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Rumour: Sanzaru Have Not Been Working on Boom: Fire & Ice for Several Months

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Er, not really upset at this. If this rumor is true then that does explain the silence. The team putting energy in a much bigger game than a smaller one is a possibility, I guess.  I too kept hearing about the VR project Sanzaru was working on. 

I don't know how I feel about this. Not gonna put much thought into this rumor for now but it does sound like a possibility.

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My question is why don't they just cut their losses and cancel it? 

I mean, it's not like there's a lot of demand for this game, it's cheap to make and and reuses a ton of stuff from the original, so would there really be any point in putting it out later on where it will have even less attention given to it?

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My question is why don't they just cut their losses and cancel it? 

I mean, it's not like there's a lot of demand for this game, it's cheap to make and and reuses a ton of stuff from the original, so would there really be any point in putting it out later on where it will have even less attention given to it?

Well, to be fair, we do not known exactly how much is being funnelled into the development for this, or what their sales expectations are for the game (though if they are anything beyond low, that would be laughably unrealistic considering how poorly even Shatteted Crystal sold). While it is basically a rehash of Shattered Crystal, there could be unknown factors involved that are preventing them from cancelling it altogether, though I have no idea why they wouldn't at least want to find a new developer for....

...Oh wait, hang on a second...

Just a thought here, but what are the chances that SEGA are looking into shifting development to a different studio? 

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My question is why don't they just cut their losses and cancel it? 

I mean, it it's cheap to make and and reuses a ton of stuff from the original, <...>

Perhaps you just answered your question right there.
Depending on their ambition, Fire and Ice might be a matter of rearranging the assets they already have.
Everyone might assume it's super easy for that game to make money, heck, they don't even need to spend money on advertising as long as Sonic Boom's still on TV. Resulting in a "Eh, it can wait. We can finish this in an afternoon when we want anyway" mindset.

But right right, rumours, rumours.
 For all we know there are a few dozen people working on it, but just don't want to mention it on their Linked in because of the bad reputation the other games had.

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But right right, rumours, rumours.
 For all we know there are a few dozen people working on it, but just don't want to mention it on their Linked in because of the bad reputation the other games had.

Even if a game is bad, unless it's awful in every area,  you'd still want to credit your work.

For instance, if you spend 6 months working on a character animation which your particularly proud of, or which took a long time or did something interesting, are you really going to omit that from your work history because the overall game isn't great?

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Wow, Sonic Booms games are such a mess. But who knows, maybe no one working on it will magically make it good.

Can't say this is a big loss, but on the other hand, VR Wii Sports knock-off isn't a big gain either. Can't wait to see how unfinished Fire & Ice is released, though.

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Given how Rise of Lyric went down, I'm really not surprised at all if this is true. After how the first two games went, I wouldn't blame anyone for not wanting to continue this project.

Though, like Wraith has said, why even bother keeping the project alive by this point. There are so many valid reasons stacked against this game's (let alone any future Boom game) reason to even exist, just cut the charade and can it completely.

Edited by Gabe

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it struck me as weird that SEGA greenlit Fire & Ice and announced it like they did. It seemed a bit like a kneejerk reaction to the fact 2015's Sonic events basically consisted of...well...Runners. 

No fan events, no new main games, just a cartoon based on (your rather poorly received) western reboot - and a mobile game.

I didn't mind Shattered Crystal. Though it's by and large kind of mediocre. But it did seem a little phoned-in as outsource projects go. Not surprised that a delay is because the studio considers their VR project a bigger money maker (even though I find that a bit of a laugh tbh, VR's great for showing off, but I suspect the home market will never be there for it)

In general the Boom project has been a disaster, someone at SEGA did some terrible vetting on picking the studios for the project, about the only thing they kinda got right was the cartoon (and the comic I guess?). It's a shame because I really liked some of the ideas it had going, but basically has all been wasted with terrible execution (or needed money SEGA simply does not have to really make it work).

Edited by jennytablina

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I'm surprised they even announced Fire and Ice at all. i'm not sure if the payoff of realising a game that's almost identical to one everyone hated, that was presumably already underway, will be worth it.

Edited by Matthew

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For instance, if you spend 6 months working on a character animation which your particularly proud of, or which took a long time or did something interesting, are you really going to omit that from your work history because the overall game isn't great?

Depends on how full my credits list is.
Tough yeah,you have a good point, working on a videogame takes over a year and you don't want big empty holes on your
résumé...
 

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Well that's just great.>=(

I was looking forwards to this...............

Definitely going to have to hold off on pre-ordering until I get a solid date because I can't be sure that this thing will even release. I'm now confused why they even announced it. It probably would have been better to have kept quiet until they have a full team actually working on it.

