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  • New 'Sonic' Job Listing Involves Unreal Engine, Online Game Experience

    Could a new spinoff game be on the way?

    SEGA Japan has posted a new game job listing, seeking a developer with Unreal Engine 4 and network gaming experience to join their ranks. Interestingly, the posting suggests that the project of focus for the new recruit would be an upcoming game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series.

    The posting comes from an official SEGA channel on HRMOS, a Japanese recruitment platform. It mentions (via machine translation) "practical experience with Unreal Engine 4, action game development experience," and "network game production experience", citing specifically 'P2P online battles'.

    As per the screenshot of the job listing below, it appears that the work (which could be as a permanent SEGA employee or contractual) will be for a project destined for a range of video game platforms, including PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox consoles and Steam. While it is "assumed" that the project will be a game in the Sonic series, curiously the job listing also includes a URL for the official Olympics video game series (which SEGA also develops).


    What's curious about this, if this is really for a Sonic the Hedgehog title, is the involvement of Unreal Engine. It could signal the end of the use of SEGA's proprietary Hedgehog Engine 2, which most recently helped power Sonic Frontiers. However, with the inclusion of "online battles", and the next mainline Sonic game years away yet, it is also likely that this job posting is intended for a spinoff Sonic project of some kind.

    Whatever it ends up being, we'll know soon enough - and we'll follow up on it when that happens.

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    I'd guess they're planning another Olympics double bill. Mario and Sonic for nintendo platforms and the more general licensed olympics title for all platforms, both with online using the same systems.

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    From what I understand, when studios are announced to develop officially licensed games for the Olympics, it's usually announced quite some time in advance. Sega was reported to have the rights to developed games for Tokyo 2020 back in 2016—and only for 2020 (compared to the long term contract for the previous M&S games). Ubisoft did announce their officially licensed "Road to the Olympics" expansion pack for Steep at E3 2017, to tie into the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics; which at that time was only some six months away. But obviously, an expansion pass for an already released and otherwise standalone videogame =/= entire videogame project officially licensed by the IOC from its inception.

    Moreover, licensing rights for Paris 2024 have been available since 2021; if Sega was privy for having a Mario & Sonic Olympics game for 2024, I think we would had known about them acquiring the license by now. The Beijing Winter 2022 Olympics already came and went this year; with only this non-Sega related NFT smartphone game to show for it. Needless to say, I doubt this is Olympics-related.
    I'm leaning more towards this the next major Sonic-centric spinoff to stopgap Frontiers and the next mainline ST Sonic game; in the same way Team Sonic Racing was scheduled between Forces and Frontiers. It's worth noting that the Frontiers' leak which included various proposals for the game featured the "CONCEPT K" pitch, which mentioned online multiplayer. This project could be related to that, especially since this is being developed internally by Sega. (M&S Olympics series notwithstanding, the majority of the spinoff Sonic game over the past decade have been handled by outside teams. IIRC, Free Riders --or Runners, counting smartphone games-- was the last one produced in-house.)



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    Interesting. I wonder why they would go with the Unreal engine and drop the Hedgehog engine 2? Also, I do hope we get online play in the next Sonic game, even if that is still unlikely.

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    On the topic about online play, it's also worth noting Iizuka also had the following reply in an interview he did last year about various Sonic projects (Colors Ultimate, Origins, the franchise's 30th anniversary, etc.):



    Q: Nowadays more and more games have adopted open-world gameplay. Has the Sonic series ever considered making an open world entry?

    A: The development team has been thinking about and discussing various directions to take the series including open world, battle royale, online play, etc. Gameplay modes which can attract more players to play Sonic are in discussion. We are still discussing ideas like open-world and other things like including matchmaking and online gameplay.



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    Nevermind, it links the Olympics videogame site, it's most likely another Mario & Sonic, Paris 2024.

    Okay so I need specific things for it to be worth it:

    - Remixes and Mario & Sonic music available to be picked for any event. This was a feature until Rio, removed in Tokyo, which also had only 2 remixes for its few Dream Events, 1 for Mario and 1 for Sonic, and they weren't particularly good picks either. For the rest, Tokyo had the same generic beats as music loops. This was embarassing considering even the mobile version had a lot more cool remixes.

    - Updated Veteran Roster. While it's cool that some minor characters get to be controllable for 1 event (like 1 event bosses) some really need to be upped to regulars, I am talking about Rosalina, Rouge, it's absurd not to have these important characters playable in every event, I would also like Toad and Big as regulars, for the rest they can stay limited to few events, it's a shame you can only play as them in 1 event, kind of ridiculous but for example I wouldn't want to play every event as a Koopaling or Eggman Nega, that's a lot of animations to work on I guess. 

    Remove the outfits I guess, I don't really need them although it was "fair" that male characters got them and not just female ones.

    - Miis. Another feature that was a mainstay except for Tokyo, the most important thing that could be done with them were the unlockable costumes, which was fun as the character costumes came with the characters stats too. And with the resurgence of Miis I could see it happen.

    - Tokyo had a lot of weird choices, its focus on events from past games and retro minigames, but just 3 Dream ones. I need more Dream Events, they were the most creative minigames in the series, obviously the realistic component is needed because it's still somewhat of an Olympics videogame, but keep the arcade aspect.

    - Keep Online, it's the only cool thing to do in Tokyo.

    - Bring back the unique pairing victory animations, I was so upset that was yet another feature removed from Tokyo...

    - And of course, more modes. There was a story mode in Tokyo, but it was some cool vs matches, bosses, and... generic dialogue. I would rather have other party modes like London Party from 2012. Which was some sort of Mario Party, and I was a lot more entertained with that.

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    And shall we see Dodonpa again soon, since he was introduced as a character who could interfere in several spin-off games as a kind of presenter?!...

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    2 hours ago, King Conne said:

    And shall we see Dodonpa again soon, since he was introduced as a character who could interfere in several spin-off games as a kind of presenter?!...

    Given that TSR did get quite the mention in Frontiers, then it is a possibility.

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