Stephen Frost Speaks Up On State Of Sonic Boom
For four months there has been no official word on anything related to the Sonic Boom games from SEGA. That has now changed. Not only has it changed but the silence has been broken by Stephen Frost, the producer of those games, via an interview with SEGA Nerds. Along with Sonic Boom other subjects were mentioned such as Stephen’s new YouTube channel, his career at SEGA, his thoughts on Sonic Boom, the SEGA layoffs and more.
The interview can also be seen on YouTube. You can skip to 1:41:30 if you wish to hear just the portion on Boom:
Whatever the intent was one thing is for sure. It came out and is now embedded into the history books of the Sonic franchise. Now it is up to Sonic Team and SEGA to flip the page.
This post was originally written by the author for TSSZ News.
“Speed was shelved because we were under the impression people didn’t want it”
I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, and I will always say it until it’s no longer true.
SEGA ARE MORONS!!!!!
And fuck multiplayer always being shoved into our single player games. There are boundaries, and there are games that just don’t need multiplayer.
Then… shut up and stop being a fan if you hate them so much. Multi-player can only ADD to a game, not subtract anything important.
So how does Sega’s balls taste?
Multi-player takes dev time, time that could be spent polishing the single player experience. You’d know that if you weren’t licking Sega’s balls and swallowing their crap.
>Wanted to turn Sonic into CoD for kids, basically
>Last time they tried that, we got Shadow the Hedgehog
>thought that no one wanted speed in a fucking SONIC game
>most of the dev team had little experience with the series
>thinks Sonic needs to be co-op/multiplayer focused to stay alive
>Boom is the worst selling Sonic game of all time
>Frost still insists that it’s a success
>thinking that changing everything about Sonic will suddenly make the franchise’s bad reputation go away
Holy fuck, Sega really never learns any lessons at all. Their whole thought process in game development is all kinds of wrong in every sense. Sonic should NOT be like every fucking other shitty mainstream game. It needs it’s own fucking IDENTITY to set it apart from the others. Copying Mario, Skylanders, and CoD is the dumbest decision to make. It needs to be a fun speedy platformer with a decent size cast of characters that all play similarly, but with a few tweaks and unique moves to set them apart in a fun, engaging storyline. Boom is not that in any sense. I don’t think having optional multiplayer/co-op is inherently a bad thing to have, since the classics technically had that in some form, but for it to be the series’ main focus? Aw, hell naw.
Basically, Boom was just a terrible idea, outside of maybe the Show (which I stopped watching ages ago out of disinterest). I just want Boom to be swept under the rug already, so we can move on to hopefully better games.
…Don’t fuck up the next big game, Sonic Team. Please.
SA1 and 2 had moments where speed was not an essential part of a portion of the gameplay, and even added replay value for the user to explore instead of waltz through a level. There’s nothing wrong with it.
Boom has practically no speed at all, though. SA2 is a fuck ton faster than Boom, and you know it.
Please SEGA! You’re our only hope!
If Sega’s our only hope, then we are truly fucked, because they are clearly run by idiots who are ignorant of reality.
Pretty much. The worst part of it is that the people running the show have been doing so for the past several years. They’ve run Sega into the ground and they still haven’t been ousted from their positions.
Sonic Adventure 3? Not from you, Frosty.
>Sonic games in the future need to be more community driven, and have that interaction.
You know we actually legitimately tried that once.
What was it?
Oh right, Sonic fucking 4.
After the release and post thoughts of Episode 1 SEGA themselves sat down after a dinner and some stuff to discuss about Sonic 4 entirely.
Then Episode 2 came out and basically told is that SEGA (at least of Japan, the largest part of Sonic) couldn’t give a fuck about what we think no matter what and because of that soiling the opinion further OUTSIDE OF THE FACT that Episode 2 was in some ways actually worse than the first episode.
And now we won’t ever see an Episode 3.