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Knowing Sega, they will force Sanzaru to finish and release the game, no matter how bad, broken or unpolished it is. If it has the chance to make 100 dollars, Sega will take it. It's a shame yes, for the fans, because Sega has clearly already lost all their shame after insisting in more Boom games after RoL...

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I think we're all still not considering that the thing was mostly finished when RoL and SC first came out. They told us that. I'm not saying I know why it's been delayed, but I refuse to believe it's going to somehow be less finished than Shattered Crystal, since this is essentially everything that didn't become that game, which I in no way believe was "unfinished", just "meh" on a progression and length/story scale.

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Welp, I expected, nay HOPED this would happen to Sonic Boom 3. Considering practically nobody wanted a follow-up to one of the most infamous Sonic games ever, it boggles me why they even greenlighted the sequel. This means the game could easily fade into mystery like X-Treme, Extreme, 16, Saturn, Jr., Edusoft, and most recently Episode 3 did. 
 

Ah well, here's to a good 25th anniversary if this is true.

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Hogfather, i'm just gonna drop this thing from Barry The Nomad at Segabits :

I respect The Sonic Stadium and know Hogfather through the merch forum there, he's a nice guy, but maaaan are they so way off base with their speculations there.

Let's look at the facts: SEGA of America has not been at any events or trade shows outside of Momocon (which was itself a small affair  and almost exclusively Hatsune Miku and Japanese games focused). SEGA, not the developer, is in charge of promoting and previewing the game. It's been pretty clear that for a better part of the year, moving and hiring new staff has been priority over promoting games. Fire & Ice is not alone, just about every game slated this year has had little more than an announcement video and a few social network posts. 

Fire & Ice was due to release within the next month, so the game would have had to have been finalized some time back. It is entirely likely that Sanzaru shifted work to other projects because they were done with the game. Shattered Crystal was a rush job, Fire & Ice reused a lot of assets and as such was also a quick project. Why is it a problem that Sanzaru has not been working on the game for the past few months when now is the period of time for a Holiday 2015 game to be out of their hands and in SEGA's?

Let's also not forget that people do not always update their LinkedIn (it's not Facebook, people) and listing specific games is not always done due to fear of titles leaking before being announced.


As far as the concern that Fire & Ice was made with a small team, how big a team is really needed for a 3DS sequel that reuses a game engine and other assets? 

Here is my proposed timeline of events:

• Late 2014 Shattered Crystal releases, is enough of a success to warrant a sequel ("success" meaning it made more money than it took to develop).
• Late/Early 2015 - SEGA green lights a sequel and Sanzaru gets to work.
• Early 2015 - SEGA announces layoffs, restructuring, and the big move from San Fran to LA. Stephen Frost is laid off.
• Early-mid - 2015 Development continues on Fire & Ice.
• Mid 2015 - Aaron Webber and other new staff are hired and the move is completed.
• Mid 2015 - Sonic Boom Fire & Ice is announced to release late 2015.
• Mid-late 2015 - Fire & Ice is completed, Sanzaru shifts staff to other projects.
• Mid-late 2015 - SEGA Japan urges all regions to focus on quality, Aaron Webber (known for playing a part in Sonic 4 Episode 1's delay) and other staff agree that Fire & Ice needs more time. Sanzaru likely also pushed for more time.
• September 2015 - Fire & Ice delay is announced, behind the scenes dealings take place - DEVELOPMENT CANNOT SIMPLY START BACK UP. This is a business, money needs to be allocated and contracts need to be signed.
• September 2015 - Sanzaru posts to Facebook: "Happy to see Sega investing the time and money to add in the features that we feel will make the best Sonic Boom game to release alongside the popular Cartoon Network series."
• October 2015+ - Sanzaru resumes development once timetable and additional budget is sorted, all the thing Sonic Stadium worried about never were an issue.
• Early 2016 - game releases.

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I totally agree with Barry on this one. I talked to Matt from Sanzaru last year during E3 and at the time he told me Shattered Crystal pretty much 100% done outside of some touches here and there.I can only imagine the sequel was pretty well set to go when they decided to delay it. So yes, they probably haven't been working on it for months, but not due to the reasons you mentioned. It doesn't take Sanzaru very long to make a game like this. More than likely, it's a combination of things.

1. Timing - They probably want to put out as many Sonic games in the year 2016 as possible to really push the 25th anniversary.
2. Polish and additional items/levels. Sanzaru said it themselves.  "Happy to see Sega investing the time and money to add in the features that we feel will make the best Sonic Boom game to release alongside the popular Cartoon Network series."

The game was likely close to finish when I interviewed Matt Kraemer back in June. Here's the video. Start at 33:42 if it doesn't do it automatically.

I'll try and see if I can get another interview with him soon.

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