Perhaps the most striking news to come from the Polygon interview weren’t the remarks from Takashi Iizuka. It was about how popular Sonic as a character still is. In fact, compared to Mario, their familiarity ratings are not all too far apart from each other:
Henry Schafer, executive vice president of Marketing Evaluations, says Sonic’s popularity over the past 20 years has remained fairly consistent, though he no longer has access to numbers from 1992.
Schafer tells Polygon that, as of Spring 2015, Sonic had a Q Score of 20 and a 58% level of familiarity with people ages six and up. That means 20% of the population considers Sonic one of their favourite characters, and 58% of the population recognises him. In 1996 — the earliest the company’s digitised data reaches back — Sonic had a Q Score of 17 and a 60% familiarity rating.
Schafer also says that, as of Spring 2015, the character was most popular with males between the ages of six and eight years old, with a Q Score of 48 and a 71% familiarity rating — due in part to the popularity of Cartoon Network’s Sonic Boom television series.
Mario is currently the most popular video game character for ages six and up, with a Q Score of 30 and a 73% familiarity rating, while Mickey Mouse currently has a Q Score of 35 and a familiarity rating of 86%.
“I still think there’s a love and affection for Sonic,” Nilsen says. “[Fans] may have abandoned the games, but they haven’t abandoned the character.”
This post was originally written by the author for TSSZ News.