>taking focus groups seriously
This almost never works out no matter what your pseudo science tells you. The same goes for the fact that just to feel like you have to be popular that you must compare yourself to Call of Duty.
That’s an awful way of managing your product and when companies constantly do this to their games it ALWAYS has a negative effect. Always.
The mere lack of control, quality assurance and direction SEGA gave these guys to REBRANDING THEIR VERY MASCOT is just fucking absurd.
You want to convince me that Boom is successful? Tell me why I never see Boom merchandise anywhere. Tell me why the only life in it is the cartoon. Tell me why the metacritic scores are worse than 2006 and it is the worst selling Sonic game of the entire franchise?
My fucking balls it’s “successful”.
100% agreed. They need to get more involved with the fandom to make better games, but the problem is they don’t give a fuck what anyone says. Sega’s closed-minded approach to everything is what’s killing the series. In fact, they’re openly trying NOT to appeal to Sonic fans in hope of appealing to people who never have given a fuck about Sonic, and likely never will.
Getting really tired of your bullshit, Sega.
Both of these guys^^
>Sonic games in the future need to be more community driven, and have that interaction.
>taking focus groups seriously
Seems the thing ate my comment.
Not sure what the fuck is up with that.
Outside of that, the only solution would have been to have Platinum make a Sonic game.
Think about how fucking rad that would be.
Comment recovered. I’m going to be up all night because of this article so I better keep things in check. lol
Platinum making anything is rad. I’m convinced that they could make Sonic Boom with both more fluid spectacle fighting and STILL make it feel like an actual Sonic game.
Platinum handling Sonic would be a little too much. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be stoked at the idea of them working on such a thing. However, their prime focus on game development usually revolves around combat action. From the deep mechanics of Bayonetta and the Wonderful 101 to the absurdly simple and easy-to-get-into stuff like MadWorld and Anarchy Reigns.
That’s not to say they couldn’t attempt something different like a platformer for Sonic. I just don’t see how their charm would reflect in something like a Sonic game, other than knowing the quality will be top notch due to Platinum’s dedication. It’s really hard to explain I guess.
I have mentioned before it would be really great if we could revisit the Werehog gameplay, provided it’s retooled and reworked so that it’s far more fluid and fast with plenty of depth that we come to expect out of the action games genre, and having Platinum focus on that would be fantastic. However, just the sheer infamy of the Werehog itself means it probably won’t ever come back (for good reason since Sonic turning into a wolf is an absurd idea in it and of itself), which is a shame because I did see some potential there.
Sentaro…If anyone should do any type of “combat” in Sonic it’d be Knuckles. And it better be an optional play style. Not something fucking shoehorned in an obvious ploy to pad the game out for the sake of length. Otherwise, if you want to revisit the Werehog (and an outstandingly better version of it might I add) check out God of War.
I’ve played God of War. Thank you very much. That doesn’t diminish any reason for me to want any sort of well thought out, combat oriented play style in a Sonic game. The closest we got was the Werehog and it’s something I’d love to see be fleshed out and improved if there ever was a chance, in the way that companies like Platinum Games would most likely excel at. It doesn’t necessarily have to coincide with another kind of gameplay if you’re afraid it will be some pointless ploy to pad out the game; it can solely be a standalone released spin off title if need be.
And mind you, when I say the Werehog, I don’t mean exclusively the Werehog. Having it be Knuckles instead would be fine too. I just happen to like the concept behind the Werehog where the arms can stretch out and grow in size, giving room for some wildly creative attacks that didn’t get explored much in Unleashed other swinging around from poles as well as a few attacks. Something like how Bayonetta uses the Kulshedra and Alraune is what I picture with this ability.
I’m sure a lot of folks reading my post must be going “WTF, this guy actually likes Unleashed, and the WEREHOG?!”. I’m well aware that the Werehog itself is such an odd and stupid thing to begin with, but I also see the potential behind it. That’s my personal wishful thinking though and it’s not a high priority at that since Sonic games don’t need to be action oriented to begin with.
