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The State of Sonic Team

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13 minutes ago, SaberX said:

Understanding? True.

But not sympathy in this case(at least not from me). They shouldn't be like "ooops, we mess up again. Don't yah worry, fans will understand. We gonna try harder next time(no promises though)".

Everything I provided in my post was on equal terms of fair criticism and understanding. If you don't want to "sympathize" that doesn't have to be applied to you, yes. But you still need to follow the rest. 

The company is fairly closed off anyways so much of our speculation on how they are "acting" can't be applied a whole lot. They are individual people on the team, not one hive mind or group think.

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I've spent 10+ years of being sympathetic, understanding, and fair to them... but expecting to actually like my most anticipated aspect of a Sonic game again after almost a decade and having that crushed really disrupted that flow for me something fierce. It's been a long time since I've felt this shitty about being a fan of 3D Sonic. Especially in a year where a heavily praised 2D Sonic and 3D Mario have come out.

It's also telling how Mario Odyssey is the first Mario game ever that I've looked at and gone "Holy shit! I actually really want that game! I knew it! I'm not crazy! I CAN like Mario! HA!"

Deep down I do still opt for the hypothetical idea that if there's a chance Sonic Team can get their shit together and recover, than I'd choose that option over seeing them drown and die off. When you're being hypothetical about something it always just makes more sense to me to wish for them to get better than for them to go away. I feel that leads to a significantly higher amount of happier people... 

However, I'm not in a position right now where I feel sorry for them at the moment. It's going to take a lot of goodwill for the stink of heavy betrayal to drain from the black hole Forces and it's narrative created in my heart this year

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18 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

I've spent 10+ years of being sympathetic, understanding, and fair to them... but expecting to actually like my most anticipated aspect of a Sonic game again after almost a decade and having that crushed really disrupted that flow for me something fierce

The reality of the attached consumerist mentality. THX 1138 is a movie I recommend to everyone for this subject on some bits of this discussion.

The comment wasn't singling you out per say, as I feel similar with the Disney Star Wars movies.

Quote

It's been a long time since I've felt this shitty about being a fan of 3D Sonic.

Because the game doesn't please you or the media bullying Sonic fans? Don't feel, think.

Quote

 

However, I'm not in a position right now where I feel sorry for them at the moment. It's going to take a lot of goodwill for the stink of heavy betrayal to drain from the black hole Forces and it's narrative created in my heart this year

 


 

 
 Come on, it's just a game. What is the point of hardening the heart over a disappointing product? The only ones who deserve to have such a emotion would be Sonic Team. I have felt sorry for them for so long and still do. Such talented people yet unable to make creative games besides Sonic titles. Yuji Naka left for a validated reason because of that(P.S I'm a firm believer that Kishimoto is a good director, just not for Sonic games on a caliber such as this. Much better with more contemporary stuff).
 
Changing the topic but Sonic Team can be the very best at making video games if Sega would let them spread their wings more, with good direction mind you.

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7 hours ago, Jar Jar Analysis 1138 said:

Because the game doesn't please you or the media bullying Sonic fans? Don't feel, think.

 
 

Both. Asking me not to feel is like asking me not to be human. I'm sorry, I'd love to not feel right now but that's not possible. It's possible to feel and think though, and I'm certain I'm managing that well enough at least.

7 hours ago, Jar Jar Analysis 1138 said:

Come on, it's just a game. What is the point of hardening the heart over a disappointing product? 

Like I've explained above and multiple times before this point, I shared a similar mentality to this for over 10 years. It's been well over a decade. Not too long ago, nay a week or so ago, I'd have been right there with you and the people who've upvoted your comment. It's not just a single game though or a single disappointing product.  It's yet another game after a long string of disappointing products. I never thought I'd hit this point but I have and I'm choosing to be honest with myself instead of pretending I'm fine. I'm certain there's people who don't like that but there's really no reason for me to just lie and say it doesn't bother me right now. 

