Animation, Game News

New Spin-off Franchise Sonic Boom Revealed, Will Have TV Shows and Video Games [Updated]


[Updated: Game details and Western exclusivity]

So today was a bit of a big deal in the Sonic franchise. After all the rumors, leaked photos and a leaked trailer, we finally have solid info on this Sonic Boom thing. First off: it’s not a reboot, but a spin-off franchise that will co-exist with the modern Sonic games, Boom providing a different take on familiar faces. A TV show, two new video games and toys are being developed and will be released later this year. So let’s dig into this thing! First up: the TV show. Originally announced last year, we now actually have details of how it will play out. The series is being produced by OuiDO! Productions and will air on Cartoon Network during the 2014/2015 season. The 52 episodes ordered will each be 11 minute self contained stories, with no over-arching plots. Among the situations the cast will get wrapped up in are “Knuckles becoming mayor” and “Dr. Eggman faking an injury so he can take Sonic to court.” The primary characters all play their own roles, such as Tails being the go-to Mr. Fix-It and Amy being an archaeologist, using her knowledge to help out the group as they explore new lands.


Then there is what a lot of you might care more about: the new video games. The first game is for the Wii U, and is the final of the three exclusive Sonic titles for Nintendo systems. Unlike every major title over the past decade and a half, Sonic Boom is not being developed by Sonic Team, but by Big Red Button Entertainment. The studio consists of ex-Naughty Dog staff, including Christian Senn. Known around these parts as lead designer on the cancelled Sonic X-treme for the Saturn, Chris’s official title at the studio is Lead Level Implementer. Sure, it’s almost 20 years later, but Chris finally gets his crack at the Sonic franchise.

Led by Bob Rafei of Jak & Daxter and Uncharted fame, Sonic Boom is being described as a “wide linear” game, with interconnected levels branching out from central hub worlds. Focusing on more than just speed, Naughty Dog’s heritage will have some influence on how the title will play. Also, for the first time in a long while, the core four will be playable, with at least two on screen at all times, and all four being involved in boss battles, each character having their own unique attributes. Other known details: Funky Rustic is contributing sound to the game, it uses CryEngine 3, will feature four player co-op and the most important detail of all: the trailer uses Skrillex music.

The other announced game will land on the Nintendo 3DS and is being made by Dimps Sanzaru Games, known for the latest Sly Cooper title. There aren’t really any details for this game yet, but apparently Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is a pretty solid game, so it seems to be in good hands.

In the wake of these announcements, gameing site Polygon interviewed Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka, who revealed that the entire Sonic Boom line was designed with a Western audience in mind. While Sonic Team still has a supervisory role, Big Red Button has creative control, and as such there are currently no plans to bring either the show or the games to Japan. Could this change in the future? Maybe, but for now Japanese Sonic fans are going to have to deal with the import shops if they want to check out this new take on the hedgehog.

There’s also a toyline in the works, which is being made by Tomy. While no imagery of the toys were released in the media frenzy, you can see plenty of screenshots and concept art for the game and TV show after the jump.

[Source: SEGA Blog]

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50 Comments

  • Reply

    It’ssssssss HAPPENING!!!!

    I really have my hopes up for this game. Everything revealed (except maybe Knuckles’s redesign) sounded/looked good to me. They’re even getting good game developers on board! And it’s simply a spin-off, so they can experiment a little with trying different stuff without bothering with the main canon!

    As for the TV show… seems interesting. Not much to say I guess, though I’d like to watch it when it starts!

  • Reply

    Blue arms? Really?

  • Reply

    why?

  • Reply

    The character designs are an eyesore, it sounds like the plots will be pretty cringe-worthy, and the whole thing feels like an unnecessary Americanization of the franchise. Why? Just why?

  • Reply

    :|_|

  • Reply

    48 seconds into the cartoon trailer, the designers respond to complaints about Knuckles’ new design:

    http://i.imgur.com/9TNmrWc.png

  • Reply

    Yeah, Sega, split the fanbase even more. Really wise.