Now Prope making a familiar Sonic game as 100Rings mentioned, I am ALL for that.
I would throw in Prope as a good group to outsource to as well perhaps.
Someone call him. And TELL him how to make a REAL Sonic Game.
You can try, but 9 times out of 10 he won’t answer 😛
“I would want to make a Sonic Adventure 3 type of game”
Hoo boy, that’s gonna have the fanbase in an uproar. Retreating to the bunker…
He said that?! HELL NO!!! Keep him as FAR away from Sonic as possible!
Don’t worry, he was among the people that are getting laid off… though that sucks for him because losing a job is nothing to be happy about.
I don’t think he would do anything as long as the word “ex” is still under “sonic producer”
He said Sonic Adventure 3-type game, NOT Sonic Adventure 3, and he went on to explain that he went on to explain what he meant is to make renewed focus on different character games. Beyond that, also co-op, online gameplay and a level builder. Interestingly, I have mentioned a level builder on multiple occasions for years. That would give a nice boost in fan service, creative flexibility and replayability.
If you choose to have the attention span of a goldfish and the maturity of a toddler like many in the fanbase do, I can see people reading things out of context here.
The crude comment at the top a video displaying laughter, clearly at what Stephen said (again, taking something totally out of context of what was said) is the perfect example of why people think the Sonic fanbase is immature, bitter souls. Fortunately, there are many more mature and polite community members that these impolite, misinformed commenters, but it is still embarassing to see this sort of behavior which gives the rest of us such a bad reputation.
That’s why I’ve pretty much stopped trying to reason with some of these people. I tried to give a reasonable discussion once, and I got blasted for it. Hey, opinions.
I know Sonic’s in trouble, but being an immature (bleep)wad isn’t going to make things get better any faster, people!!
Precisely. Essentially, many Sonic fans stubbornly place themselves in an never-ending phase of mourning–for an imaginary video game character, no less–and treat the people around them worse than the object of their psychological obsession. I know that sounds harsh but it is pretty much the truth given the amount of effort which goes into making all the heated, toxic commentary, all of which is used to say something that should be short, sweet and to the point. Hate the game? Good, but get over it. There are many more important things in the world to make a fuss over like family life, world peace, widespread poverty and global health.
^This. All my agreement here XD.
So judging by the comments I should probably not bother with this interview to spare my sanity.
Strike that. Reverse it. Don’t bother with comments. Listen to the whole interview and think carefully. People here can’t seem to piece more than a sentence together and even suffer great mental anguish when properly attempting to interpret that teeny portion’s meaning. Seriously, guys? Most of what has been said here is out of context or inaccurate quotes from the conversation.
I don’t have a problem with what Frost said. I have a problem with how out of touch Sega is with the gaming industry and their own fans. I’m also disappointed that they’re trying to appeal to non-Sonic fans who have never cared about Sonic and likely never will no matter how hard they try. They should’ve just made a new IP to aim at that crowd, instead of slapping Sonic on fucking everything to make a quick buck. Frost is just one man, trying to do damage control. He can only do so much.
Thank you. And Frost can only say so much without offending people in the gaming industry and potentially losing job leads–if he were in a position where he could openly say what the problems were with this and that without burning bridges, he likely would. Right now, for him, it is a diplomatic battle as a much as it is one of strategy and preparation.
I don’t give a fuck if it’s out of context. People paid $50 for a broken and boring game that ended up being the worst in the franchise.
Spare me your pity.
And the cartoon is the most successful the franchise has seen in decades. Way to be optimistic and taking everything into account from the Boom experiment. Fortunately, the majority of the fanbase isn’t made up of this road rage-esque, Sonic-has-failed-and-it-is-the-end-of-the-world sort of state of mind. Most can see the bad and the good and don’t become bitter, profane brutes like this to fellow fans in their comments on account of essentially ceaselessly crying over spilled milk. Hate the game? Fine. Almost six months ago now, the game had done its damage. It is now dead and buried. Sonic Runners and the Sonic Boom cartoon are today’s Sonic. It’s time to grow up and move on.