Also, it's not like this is my reaction to LIFE or anything. This is my reaction to a game, a game series, and a development team behind them. Those are the feelings I have for them. Saying it's just a game doesn't mean much when the subject matter is about the game.

7 hours ago, Jar Jar Analysis 1138 said:

The only ones who deserve to have such a emotion would be Sonic Team. I have felt sorry for them for so long and still do. Such talented people yet unable to make creative games besides Sonic titles. Yuji Naka left for a validated reason because of that(P.S I'm a firm believer that Kishimoto is a good director, just not for Sonic games on a caliber such as this. Much better with more contemporary stuff).

 
Changing the topic but Sonic Team can be the very best at making video games if Sega would let them spread their wings more, with good direction mind you.

Well, obviously I disagree that the only ones allowed to have those emotions are Sonic Team. There are situations where I will feel sorry for a development team should the circumstances behind what's been done to them been made a bit more clear to the public in a way that I feel is understandable and warrants sympathy. For example, finding out what the deal behind Big Red Button was made me feel sorry for them a bit. Not entirely but I did pass some concern their way after learning about how horrible the development process was for them.

As it stands, I don't really have much a reason to feel sorry for Sonic Team. I can't exactly take anything on blind faith that the development team as a solid entity is worth any pity. All I can do, as a consumer, is judge their actions and what they've given me for so long and react to it based on that. Unless someone over there suddenly decides to finally get extremely honest in a way a company has never gotten before, the state of Sonic Team is something I'm currently feeling so-so on.

I keep mentioning that it's very possible I'll get over it one day but being told that I should isn't something that'll help.

This whole farce has led to a lot of bad vibes. 

Regardless, I still opt for the position that they need to get better. I prefer that over them going away. I don't want people to lose their jobs or anything like that.

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23 minutes ago, Dizcrybe said:

I think saying you feel betrayed is a bit dramatic, though.

An expression of emotion and use of specific words to describe how you feel often leads to one sounding "dramatic" regardless. That seemed as appropriate a word as any.

But Okay. I'll say that I feel "a different word for when you put your trust into someone or something for an extended period of time and they don't deliver on it, leading to a loss of respect and negative feelings surrounding their credibility". 

 

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3 minutes ago, Ming Ming Hatsune said:

Another example is not getting Lost World 2, and reverting back to boost.

Now that Forces didn't sell well, I fear that is the end of boost. Where do Sonic Team/Sega go from here? Sonic's next big game will be interesting.

The issue is not the boost gameplay, classic gameplay or even Lost World gameplay. Sonic Team are putting out games of a very low standard. They can change things up as much as they like, but very little is going to improve unless they do something about the quality. Classic gameplay in Forces? Absolutely shit. Classic gameplay in Mania? Absolutely brilliant. Personally, I think that boost games aren't the way forwards for Sonic, but there's no reason that they couldn't great. People are beginning to tire of the gimmick of "run through everything in a game that's too fast for you to actually control with cool scripted set pieces that play themselves". Sonic Team in their current state aren't really capable of doing anything better.

They need a new engine, new philosophy, good talent, more time and good direction from a team that's interested in Sonic. Sonic Team and SEGA themselves are why Forces is so lacklustre.

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He has been there since at least Sonic 3.

 

 

 

Now that I've actually read this thread a bit more closely:

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People who are praising Super Mario Odyssey and Galaxy 2 are by extension praising Sonic Team

No, they aren't. That is literally the opposite of the truth. They would be praising Sonic Team if those people had made (been allowed to make?) those sort of experiences while working at Sega. That they were poached by some other company to make something good represents a failure of Sonic Team. People don't praise the Buffalo Bills when they draft a bunch of great players and then trade them for peanuts to teams that go to the Super Bowl off with them.

 

18 hours ago, Jar Jar Analysis 1138 said:

I'm pretty sure Sonic Team also spends much of their time doing a lot of hard work to create games, probably more than their own consumers.

14 hours ago, Jar Jar Analysis 1138 said:

The company is fairly closed off anyways so much of our speculation on how they are "acting" can't be applied a whole lot.