    • Reply

      As long as it works…

  • Reply

    This is going to be in a different canon, so we can just ignore it like we did with Sonic Underground. Besides, I’d say the average Sonic Retro member is WELL outside its target audience.

    There’s always 2015 to look forward to.

    • Reply

      Yeah… BUT 2014 IS HERE TO STAY!

  • Reply

    I’m just so happy that Mike Pollock is still Eggman! Hate the art style, but the game looks bad ass

  • Reply

    Sonic looks like he’s got his body replaced by woody the cowboy from toy story His arms aren’t peach-colored. Knuckles looks like satan’s steroid-infused diarrea. If I saw this as an 8 year old kid I would have cried to my parents and asked them to bring me the real sonic back

    and why. why does everyone’s arms and legs have to be so LONG????

    And people were complaining about green eyes? jesus h christ! Green eyes are Cotton candy compared to this!!!!

    It looks like SEGA took advice from one of those horrible fan comics or fan fictions we see on the internet!

    Go home SEGA you’re beyond drunk, high and lobotomized. You TOTALLY made me UNINTERESTED in buying a WII U thanks to this! Because it’s obvious The Wii U will have no good Sonic games if this and Sonic Lost World are the two Sonic games it has!

    • Reply

      You are the minority then.

  • Reply

    A video game based on a TV series based on a video game! XD

    Dr. Eggman suing Sonic for fake injury sounds like a nice plot though!

  • Reply

    BLUE ARMS!!!! AAAHHHH!

    But seriously ABOUT TIME! This is actually pretty funny. Although the random clothes change is pretty odd.And the extra quills on Sonic are just… I don’t care. I CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS!!!

  • Reply

    some scenes in this actually remind me of Veggie tales for some reason.

  • Reply

    So the game will be a Next-Gen (both for consoles and kids) take on Sonic Heroes?
    I don’t really have a problem with this, but… Blue arms, man. Seriously. Super Man without his red underwear over the uniform is one thing, but Sonic with blue arms?
    NO WAY? NO WAY! NO WAY? NO WAY! NO WAY? NO WAY!
    Plus, Amy’s got her arms right but lost her tail. And Eggman reminds me of Gru from Despicable Me. (Which’s a good thing, he seems funny like this.)

  • Reply

    Any one hearing a little hint of “drowning theme” from the part where Tail is going down with his plane and can’t bail out?

  • Reply

    #morehatersthanlostworld

  • Reply

    The game is practically what I wanted from a spin-off for years: 4 player co-op awesome. Better be splitscreen. Also, is tails firing a gun in that trailer in that canyon arena thing? I kinda liked the gunplay in Shadow, so it’ll be nice to see that returning. But no more destroy all humans missions.

    As for the show, I’ll give it a shot. I laughed aloud during Burnbot’s introduction.

  • Reply

    why does sonic look like he is a tf2 mod?

  • Reply

    The moment I saw Sonic, I puked a little. Really.

    What… The… Heck do they know about ‘western’?! That’s the freakiest, most bizarre thing I’ve ever witnessed my whole life. Get this stuff of my WiiU, I don’t want it!

    My eyes… My eyes! They’re burning! Freakishly tall, rounded and pointy alike characters with all skinny and…

    Oh my goodness, Slender Sonic? Farewell Slender man, Sonic stole your cart on the train to freakish ville with his steroid induced/annerixic friends who grew 4 1/2 feet and landed in “this is paradise cliche”.

    What’s next, are they going to pair them with Egg Man’s ’06 design? This is a horror movie! I want to leave! And to think they just came off of… Lost World .-.

    Bye Sonic, I’ll miss you.

    • Reply

      We won’t miss you. 😐

  • Reply

    Those blue arms and how skinny Sonic is make me uncomfortable. I wonder what the deal with all the bandages is, are they really necessary even on the shoes? Also, anyone else think this is going to be turn into some Crash Bandicoot-type game. It just looks like it, if that makes sense.