@Hifi: To be fair, Boom is the first new Sonic TV show in about a decade, sooo… yeah.
You keep saying “time to pack up and move on” but find time to bitch about fans offering criticism and hate to a company that pisses on itself every chance they can get? How about you pick your fucking battles better or don’t even comment at all of you’re going to act narcissistic about what the fans have to offer.
Temper tantrums don’t help. You’re proving my point. What you just wrote is emotionally loaded baggage–nothing helpful for solving anything.
“I remember hearing reports that the Sonic Boom toys were selling out in 24 hours.”
A couple weeks ago, I visited my local Toys-R-Us and noticed how picked over the Sonic Boom toys were. Given what Stephen said, if you wanted confirmation on whether or not the cartoon got the toy sales it needed, here is the news we have been needing. So, in other words, yes, the game clearly failed, but the cartoon has succeeded and the toys have succeeded.
Which really makes me think that the games were just unnecessary. The Show turned out to be okay enough to stand on its own, somewhat and rake in some merch sales.
My comment got eaten. 🙁
Wait a minute…They weren’t sure people wanted Sonic to be fast…In a fucking Sonic game?
I don’t absolutely need to go at breakneck speed to enjoy a Sonic game but this is fucking SONIC THE HEDGEHOG! There HAS to be some kind of high speed action involved in the game. Removing all kind of speed from a Sonic game would like making a Mario game without the power-ups or a Ratchet & Clank game without the guns.
From what I’ve seen/heard, these guys clearly didn’t understand was Sonic the Hedgehog was about so, yeah, it’s not surprising that Rise of Lyric ended up being the way it was.
More accurately, Mario without jumping. Mario surprisingly can still be done with little to no power ups…its a testament to Nintendo’s mastery of the platformer genre. You take jumping away from Mario…well what the hell do you have? You take guns away from Call of Duty…what do you have!? You take cars away from Forza…fighting away from Street Fighter…
Everyone that knows or has heard of Sonic knows he’s synonymous with speed. Shit…my grandma who literally knows close to nothing about games knows this. Everyone also knows that anytime Sonic has its trademark speed taken away it’s CERTAIN it’s going to bomb. Yet this guy was under the impression that people don’t want Sonic to go fast? There’s something horrendously wrong with this picture…and its a culmination of all parties that are Sega, Sonic Team, and Big Red Button.
Mr Frost, you should play Game Dev Tycoon.
I’m glad to see that he finally stepped up to the plate. You’re okay in my book Mr. Frost. I wish you the best, and thank you for your time working on Sonic.
Comment got Eaten, Donnie. A little help, bro?
Sure. He may not have had the best idea but at least Frost was still interactive with the fanbase. Something tells me he did listen to fan ideas, pretty sure the ones that held that back was SEGA themselves. Even directors have a boss. It wasn’t such a great run but he at least still tried and had the balls to speak up about Boom. It sucks losing a job though. Hope all goes well with your future endevores Mr.Frost
He wasn’t very interactive at all when he flat out disappeared on everyone for months. Or did you just conveniently miss that part of history when he did that? I sure didn’t.
If you’re posting a video conversation that last over two hours to share only a small segment of the conversation, it would be very courteous to at least time stamp where the conversation starts. I’m losing my patience with this video and also with your website when theres oversight like this.
1. I’d rather people see the entire thing and not just where the Boom conversing starts.
2. There’s a full transcript of the Boom portion anyway: http://www.tssznews.com/2015/03/19/full-transcript-of-boom-portion-of-stephen-frost-interview-posted/
3. Don’t you think it’s a little overkill to react like this considering it was just a video? It’s not like we do this often.
