Sega Promises To Fix Sonic
Sonic the Hedgehog, perhaps the franchise most commonly associated with Sega, is in a funk. Sega knows that Big Blue isn't performing up to snuff lately and claims they want to address the problem.
“The quality is something that will be fixed over time. It's not something where you wake up one morning and say, 'You know what, we're going to improve our quality on this franchise,' and it magically happens. A lot of hard work goes into striving for quality," Sega of America Marketing VP Sean Ratcliffe told IndustryGamers. Alright, I'm nodding along with him here, but then he has to do something silly like defend Sonic Unleashed:
"Interestingly, I think Sonic Unleashed was very well received by the kids. There was some talk about the werehog aspect, the slower pacing and more combat-oriented gameplay, but when we go out and test this stuff and sit down with the consumers, kids actually like that. I think older, die-hard Sega fans who grew up with the franchise and the first Sonic the Hedgehog associate Sonic more with 2-D side-scrolling super fast, and they liked the daytime gameplay, but when it came to the slower paced gameplay they were fairly critical of that, and that's fine – they have their opinions.”
Having a nephew who enjoyed Sonic Unleashed does not mean that it was a good game. Claiming kids liked it seems like a variation on the old "Well, we don't make films for critics" defense that movie studios have been trotting out for years. It's basically code for "Well, it made a lot of money so if you don't like it, tough." Even though older gamers have been soured on Sonic after a number of awful games, young'ns are willing to give him a shot because they don't know any better. The Sonic games in development - a Mario Kart-style Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games - suggest that Sega's trying to find a young, fresh audience for Sonic rather than figure out how to please older fans who remember the franchise's better days.
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