  • Reply

    That “Eggman fakes an injury and takes Sonic to court” plot is the exact plot of one of the pre-2005 Spongebob episodes.

    • Reply

      Wow, I guess I’m not alone thinking that. Interesting isn’t it?

  • Reply

    I am okay with this.

  • Reply

    This looks absolutely awful, holy crap…

  • Reply

    [[Insert “Sega will always fail to impress me” comment here]]

  • Reply

    Well. That’s quite… something. Gorgeous CGI and strangely ugly character design – though I think Tails and Robotnik look fine enough. Amy is still being injected into the series. Blue arms. Good looking concept art… but frontmouth, ye gods.
    Was that Knuckles saying “This is Paradise”? Because *that* sounded wonderful.
    Knuckles the werehog is finally here. At least they fixed his LEGO feet.

  • Reply

    Y’know what? I’m trying be optimistic about the character designs. I grew up with the Adventure era designs, and older fans hate them, so I’m trying to go at this with a little perspective.

    I’ll get over Sonic’s blue arms. I’ll accept the abundant bandages as an artistic choice, even the ones on their shoes. I’ll stop noticing the weird not-socks they wear. Hell, I already kind of like that titanic version of Knuckles, fingers and all.

    But why, why, WHY did they put little spikes on his big ones? It bothers me more than anything! On paper (literally) it’s not that bad at all, as it can easily pass for vague hair/quills. In 3D, however, it’s much different. Look at the picture of them running. That thing looks like an antenna!

    • Reply

      I thought I typed “Sonic’s big ones”… The lesson here, kids, is don’t rant when you’re sleepy.

  • Reply

    I’m..sadly not a member on the forums so I cannot post there, but something I did:

    http://i.imgur.com/kwshRD2.png

    Sega can VASTLY improve the ingame/animated version of these characters by fixing the mouths to be properly on the side like classic Sonic designs. They REALLY need to push this more… As much as I love Sumo and SASRT, that game suffered from it as well.

    • Reply

      I didn’t notice that. It looks better, though.

  • Reply

    Sooo…I’m the only guy here who thinks this looks neato?

    • Reply

      You are not alone

    • Reply

      I can guarantee you guys are gonna be a minority.

      Dear god, this is going to be the worst since Sonic 2006, and it has the odds to be even worse.

  • Reply

    I hope they stay true to their word and keep these designs out of the main franchise. UGH. D: Amy and Tails look alright, at least…

  • Reply

    So apparently the blue arms are a thing.

    I ironically didn’t even notice. Which I think says all that needs to be said about THAT and all like subject material on the matter.

    There lots I could say about the fanbase’s rather predictable and unfortunate reaction to this, but that would probably just make certain people angry and I wouldn’t be saying anything I haven’t said before so I’ll save that for another day, I think.

    So as for the show, I’m actually kind of impressed. Not WOWED per say, but to me it seems like a step in the right direction. Get kind of a SatAM vibe to it, only with it appearing to stay truer to the game’s canon more than SatAM ever did, which was to strike out more on it’s own. Animation is loads better than I was expecting, and feels almost like it’s a cutscene lifted straight from one of the games…which is exactly what I wanted, so that’s good. In-game actors being used, another plus. I actually like Eggman’s new duds. Characters are different, yes, but for it’s a refreshing sort of different, and most importantly, they are all still immediately recognizable as who they are, which is good. Knuckles will take a little getting used to, but I can live with that. Premise is promising and has potential…we’ll see how well it’s actually exploited in the end but I have hope, enough to give it a chance. Western-style storytelling is a good thing for me, as I’m not interested in more cruddy anime-style storytelling. So, on a scale of 1 to 10, I’m thinking a cautious six, but maybe a seven or higher if things actually go as I think they might. We’ll see.