1. The article is titled Stephen Frost Speaks up on the state of Sonic Boom. Nowhere is there a mention of any other conversation involved in the video. This is what I came for. You may want people to see the entire thing, fair enough, but when I find out I have to search further into unrelated information I didn’t come for, you’re losing me. Now there are ways to correct this. You could title the article Stephen Frost speaks up on the state of Sonic Boom during Sega Nerdcast interview. Then you elaborate in the text. “Stephen Frost, producer of the Sonic Boom game and franchise speaks with the Sega nerdcast in episode 81 about many things SEGA. He also speaks up about the state of Sonic Boom since its heavily criticized release. You can listen to the entire interview below or skip to 1:41:30 for the conversation on Sonic Boom”. By writing this way you make all readers of differing interest levels happy.
2. Fair enough, but again, what I came for is the video, which you guys posted. If you can post a transcript, then you surely can post a time stamp. It is not hard. I just did it for you in number 1.
3. Yes it is overkill, and I should not as a reader have to point this out. I’ve been a reader of this website since 2009 before Sonic 4 when Project Needlemouse first broke. I have never commented on an article and this is my first, and now second comment. It’s common courtesy as a journal, reporter, news source or whatever to provide this SIMPLE information to readers. I do hope you do this more often, I am REALLY glad to have listened to this conversation, once I found it, and granted you learn to leave a time stamp, or ask viewers in the article that you wish for them to watch whole video, I will continue to be a happy reader of this website.
There was a list of bullet points that was in the article before that explained things better (which is also why the title was about Boom because there was more in the article related to that subject) but that was taken out due to concerns of context. After this happened I didn’t want to take any chances and just wanted people to catch the whole thing as the whole interview was informative anyway. A time stamp would’ve been nice, yeah, and I do think it would’ve been a good idea to add it now. In fact I’ve added it in the article if that helps. However keep in mind that the situation at hand made it difficult to get a proper article going. I ended up having to retract a lot of material in the article and controversy on it did arise due to those bullet points.
Long story short the main reason behind the lack of a time stamp was simply because I wanted to make sure everyone knew the whole story and as I said the situation at hand made it more of an issue as to what to include in the article. I do the best I can to make the articles I write come off professional but I’d be lying if I said I personally consider myself that or an expert in the field. As for TSSZ itself we’re not perfect so don’t be surprised if mistakes like this happen. I’m glad you’re being polite about it though so thank you! Whatever the case a time stamp has been added.
This article has just been a mess. Sheesh. lol
I”m sorry, but Multiplayer is just something Sonic was and will never good at until they can at least establish a stable formula for Sonic to go by. You keep experimenting with all these ideas that just don’t fit with Sonic. Sonic Colors and Generations were good, at least to me, because they had an already established formula and they expanded on it. They were fast, they were great, and they were fun, that’s what Sonic is. Sonic Boom is NOT sonic because it just wasn’t him. He wasn’t fast, he wasn’t great, and he wasn’t fun. I get see what Frost was going for, but the game just didn’t feel like a Sonic game.
i lik sonic boom and i always will..but this guy is clearly a idiot..sonic is about speed..
there are issues with sonic boom and there are ways it could eb done better (one way i would do have all the charicter play differently to. have sonic do low damage but he moves and attacks fast. knuckles is the slowest but can do more damage to other enemys)
“there are issues with sonic boom”
There are issues with your grammar and spelling as well, sir.
Oh, there are maaaany ways Sonic Boom could be better, mah boi.
Hmm… the comments here are milder than I expected…
Disclaimer: I’ve not watched/listened to the interview yet
This is delightful. Wonderfully so. Every bad thing I thought about Sega and their treatment of the Sonic franchise has been confirmed by this interview.
To sum it up nicely: Sega doesn’t give a shit about Sonic. Neither does Stephen Frost or anyone who was working on Sonic Boom. He’s just a name to be prostituted however Sega sees fit.
Ugh… I’m sorry, has this guy seen the reception this game got online? At all? He just sounds so out of touch. Eugh.