 

 

 

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or gained(Japanese companies have a much harsher work mentality form what I understand).

Yeah, no. The videogame industry under big publishers tends to be a fairly shitty place to work in period. As far back as the mid 1980s we have detailed accounts of people being chewed up and spit out in it, even when things ultimately work out for them. We have detailed accounts in this franchise of the same thing happening, even when not working under Sega of Japan.

We don't need to draw allusions to the Japanese working culture and act like them working harder to not bring much shame (or whatever) gets Sonic Team graded on a curve compared any other Western game developer when working under a big publisher.

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I'm not sure if the future is too bright for Sonic Team. Given how success Mania has been versus Forces' lukewarm reception, this might create a speed bump for the developers. Also, can I get details on the whole SEGA changing their managing tactics that apparently happened back in 2015. Speaking of which, maybe this might help future games given the aforementioned Mania having starting developing during that year.

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4 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

Trust me, when Rise of Lyric sold terribly, they knew we exist.

This relation is still based on trust. If people lose trust in company, they stop buying games. Simple as that. Sega can't survive on hardcore fans alone.

There's no reason to even have "trust" in Sega or Sonicteam after so many failures. They are just a company at the end of the day that just care about money. There's no reason to have high expectations for the Sonic franchise anyways because I'm convinced the same thing will happen over and over again. 

And besides that Sega has other franchises to survive on that are doing better than Sonic. Of course they can't only survive off "hardcore" sonic fans.

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6 hours ago, PandaChao said:

I don't see how someone can even feel betrayed by a company that doesn't even know you exist lol. They only care about money.

Its the basic consumer-product(company) relationship. Its not unique to Sonic, nor is the idea of being a passionate consumer.

The company doesn't know Detective Mike but they definitely know "he" exists, he being the idea of a fan who is into Sonic for reasons specific to him. Its this kind of fan which has allowed Sonic to survive despite his reputation over the past twenty years. 

SEGA might be able to "survive" without Sonic in the same way that humans can survive despite climate change. A shell of their former existence, clinging to life by ever thinning threads. 

They have other IPs that are doing well but Sonic is still by far the most important IP to the brand because of the character's massive recognizable popularity. He's still, even today, a character that at first glance is immediately known by most of the world (which is part of the reason why SEGA squandering his potential is frustrating to many). If Sonic were to die, so would a huge amount of potential growth for the company.

Edited by UpCDownCLeftCRightC

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I don't think betrayal is too dramatic of a word. I don't care if they don't know I exist. I trusted them to make a fantastic game, They had 4 years-- that's a lot of time for a Sonic game-- and I really thought the next 3D Sonic would knock it out of the park. I had faith. Stupid, I know, but I did. And then they shat out the lazy, soul-less pile of garbage known as Sonic Forces. Yeah, I feel betrayed, thanks. They took my trust and ripped it into little tiny pieces and threw those pieces into a fire.

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Let me see if I can better understand the negative side of the argument. Please tell me if I got anything wrong along the way.

So you have the people who are angry. To them, Sonic Forces IS a personal slight. They wanted a game to be good and it didn't please them in the areas they were most excited for or had a direction they didn't like at all. That really really sucks.

Again, you have every right to criticize Forces and any of Sonic Team and Sega's decisions. That's not the problem. Its just well, nothing to take so personally and its certainly nothing that reflects poorly on you or your decision-making. Which I suspect is the underlying emotion of much the anger against Sonic Team and Sega-- people feel like they're stupid for creating an image of Forces that wasn't reality. Even though that doesn't make them stupid at all, only human. Its okay to be wrong about stuff. Its mature to admit it and I encourage it. Its not okay to feel like you have to compensate somehow for your prior wrongness, whether by acting like you think you're supposed to or otherwise trying to show how awful Sonic Team/Sega are for, at least implicitly, making you feel that way. That's plain obnoxious and reflects worse on you than if you didn't try to compensate for being wrong.

