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What if the sonic franchise was put up for sale by sega?


edgeyhedgey
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Who would buy it? Nintendo? Disney (ugh)? What would exactly happen to the Franchise? Would it be made better or worse? Would there be more games or other forms of sonic media? Would it succeed more? Would there be better Quality control?  Would it make comic or tv show characters be in the games?  There are so many dang ways something like this would go, and I would like to see if anybody has some ideas on how this could go down.

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I'm sure many people would like Nintendo to own the series, and I can understand why, but I don't think it's a good idea. If nothing else it would be a death sentence for the fangame community. I wouldn't mind seeing Namco take control, though admittedly that's partly because of my desire for a Sonic/Klonoa crossover.

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5 hours ago, A person, that exists said:

Well, certainly not Nintendo.

They already have a fuck ton of platformer mascots, why add another one to the pile? 

And if they will, then it will have the same fate that StarFox had: spinoff cameos and a remaster here and there.

Well, it'd be twofold. They'd make a fairly large amount of money from making what will likely be good Sonic games, and the idea of Nintendo making new Sonic games would probably bring in both old reluctant buyers and newer curious ones. The problem is that they wouldn't make Sonic games very often. But Sonic is definitely more popular than Star Fox, Metroid or F-Zero, but Sonic wouldn't be on an equal footing compared to Mario or Zelda.

Second, it'd be symbolic in that Nintendo pretty much completely won over Sega, to the point where they own their most valuable IP. That translates into bragging rights, which may or may not make Nintendo more of a Video game icon than it already is.

I doubt it'd ever happen. Sonic will die whenever Sega dies besides maybe fan projects.

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As a business, that would be an incredibly stupid idea SEGA will definitely not do. Even despite the quality of the games, which really just falls onto Sonic Team, Sonic is a money maker and an icon. They wouldn't sell that franchise for the world.

That makes it impossible for me to imagine what such a situation would look like. I don't know who'd buy it, I don't know what would change, I don't know how the quality would be, because I can't see such a thing happening.

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Realistically Sega won't sell the Sonic series to anyone when they are still alive and will keep it until Sega as a whole goes under, its worth too much for them. Even if and when it happens, their policy would have been that it goes to the creators so it would have been Ohshima (Arzest) and Yuji Naka (who is part of Square Enix now) if given the option. If they aren't around, then whoever is in command at Sonic Team so possibly Iizuka.

Since Sega is a Japanese company, no Western company would buy it since they are most likely not allowed to and even if a Japanese company was involved, they would have to buy Sega as a whole. Then again if theorical company buys Sega and has enough money to do so, will they use Sonic? Anyone could buy it, Toei could make anime and license the games to Bandai Namco or themselves use it as an odd mobile app. Sony could have Sega as a games company to bridge the West and East with better management. Konami won't touch Sega over a barge pole. A racing team or Nissin noodles could use Sonic as a mascot. It might also most likely get abandoned like a lot of old stuff in the past or completely reinvented and the fans if any left will complain.

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In order for them to even think about selling Sonic, they'd have to be in such deep trouble that not even their biggest cash cow(s) will save them from their struggles.

And if that happened, well, that would mean Sega as a whole is unlikely to be much for the world anyways.

As long as they're doing at least okay, I think they'll sell one of their other properties before selling Sonic is even in the cards.

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To echo everyone else, I can't see Sega selling the Sonic IP on its own. If at some point Sega became more successful overall to attract the eye of a larger company or conversely did so poorly it put itself up for market, I could see a company buying Sega, but not Sonic on its own. The Sonic IP would be one of the incentives to purchasing Sega for example.

As someone who doesn't follow where Sega stands in the market and therefore how much influence they have nowadays, I have no idea how likely it would be for Sega to be bought out by another company at this time. I also don't know what businesses Sega does well at that might be seen as benefits from a purchase and what companies would want those benefits. From what little I've gleaned, I believe Sega does well in arcade gaming in Japan (or at least, they did at one point), and their PC titles are also rather strong. Not to mention in addition to legacy titles like Sonic, they also have the ATLUS properties going for them which seem successful.