Reading the transcript… it’s odd.
Debatable, based on the evidence of the last five years or so.
Er, no; with the correct support from Sonic Team, a basic speed-based title would have been very achievable.
Conveniently forgetting the whole ‘removing the speed’ thing…
Really? Who on Avalice was he talking to‽
This is the problem so often; the people making the games are just so out of touch with the people playing the games…
Amen to that!
Well given the previous 18 years, I’d say they are credible and probably know better than anyone else, regardless of what happened the past yea–WAIT A MINUTE! Last 5 years? Aside from Lost World being a creative risk that people weren’t ready for and Boom’s boom, the last 5 years have been pretty good for Sonic. Sonic 4 did will and it only got complaints later cuz of physics and supposedly rehashing stuff. Sonic 4 ep 2 got lower reviews but fans liked it a lot more. Sonic Generations was pretty badass. Colors was seen as practically flawless when it was out. While Unleashed is like Lost World, up for debate due to being so different and preference heavy, it WAS a massive step up from 06’s disaster, which were mostly technical. Before that we had Shadow The Hedgehog which was the first time I’d heard anyone really start complaining about Sonic. Of course the game is now also praised alongside Heroes. And the Adventure series is up on the same pillar as the classics by now. So the only times Sonic really SUCKED was around 10 years ago for roughly 3 or so years. It was slightly mediocre or decent around the edges of those time but Sonic’s mostly been seen positively. The weak points are that 06 mini-era and the mini-era between classic and Adventure and the mini-era that I guess would be now? It seems that Sonic dips when leaving eras but shines when starting a new one. xD That’s the pattern I’ve seen.
Also, are you a game developer? I think I get what he means.
He didn’t conveniently forget the speed thing. He already said it. Heck, he just said a version of that, referring to an alternative version of what Sonic is. This includes the speed. (That and a game can be good without being fast. That’s how all other non-Sonic games do it.)
To be fair, I think it was a misinterpretation revolving around the arguments that Sonic isn’t just about speed and all the fans pushing for less speed, less boosts and more platform heavy Sonic games. Hence Sonic Colors and Lost World. Sorta like how fans asked to get rid of all of Sonic’s stupid friends and so they interpreted it as the friends only being able to shine if they stayed on the sidelines. But this is just gonna make Sonic games repetitive. xP
As much as I dislike agreeing with 100rings and predaking on stuff. I have to admit, Stephen frost knows jack squat about sonic games. Online multiplayer co-op is not a good avenue for sonic whatsoever.
I really now think sonic is in better hands with fans than sega.
Actually, online co-op is a great way to increase replayabiltiy. Just look at the current app-scape where tens if not hundreds of millions of people play online daily and many of them play in multiplayer settings. Co-op has huge potential IF done right.
depending on the fan, classic fanboys only care about their own needs above anyone elses. and they can’t really make a better game at all.
Way to single out one section with zero basis. You can easily say the same about any other section of Sonic fans.
Wow, they really thought speed was the last thing people wanted in a Sonic game?
I’m just gonna throw in a SomecallmeJohnny quote from his Sonic Boom review.
“…if I’m playing what’s being sold to me as a Sonic game, spinoff or otherwise, without the ability to go fast when I desire, then what’s the fucking point of playing a Sonic game?! Like it or not, speed was always a selling factor for Sonic. Not necessarily the main focus, but an element that separated Sonic from the rest of the crowd. Without that, you have effectively turned Sonic into the very thing he mocked in his inception: a run-of-the-mill platforming game.”
Amen to that.
I will say this. I bet a Sanic game would sell more than a Sonic Boom game at this point, considering how many retweets this got. Yes, in only a day:
Seriously, though, there were some things in the conversation that I have to beg to differ on. Yes, I disagreed with what Stephen Frost had to say. I just did not like the twisted, rude approach people have been taking here.