And I question if this conversation is really about Sonic Team's output as a whole and what it means for now and for the future, as I'll again point out that Puyo Puyo Tetris is really good and proves that Sonic Team is perfectly capable of making a good game and not imploding, and yet I'm the only person who's brought it up. Hell, maybe only a handful of people have brought up the idea that Sega has other franchises and even less have commented on it. Or if its about people's anger at Sonic Team and Sega's treatment of the franchise and what they want to happen to Sonic Team as opposed to what realistically is happening or will happen. The former makes for a great discussion, but the latter is a toxic echo chamber that will just end with everybody leaving it feeling more angry and vitriolic and long term create false expectations regarding Sonic Team that will only make the toxic negativity worse.

Or in other words, negativity is fine and valid, criticism is good, but there's a thin line between harsh constructive criticism and obnoxious destructive criticism and I know I'm not alone in not wanting to see that line get crossed.

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7 hours ago, SaberX said:

Very true.

But I understand his point and its quite common. Its consumer x trust. Once this is broken, theres no reason to buy their games anymore.

But not the drama of "oh my life is meanless"(I dont even know where that came in the first place). Simply is "another Sonic game revealed? I pass." 

And in contrast, Sega has to ask themselves why their sales are low. Thats like how every company works.

Why didnt we get Sonic 4 ep 3 instead of Mania? Thats an example.

I certainly don't ever recall saying anything about life being meaningless. In fact I remember pointing out that It wasn't that serious to somebody. SOmebody told me "It's just a game" and I responded by saying "Yeah I know. These are my feelings about the game and the development team. Not my life."

I didn't know people were going to zero-in so hard on the word betrayal though. It seemed like a natural way of expressing the dismantled trust one has to have if they're planning on supporting a video game series. It took me a minute to even remember where I said it, so being told I was being dramatic by saying it sounded a little strange.

9 hours ago, PandaChao said:

I don't see how someone can even feel betrayed by a company that doesn't even know you exist lol. They only care about money.

Oh trust me. I've already known and pointed that out before. What little care or feeling of understanding I had left that allowed me to give them the benefit of the doubt when observing what they had for me and anticipating that it might be alright is pretty much gone now. However, it's a very simple prospect to understand. Basic Consumer X Trust is a thing that has to exist in order for people to have faith in your product and play your game. If they promise certain things, if they say certain things, if they build up certain things and they don't commit to anything than that's an obstruction of that trust. I don't have much left after all this garbage so this idea that I should just continue to be sympathetic and understanding of Sonic Team is odd.

1 hour ago, Blue Blood said:

Fans invest time and money in Sonic. Sonic Team and SEGA regularly deliver sub-par games and fail to make steps to improve. Fans trust SEGA to make products that they want to support, therefore SEGA betrays trust by not caring.

"Betrayal" is not over-dramatic. SEGA CEO Haruki Satomi said as much in 2015 that they betrayed the trust of their fans. SEGA took a four-year break from making mainline Sonic games themselves after Lost World in 2013. In that time...

1) They still released Rise of Lyric, which was a total disaster.

2) Their American branch started going wild on social media, which conveyed a sense of confidence that seems ill-deserved in hindsight. 

3) They started working with a group of fans to release Sonic Mania, which put all of their own work in the past 15 years to shame.

4) They said that they were going to focus on quality to win back fans trust. This came from the then-new CEO at SEGA, the parent company to Sonic Team. You can expect that it would apply to everything they wanted to put out, particularly from their flagship series.

When Forces rolled around after so long, not only did it show that they had learned little in their extended break, it also showed that everything they said had been little more than lip service. Forces hit an especially dull note because the lack of effort is so blatant. It's almost objectively worse than Generations and Colours, and tries to piggyback off of the success of those games. It specifically does a lot of things that nobody wanted, like being a majorly 2D game masquerading as 3D and relying yet again on nostalgia. Many things that were issues going back to games like Sonic 4 and Colours (seven years old at this point) or even even prior games have still yet to be addressed. It shows a huge disconnect between SEGA/Sonic Team and fans of the series. The only thing that Forces did "right" was the inclusion of the avatar, which I still think was poorly implemented and just tried to cheaply bank on customisation that's so popular in games right now.

