When you want to be kept up to date on the latest Sonic news, it’s pretty likely that you’ll look for it on some Sonic fansite. Not this one obviously, we do a pretty poor job at reporting all the news about the franchise on time. But general video game/entertainment websites, where the normal people get their news, tend to not care all that much about the franchise.
Not that I can blame them. Like the writers often like to say at the start of their Sonic articles, the modern games don’t exactly have the best reputation. Especially now with Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and Sonic Runners being the most recent games in people’s memory. Those games are so bad that our wiki editors haven’t bothered to add much info about them on our site. But that’s not really an excuse for misreporting news, like a bunch of site writers did today.
So the news in question here is pretty simple: Hajime Satomi said in an interview with The Worldfolio that the Sonic movie that was announced a couple of years ago is scheduled for release in 2018. No other details, pretty simple, it’s something we’d mention in a Retro Digest article at most. It should be pretty hard to mess this up, right? Well…
It starts off with Nintendo Life picking it up as “Sonic The Hedgehog Movie Confirmed For 2018 Release“. Nothing wrong so far, they do a decent job of informing people about the small bit of news, and also make it a discussion topic for the site’s commentors by comparing it to Nintendo’s similar efforts to use their IP in different media.
Then Den of Geek reported on it as “Sonic The Hedgehog movie in the works at Sony, due out in 2018”, with Nintendo Life as their source. This is where things start to mess up. DoG completely missed the part about the movie being already announced, and instead acts like Sega never mentioned the movie until yesterdary’s interview. Something that should be hard to mess up considering that NL links to the announcement in the very first sentence of their article. They also say that there are no other details about the movie other than it releasing in 2018, even though we already knew who the writers and producers are, and which studio is animating it when the movie was first announced. At least they’re optimistic about Sonic’s future, which is a nice change from the usual pessimism writers show towards the franchise.
Then Engadget, which got the news from Den of Geek, reports it as “Sonic to star in a ‘live-action and animation hybrid’ movie”. Again, it’s reported as new news, but aside from that it seems like the writer really wanted to meet his quota for swinging shit at Sonic for the year. He did a pretty good job, he managed to check all of the boxes for the standard Sonic article on a gaming site:
✔ Start article off by talking about how bad Sonic is.
✔ Ignore any recent good Sonic games, if not call the good games bad as well.
✔ Mention that time Sonic kissed a human.
✔ Spell doom for the Sonic news that you’re reporting on.
io9 didn’t do as well though, they only checked three of the boxes. They even used Engadget as their source and basically just repeated most of what they wrote so it’s not like they couldn’t go the extra mile. Eurogamer did even worse, they only checked the last box while reporting the same thing as, yet again, new news. They do get extra points for using an image of Sonic crying though, and also a nod for having already reported on the movie’s announcement two years ago.
But seriously, we’re used to the pessimistic take on Sonic’s reputation the writers of sites like these usually give. It’s lazy writing, but at least they get the news across. But in this case it seems like they couldn’t even be bothered to search for “Sonic movie” on Google. Instead they seemingly just went with whatever the most recent article they saw pop up on Twitter said and ran their take on it. It’s pretty bad when fansites with writers who don’t get paid do a better job.
Not that all sites are doing a bad job. Polygon, a site that’s often mocked by people, recently did a couple of surprisingly good features about Sonic. The first one is about Sonic’s history, for which they interviewed various people like Al Nilsen, Takashi Iizuka, and even Christian Whitehead (aka The Taxman on our forums). The other is about Big Red Button, in which Bob Rafei talks all about the company, from how it got started to what they’re doing after Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric‘s failure. They’re also one of the few sites that did properly report about the movie news.
UPDATE: SlashFilm has joined in as well. Not only did they use Engadget as a source, they basically copied what they wrote and reworded it. Meaning that they checked all of the boxes, reported it as new news, and committed plagiarism. Overall making it the laziest report of this tiny bit of news yet.