1. Speed was a turn-off to individuals in their test groups.
I know people who fit into this category, about 10 or so, but you know what? They make up a very, very, very small factor of the gaming world where a most of these select individuals have problems with video games in general and cannot even hold their own in a simple Mario game. Suffice it to say, they hardly play games ever and aren’t likely to buy a new system until it is near end-of-life, the very last kind of people you would imagine going out to buy an unpopular console like the Wii U.
Common sense would tell us who are active and aware of the gaming community at large that for most people who are actually into gaming, ultra high speeds in Sonic games are not a problem at all and, in fact, are actually the thrill and feels they are after. If the speeds are too much, people can play as Big or Amy or something. It makes no sense to take away the major selling point of the game when years of well-established statistics and trends say otherwise.
I would wager dollars to donuts that these focus groups were people who do walk-ins at marketing locations to get quick survey cash and who got a couple bucks for trialing the game, viewing gameplay videos, filling out surveys or something to that effect. On the contrary, SEGA should have done surveying within the Sonic online community itself or, if they wanted to get a focus group made up of real gamers, surveying through IGN’s online community where people who actually play games linger.
2. “In Sonic’s case, you have to build, from a square one situation, you have to build so much content and then you have to worry that every inch of that is super high quality. It’s impossible do; I think it’s an insurmountable task to do that.”
As much as I like Stephen Frost for its enthusiasm and drive in relation to the franchise, I was completely taken back by the sentiment in this statement. It is essentially passing the buck and giving the company a free pass for making bad games. In other words, “oh, but it’s too hard.” I understand it is hard to make a good game but look at Sonic Generations or Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed. In those games, practically every bit of the pixel-and-poly-scape is fashioned neatly and weaved together such that it is a smooth, logically flowing progression from start to finish while having a fresh blend of dimension and difficulty throughout. You have done it before, so do it again or else expect no one to pay up for your games, plain and simple.
Besides, what about all the flight simulators, racing games, MMORPG’s and hunting games on the market that have literally hundreds of square miles of virtual space to roam and explore that have essentially no errors or bugs to speak of? Those kind of games feature 3D worlds just as large as Sonic’s levels and in some cases you have a much larger window of opportunity to see the errors in those games’ levels since the characters might move magnitudes slower than Sonic does. The problem is focused, regular effort and attention to detail needs to be front and center at all times–one finely crafted level is much better than a hundred levels of Sonic Boom.
Personally, I still think the problem was SEGA was not keeping a close eye on Big Red Button, who, in my opinion, decided to let things slide and do a last-minute, half-baked job since the “cat” was away and they, the mice, could play. Either way, this sort of mentality of “well, Sonic is harder to build for and so we can throw in the towel if things go south” is a brickwall that needs to be cleared from the minds of everyone from top to bottom in the company if there is going to be any chance at all of the franchise succeeding in the future. When something like Freedom Planet is the best “Sonic” game I have seen in years, I know SEGA has lost its touch.
Not gonna lie, I’d buy a Sanic game. Gotta go Fast, son.
Agreed on the other stuff you said, btw. Sega just needs to rethink their approach to well… everything, really. They’re bad at making Sonic games, they’re worse at marketing them, they’re too scared to localize most of their non-Sonic titles because they don’t put enough effort into marketing them, and it wouldn’t surprise me if their employees were treated like animals in a cage at this point. They have no real focus or direction for the Sonic franchise and are just set to keep revamping it to what they think people think is “hip” today, only to not understand their audiences at all and end up failing miserably; all just to make a quick buck, rather than properly thinking things out for the long term. Naka, Oshima, Balough, and Webber were smart, and jumped ship before things got worse.
The last time SEGA actually marketed a Sonic game well was Sonic Heroes. Since then, they have let things just happen since they could ride on hype and it would sell 3 to 5 million copies easily. Gone are the days of Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Heroes, Sonic ’06 (which sold actually very well), Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Generations when this sort of lackadaisical marketing approach would have actually worked. Instead, SEGA’s home base console of Nintendo is not doing too hot and they decided to paint themselves into a corner with the exclusivity deal to boot–fortunately over, but it was three years wasted. Now that SEGA has a chance to make a good game outside of the Big N, I am not sure a console game would even sell one million copies as a multiplatformer title since Sonic has become the laughing stock of many and the synonym of “disappointment after disappointment” for many fans.