    As for the game, well…

    Normally I wouldn’t be for a game-based-on-the-tv-show because Sonic’s got a befuddling enough continuity as it is, and this admittedly isn’t likely to help with that…but other than that, I like what I see. I can’t help but feel that the game just feels RIGHT, like this is really the Sonic game I’ve been looking for all this time. That probably sounds wrong to you other fans, and I admit I feel kinda like I’m betraying the franchise saying it…but I mean it. I think there might be something to this game, so I’ll be watching it for now, see how it turns out. If it lives up to my initial impressions of it, I think other fans might want to reassess their own views in the end, but that’s just my two bits on the matter.

    And Amy’s an archeologist now? Feels kinda like that’s stepping on Knuckles toes a little (as he was always the next best thing to that in the past) but I can roll with this. It at least gives her a reason to exist and it’s something different from the usual just-being-there-because-she’s-got-a-creepy-stalker-thing-going-with-Sonic deal of old which, to be frank, has gotten REAL old. Amy’s long needed a new spin on her. If this works out, maybe Sega will follow the example and do something similar for her in the official franchise.

    And speaking of, say what you will of Sega’s handling of this, but at least they have the sense to do this by splitting it off into it’s own sub-franchise rather than melding it with the official one, because THAT probably WOULD have been a PR disaster, judging from the reaction I see thus far on this matter.

    Really, some of you fans need to be more open-minded about these sort of things…

    • Reply

      I agree with every word you say. Everyone here should read your comment. It’s well constructed and full of meaning and detail so no one should have anything bad to say after reading it. I’d also like to congratulate you for being one of the most intelligent people here. The Sonic fan base needs more people like you. 😉 I can’t wait for the future!

      • Reply

        I honestly haven’t seen much of this around Retro. It looks more like people are cautiously optimistic about it outside of a few rather vocal about leaving the fanbase (overreactors.)

  • Reply

    Heh, doesn’t looks so bad, and since it’s a spin-off, at least we’ll only see Hulk-les only in this stuff. Althought, the game sounds awesome. 4 players sonic game with a dash of beat-em-up/exploration/puzzles? Sold.

  • Reply

    This is around the same hate for Sonic Colors.

  • Reply

    You know when they said the cartoon was gonna be CG, I didn’t believe they’d go the 3D route 100%. I can tolerate the fresh new designs, but I was really, and I mean REALLY hoping for the characters to appear more 2D against a 3D backdrop than anything. I feel as disappointed about the cartoon’s look as I did with playing Shadow the Hedgehog, seriously.

    Hell, they could’ve used similar techniques like the Paperman animation.

  • Reply

    JEEZ! There’s a lot of hate going on here. I personally think the new designs are sweet. They don’t look so NAKED anymore. Of course the blue arms are weird, but that’s a minor detail we can easily forget.

    I like the fact that Knuckles is buff. It makes SENSE, since he’s always been the gullible super-strength character since his debut. Amy even looks less like a stupid useless bitch.

    The stories could be pretty funny. The banter between Sonic and Eggman in the trailer was pretty humorous to me. The animation looks great. The overall look of the show reminds me of SATAM, and I think that’s a good thing.

    I always thought Sonic belonged in a less modern/civilized world, away from cities, humans, cars, things like that.

    I think you guys are exaggerating a bit. Now about the game: Looks awesome. How long has it been since we could play the core Sonic characters? I think it’ll be awesome. I can’t wait to see another trailer in a couple months.

  • Reply

    This smells like Sonmanic.

    • Reply

      Sonic X Manic…? Geez, I HOPE Sonic hurts you… Or Knux, whichevers funnier… And I already know.

  • Reply

    Something new and different with no hindering of the main canon being developed by someone that isn’t Sonic Team or Dimps? God how much this is gunna suck.

    >_>

    • Reply

      No kidding, it’s GOTTA suck, if they had to switch the dev. To another team… Prolly too painful for SAAY-GAAAH(Sega, classic chant… Love it…) to look at…

  • Reply

    I’m gonna take a wait and see approach on this before I decide that I’m for/against it… but as of right now, I’m not necessarily enamored.

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