own the current format, and may want it again later on. This keeps them in circulation, without having to force people onto the 2ndary market. I’d certainly enjoy a Mega Man collection, even though the last generation had one for both the X and Classic series, simply because I missed out at the time.

          And I wasn’t trying to make a shot. There’s people who make fan games for fun, and there’s people who deliberately try for notoriety and prominence, be it for whatever reason. And that INCLUDES a love of Sonic and trying to display it as what it “should be.” In this digital age, the barrier between “us” and “them” – fans and companies – is shrinking.

          But seriously. A shot? That’d be me being a hypocrite. I don’t do fan games, but I write fanfiction and fanart. If I were just taking shots at you, I’d be sure to poke at something else that isn’t close to what I do.

        • Reply

          Sorry for assuming that then. That’s just how I read it.

          To be honest, the gap between “us” and “them” isn’t shrinking. It’s equal. I’m not allowed to disclose examples, but hopefully, you know what I’m getting at. That’s where you see most of the frustration. From my experience fangaming with Nexus and working with other people on some great projects, it’s as good, if not superior, to the official product from a technical and design standpoint. That’s why you see a lot of the frustration boiling over here because some people are capable of the execution necessary to deliver a solid product.

        • Reply

          By “the gap between us and them” shrinking, I mean in terms of prominence and notoriety. Hell, you have a story up on this page about Game Informer interviewing fan game creators. And as with all fanworks, there’s a degree of piggybacking. I understand your feelings, but this is why I believe that there’s not much seperating fan game creators from Sega trying to make money off of its past library. You guys aren’t making money, no, but there’s still an advantage you’re gleaning from tapping into Sonic and Sega’s legacy, and that criticizing them is hypocritical. That’s all I’m saying.

  • Reply

    Wait,wait,I don’t think I understand the last part fully…could someone clear this up for me?I don’t really understand it….

    SEGA, a well-known videogame software company has now decided to re-release Dream Cast tittles.

    Dream Cast tittles.

    The same that drove them to the niche situation they have now.

    That basically destroyed the relatively strong position they had.

    Instead of using that effort and resources to support new games/expansions/markettingwhathaveyou like say, Blizzard.

    I cant understand it.Could someone explain what they are trying to do ?

  • Reply

    The third game will make use of Sonic’s ceiling moonwalking powers. It will also have a homing attack that launches you straight to the goal.

    It is optional though!

  • Reply

    nice

  • Reply

    I’d be all for Sega releasing their Dreamcast library digitally. The Dreamcast tanked because it was too far ahead of it’s time. It tried to do online gaming in an era when Internet wasn’t in every household.

    With the prominence and availability of XBLA and PSN, all the DLC content for these titles can get a new life to an audience that either never played the game before, or lived back in the day when they couldn’t access it. So this in effect, makes these “rehashes” literally brand new.

    Sonic Adventure may have got a rotten port, but only because after 3 previous releases they didn’t bother to fix the problems it had from the start. The GameCube port had the same issues.

    So a patch to fix these problems would be great. It’s certainly doable, as all the extra content they added in DX can attest.

    Then release all the old DLC that it had on Dreamcast! “Christmas in Station Square”, “Dreamcast Launch Party”, “Tremble Park”, hell even the Japan only “Hedgehog Photo Hunt”! Imagine the replayability with content that not everyone could access back in the day.

    Though I admit, making the DX bonus features 400 points EXTRA while axing the Game Gear library is a dick move.

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