The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise has been really quiet as off late. Since 2011’s Sonic Generations; Sega has been uncharacteristically quiet about the next Sonic game that many have been waiting for until now. The newly awaited title is “Sonic Lost World”.
However the bigger news is that Sega have announced a exclusive partnership with old nemesis Nintendo which will have the next three Sonic games exclusive to Nintendo consoles the first of which being Sonic Lost World being a exclusive for the Nintendo Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS. That means no Sonic for Xbox or PlayStation owners for a while. Needlessly to say this has ticked off a lot of people and while I can’t say I’m thrilled I can understand the business logic behind this on Sega’s part and I ask for those fans who are unhappy to try to look at the positives for a second.
Multi-platform Sonic hasn’t really worked in the past as Sega have not dealt with working on multiple consoles very well. The PS2 Version of Sonic Heroes anyone? That’s been one of Sega’s biggest problems since turning third-party. It’s easier to develop a video game solely for one console. The Sega staff were used to focusing on a single console. They used to have “first-dibs” using on their own hardware. That’s a big change that I’m sure most gamers don’t realize. Nintendo have never faced such a problem before. Working on multiple versions of games like Sonic Unleashed divided resources thus sacrificing quality from both games for example.
In addition to this Sega are not the major force their used to be. They are not EA and they are not Activision. They can not afford to release multiple, multi-platform games per year. Also, for those who don’t know, Sonic games have consistently sold better on Nintendo consoles. From to the inferior Wii version of Unleashed to crappy Sonic and the Black Knight. The Nintendo consoles are the ones that Sonic makes the most money on. It’s as simple as that.
Now Sega can focus all their efforts solely on one version of a game plus I’m sure they’ll be much financial support from Nintendo. For Nintendo to go out of their way to secure exclusivity; they must see potential in the franchise. It has been confirmed that another of the three exclusive titles is another Mario and Sonic Olympics game crossover however but the third is rumored to be a Mario Kart/Sonic All-Stars crossover. Now that does have my attention.
I’ve seen other people hoping that these exclusive games fail purely out of spite but that is the wrong attitude to have. As a fan of Sonic and Sega I always want them to do well. When I first read of this ‘exclusive deal’ I mistaken read it as ‘three SEGA games’ instead just Sonic games. I thought “Heck, Jet Set Radio and Shenmue are going to the Wii U!” Who knows. This Sonic deal could lead to bigger and better things. Sonic back in the new Smash? Nintendo put the money in Bayonetta so why not Shenmue? Anything for me to get my Shenmue!