How many times have we talked about Sonic The Hedgehog receiving a reboot over the last 15 years? Well it looks like we might have one more to start covering soon enough.
It’s understandable that after 20 years you’re tired of Sonic games. The best Sonic games are the ones that have stuck to the formula that we loved in the original Genesis titles. The worst Sonic games are the ones that try to reinvent what it is to be a Sonic game.
Well if you haven’t been paying attention, Sega is in a terrible financial position yet again. Yeah 10 years after ditching console manufacturing the company still can’t prosper. It’s not fair to say that Sega hasn’t released some great titles within that time. However I think the issue is that they haven’t created a new IP that has become a cultural or at least gaming phenmonmnon. Looking at the future of the gaming industry it’s going to greatly change. Not only in the way we control and interact with games, but also in how we buy them and where we play them.
Sega’s flagship property is Sonic The Hedgehog. Sega can continue to release Sonic games year after year and they’ll still sell well. BUT you can’t run a company as large as Sega with only one game being a success. Mind you Sonic is definitely past his glory years. Sales of his games don’t even come close to the latest Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, or variety of other next-gen games.
Part of the reason why people have moved on beyond Sonic is because the gameplay has generally speaking been unchanged. Sure people feel nostalgic for the character and will buy games like Sonic Generations that are a celebration of this franchise. If Sega wants to reach out beyond its current fanbase and have Sonic come back in full force they can only do one thing: reboot it. I’m not just saying a new design for Sonic himself, but actually changing everything. Yeah that’s a scary thing to say and I’m not necessarily for it, but I definitely understand why rumors are now saying Sonic Team is looking into the idea.
Supposidly we’ll see this rebooted Sonic in 2014. Potentially speaking it will have a similar gameplay mechanic to Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventures. Imagine collecting Sonic toys and unlocking content within the game. Personally if that’s what Sonic Team is going to do I don’t think I would be able to afford to play Sonic games anymore.
Clearly with Sega’s recently announced financial problems people are going to expect Sega to do something product wise that will turn the company around. I do think that Sega and maybe some of its properties could use a makeover. However there’s a difference between reinventing something to give it new life and reinventing something that causes people to simply pay more for the product.
It would be great if Sega would continue to invest in original games like Vanquish and Rise of Nightmares while bringing back dead franchises, but at this point we can only begin to imagine what’s in store. Hopefully at this year’s E3 2012 we’ll get a better grasp at what’s in development so that we don’t have to continue to worry about this beloved company and its games.