So no, SEGA and Sonic Team have most definitely "betrayed trust". They don't deliver what they promise, and they refuse to do better.

Yeah. I agree.

 

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2 hours ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

Its the basic consumer-product(company) relationship. Its not unique to Sonic, nor is the idea of being a passionate consumer.

The company doesn't know Detective Mike but they definitely know "he" exists, he being the idea of a fan who is into Sonic for reasons specific to him. Its this kind of fan which has allowed Sonic to survive despite his reputation over the past twenty years. 

SEGA might be able to "survive" without Sonic in the same way that humans can survive despite climate change. A shell of their former existence, clinging to life by ever thinning threads. 

They have other IPs that are doing well but Sonic is still by far the most important IP to the brand because of the character's massive recognizable popularity. He's still, even today, a character that at first glance is immediately known by most of the world (which is part of the reason why SEGA squandering his potential is frustrating to many). If Sonic were to die, so would a huge amount of potential growth for the company.

Honestly, looking at the state of the franchise and the care put into it...Sonic didn't need to survive and it's sad. The franchise is just for profit. Like a for profit college. They don't care what quality is put into the games, just as long as they have your money. 

While it's true that Sonic is one of tge most important IP to Sega, I just dislike how some people act like Sonic is the sole Franchise keeping Sega afloat. As a matter a fact I actually want Sega to take a long hiatus away from Sonic and focus on other IPs, because it seems as though they don't have any passion for Sonic.

30 minutes ago, Dr. Detective Mike said:

 

Oh trust me. I've already known and pointed that out before. What little care or feeling of understanding I had left that allowed me to give them the benefit of the doubt when observing what they had for me and anticipating that it might be alright is pretty much gone now. However, it's a very simple prospect to understand. Basic Consumer X Trust is a thing that has to exist in order for people to have faith in your product and play your game. If they promise certain things, if they say certain things, if they build up certain things and they don't commit to anything than that's an obstruction of that trust. I don't have much left after all this garbage so this idea that I should just continue to be sympathetic and understanding of Sonic Team is odd.

 

 

They have done this many times, yet we still have people being optimistic about the every single Sonic game coming out lmao. When will they stop falling for it? Sega/Sonicteam can promise alot of things to wheel in consumers but when the game comes out it's a underwhelming experience most of the time. Look how many people were excited for Forces only to be disappointed. They failed to see the red flags because they put too much faith into Sonicteam. It's Sonicteam dammit lmao!

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After watching the livestreams, I’m glad I didn’t pre-order the game. Instead I bought Sonic Forces on eBay, pre-owned!

I’m not giving Sega my money if they can only make Sonic games that are So Okay it’s Average instead of something like Mario Odyssey or Ratchet & Clank ‘16; a very good or great 3D platformer! 

I don’t know what the hell is going to happen to Sonic Team after the Sonic Forces misstep, but they’re going to need a BIG shake up in the team (a good one!) or take a looong break from Sonic and work on something else, like that Samba de Amigo game that Nakamura mentioned a while back. 

Oh, and let Christian Whitehead and his team work on that Sonic Mania sequel already! 

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39 minutes ago, Gabz Girl said:

After watching the livestreams, I’m glad I didn’t pre-order the game. Instead I bought Sonic Forces on eBay, pre-owned!

I’m not giving Sega my money if they can only make Sonic games that are So Okay it’s Average instead of something like Mario Odyssey or Ratchet & Clank ‘16; a very good or great 3D platformer! 

I don’t know what the hell is going to happen to Sonic Team after the Sonic Forces misstep, but they’re going to need a BIG shake up in the team (a good one!) or take a looong break from Sonic and work on something else, like that Samba de Amigo game that Nakamura mentioned a while back. 

Oh, and let Christian Whitehead and his team work on that Sonic Mania sequel already! 

No not a sequel, with how well Mania came out against Forces they deserve to do a numbered sequel. They should do Sonic 5

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