But again, I don't really know what I'm talking about. For the sake of the thread, I'll at least say that the two companies that immediately leap to mind as seeing the Sonic IP as an asset right now are Nintendo and Paramount. Nintendo has made a habit of interacting with the Sonic IP at this point - with Sonic's inclusion in the Wii and Wii U Smash Bros. games, the Mario & Sonic series, and of course the exclusivity deal that resulted in Lost World and Rise of Lyric. Nintendo clearly sees Sonic as worth the energy to promote and I'm sure the series would continue under Nintendo ownership. Would we see a multitude of spin offs like Mania and the likely upcoming racing title? That would depend on how profitable the series was. If it cranked out Mario, Pokemon, or Fire Emblem numbers, probably. If not, it'd probably be a "one or two games per generation" like their other stable of titles - Metroid, Star Fox, Pikmin, etc. Given those brands remain popular though, that's not meant to be a knock against such a position.

Paramount is obviously riding on the success of that movie. If the movie comes out and bombs, I imagine they'd remove themselves from the picture. But if it were successful, or perhaps more importantly if the merch surrounding the film makes bank, they become a lot more invested in the Sonic IP's future. If the Sonic film does well, it's possible Paramount might try to extend their relationship with Sega over their other properties - Sega have said they're interested in reviving their IPs in multimedia form. Viacom doesn't have a video game division, so it's possible a healthy and successful Sega like I mentioned earlier could be seen as a way for them to enter that market.

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10 hours ago, Sgt Nate V said:

Also, if Nintendo got ahold of Sonic, they would DMCA all fangames and delist everything that Taxman and Stealth worked on.

This remains a significant misrepresentation of Nintendo's fairly tolerant position on fangames, and I think it would be useful to once again cover why it's incorrect.

The rare fangames Nintendo have ever gone after have either been direct piracies of their own material (AM2R, that multiplayer SM64 and the browser version of Zelda, etc.), are getting enough publicity to directly compete with upcoming releases (AM2R most notably as well as all of the other previous and Pokemon Uranium, which you'd think were officially licensed products the way gaming news sites treated them), or had the possibility to financially benefit their creators (Game Jolt fangames, I believe also some Patreon stuff).  Meanwhile, Mario Fan Games Galaxy is happily sitting untouched with literally thousands of Mario fangames - and that's not to mention all the rom hacking sites, which, even if rom hacks are in a legal grey area, Nintendo could absolutely target for their use of copyrighted assets if they really wanted to.  (Instead, they threw their own hat into the ring with Super Mario Maker.)

As for the suggestion that Nintendo would object to Taxman and Stealth, that's unlikely, too, given that all of their work for Sega went through official and legitimate business channels; they weren't fangamers who just happened to be hired by Sega, they made formal business pitches which were accepted.  This isn't a dissimilar process to how Metroid: Samus Returns got off the ground; MercurySteam were preparing a pitch for a remake of Metroid Fusion, Nintendo caught wind of it and came to them to ask for a remake of Metroid 2 instead.  (It's not quite the same thing, but it's a charmingly naive story that Ittle Dew was actually pitched to Nintendo as a Zelda game; Nintendo politely told the developer that they weren't accepting pitches for Zelda but he could release it as his own IP, obvious similarities and all.)

So, what would happen if Nintendo were to get hold of Sonic?  I suspect the fangaming scene would continue to tick along as it is at present, but Nintendo would probably be open to further outside pitches along the lines of Mania, if they weren't actively seeking out third-party developers themselves.  At best we might get more Manias, at worst we might get more Booms.  It's not so different to Sega's ownership, in that respect.

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4 hours ago, GentlemanX said:

As someone who doesn't follow where Sega stands in the market and therefore how much influence they have nowadays, I have no idea how likely it would be for Sega to be bought out by another company at this time. 

Well, it has happened once in the past, hence why they're now called SEGA-Sammy technically.

Actually, being passed between investors (or a non-game publishing company) is an alternative option to being sold to a publisher I guess, since it's not just a game developer.

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