There is a reason I referred to this Summer Of Sonic as “The Special Stage”.
As you know we’ve been somewhat tight lipped on guests and events for this SOS. Well there’s a good reason for that as we’ve been in negotiations for a loooong time to secure them. With Sonic’s 20th year it only makes sense that we really went all out to get you the best we could. We’re now at a point where we’re able to actually tell you:
So we’re delighted to announce our headline guests for Summer Of Sonic! Not that our other guests aren’t special of course, but this is really quite a coup. First up ladies and gentlemen, joining us at Summer Of Sonic to celebrate Sonic’s twenty years will be a man who has worked with our little blue pal since 1994.
The head man himself, TAKASHI IIZUKA!
Multi-time Producer and Director (including both Sonic Adventure titles, Sonic Colours and the upcoming Sonic Generations), Game Designer on titles like Sonic 3 & Knuckles and the original NiGHTS into Dreams and not forgetting being the current head of Sonic Team itself. Takashi Iizuka will be flying in from Japan especially to join us.
Without a shadow of a doubt, every single Sonic the Hedgehog fan in the world has dreamed of this – an opportunity to meet the man who has been a creative force in the Sonic franchise since its very conception. The man most commonly referred to as the “father of Sonic,” even after leaving SEGA back in 2006 to form his own studio.
No, I can hardly believe I’m writing this myself.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great honour that I reveal our second special headline guest – one of the men that kick-started the Sonic franchise that we all love.
As the programmer for the original Sonic the Hedgehog Mega Drive game, Yuji Naka was responsible for creating the gameplay mechanics and physics of the 16-bit classic, while influencing the design of the character due to his ‘spin attack’ concept.
Since then, he has led the development of almost every single Sonic title until his departure, assumed the lead role at Sonic Team and created many other iconic franchises such as NiGHTS Into Dreams, ChuChu Rocket! and Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg.
Naka-san now leads his own independent game studio, PROPE, which caught the world’s attention with Wii party game Let’s Tap and reminded everyone of his flair for unique gameplay design with Ivy the Kiwi? While he is no longer involved with creating Sonic titles, the hedgehog still has a special place in his heart.
This year, Naka-san will be attending the Summer of Sonic 2011 to officially celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog’s 20th Anniversary with his old friend and colleague, Iizuka-san, and to share the experience directly with the fans. How lucky are we to be in the presence of two of the biggest men behind the Sonic franchise!? Exceptionally lucky.
If you’re currently shaking in excitement right now, just imagine how we feel back here – the chances of this ever happening were incredibly slim, and thanks to the work of SEGA Europe, SEGA Japan, Sonic Team, Iizuka-san, Naka-san and the organisers of the Summer of Sonic, we now have the stage set for the best fan party that ever lived!
What a year to be a Sonic fan!
And you know what? We’re STILL not done.