Granted, we have seen SEGA pull off great things. There is the Sonic Unleashed opening CGI sequence that gives me hope for the upcoming movie. There is Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Generations which shows me SEGA can make good console game. There is, on a much smaller scale, Sonic Runners which shows me SEGA can make a fun game for mobile. Even then, that is such a small and simple game that it takes only a small fraction of the effort it would take to make a decent console title. Yet also, striking out twice in a row, from Sonic Lost World to Sonic Boom, doesn’t give me a whole lot of warm fuzzies or over-abiding confidence in them. If they screw up with this, I will be a fan just for the fandom and for their past efforts until further notice.
Sadly, IIRC, the guy who created the Hedgehog Engine, and was running the show at Sonic Team during Unleashed’s development, left to go work for Square Enix a few years back, then Iizuka took over… and well, FWOOSH, BOING, FWOOSH, BOING WISPSWISPSWISPSTERRIBLEJOKESHURR is what mostly happened since. I haven’t been too attached to the fandom from the beginning, so if they screw up the next big one, I’ll just straight up leave and go play better games; like what I’m doing now. It pains me to see a franchise I’ve loved from when I was a kid just keep on declining and not ever really hit its stride and stay on track.
I want to apologize to anyone I may have offended. I understand that this series is filled with childhood memories for each of you but I would hope that other people wouldn’t get hurt in your emotional fallout is all. I think, for now, after all the continual disappointments we have had, it would be best to actively support fan ventures and the cartoon and, in the meantime, let SEGA get a grip on reality and finally come to their senses that they are dreadfully mistaken in their approach. Honestly, I want to be excited for the potential Sonic movie and likely accompanying game next year, but SEGA has shown that when either they themselves are making a Sonic game or they are supervising a third-party Sonic game, it goes terribly wrong. The live action aspect especially scares me, especially with the Eddie Lebron monstrosity–no offense to the maker, but that CGI makes me nauseous–that we got only a year or so ago. Sonic Runners is great, but I want much more than apps for my lifetime. Heck, even a Sonic 3 & Knuckles re-release would be better than nothing, but what I am really itching for is good quality new content.
A team of Sonic fan developers, no less, brought us Freedom Planet and gave us a Sonic-SatAM-video-game-by-any-other-name, a game just as sweet as Sonic’s heyday, to say the least. Could it be because of the cancer of corruption that most corporations suffer from when they get so big that they trade in their passion in their product and their artistic fervor in exchange for selling by brand image alone and over-inflated hype to fill their pockets? I honestly don’t know if SEGA is in it for the game anymore and if they are just interested in cashing in on things as quickly and conveniently as they can. It makes me really sad to think that Sonic Lost World and Sonic Boom is what many young kids have to think of Sonic right now and that is practically it. Sonic used to be a game first and I would like to see a return to that mentality where gameplay truly gives the player an experience that he or she can pleasingly look back on and want to relive in his or her dreams and imagination. I do not know if that is possible or if SEGA is in an ethical or emotional state to give people a game like that again, but if someone is SEGA can reach deep down and start getting the company moving again in the right direction, by all means, give it all you got. Right now, all we are doing is either going nowhere or taking huge steps backwards so your efforts would be greatly appreciated.
Basically, this is what my Sonic-style gaming has amounted to lately, and it is incredible:
They have Sonic Boom shirts at Jc penny. I see the comics widely up for grabs at my local comic shop and barnes and noble. I disagree with your statement about how well known it is. Sonic will always sell merch even when his games bomb.
Jcpenny is alright but Macy’s, Bloomingdale, Nordstrom is better,
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