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Am I the only one who hates how Sonic Team embraces their Memes?


Artsy-Aspie
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Artsy-Aspie

Before I say anything, this is the first time I've done a forum here. So if this violates anything you can remove this. Okay now that that's out of the way I suppose I'll start burning a bridge. 

I hate how the team behind Sonic, or at least on their social media platforms on Twitter and Facebook seem to fully embrace the memes that have been created by the fanbase.
I don't understand why Sonic Team has to use memes and forced jokes about their 'valuable intellectual property'. 
Of course, it is nice that they interact with fans by acknowledging the jokes made by them, it shows that they are willing to form a connection with fans.
But I don't think it's right for a company as big as SEGA and a franchise as big and as reputable as Sonic the Hedgehog should be trying to interact with them by making a mockery of their own franchise. It just makes the series feel all the more laughable to outsiders who don't like the Sonic franchise. 
And before you all go, "You're just a big stick in the mud." yes, I know I am, I hate memes in general. I think they're mostly meaningless tripe, but I just feel it's foolish for them to be acting this childish for lack of a better world.
I am sorry, I shouldn't be rambling on about this, but I wanted to see if I was the only one who thought this or not. 

Okay so, feel free to call me out. 

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I see what you mean. I feel like Sonic Team including the Sanic shirt DLC was a step too far. It's not wrong to lampshade your series' faults, but you should try to fix them as well. This is my problem with some of the Boom episodes in that they lampshade how lazy the writing can be, but don't try to fix it.

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Artsy-Aspie
2 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

What makes Sonic look like shit to people outside the series isn't the memes, it's the product being shit. Some jokes on Twitter aren't actually going to do any harm to the series, and I'd rather they have people with a sense of humor and some modesty and a willingness to acknowledge the series' mistakes over someone soulless and dull pretending that everything is fine.

Yeah. That's perfectly understandable. 
It is pretty infuriating when a company pretends there's nothing wrong with a product. We see that all the time with Game devs now. 
But another issue with SEGA I find is that they acknowledge their criticisms yes, but they don' really do anything about them. 
We've all seen fans complain time after time about something, whether it be the 3D to 2D sections, the unnecessary gimmicks or more recently the false advertising in Sonic Forces (or Forced as I jokingly call it) over elements such as Chaos and Super Sonic. They have acknowledged and/or addressed issues like these in the past, but not doing anything about them or half fixing the problem is still going to attract criticism. 
If anything it actually makes them worse. How can a company know what their problems are and still make them over and over again? 

But do agree with you. Not many game developers address their fans like this. So it is nice to see. 

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UpCDownCLeftCRightC

No I actually agree with you to a degree. I do appreciate people like Webber who keep fan interaction high and acknowledge past mistakes....but for me, you can go too far in self-deprecating humor when you don't take corrective steps. And over the few years or so, they have not done much outside of Mania (which largely was not Sonic Team) to ensure that consumers can trust Sonic as a brand again. At some point...well, it already is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and not one that I think is good long term. It reeks of desperation because they don't know how to successfully manage the brand....which by the way Sonic's recognition is still colossal even after his many missteps.

Even when the quality of the games improve on average, I would keep the self-deprecating jokes to a minimum. I do think it is actively hurting sales, because there are many people who do not trust the games quality (at least Modern Sonic games) who might otherwise give them a shot. If anyone doesn't think this played some role in Forces relatively  'weak' charting performance (compared to Mania) even though released within months of each other and at peak season, then they should think again.

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11 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

There's a lot of times that the Sonic twitter runs jokes into the ground, ones that weren't really funny to begin with (I actively groan anytime "sanic" is brought up at this point). 

Or how in many of the Live streams after the Amy and Stick staycation episode, they constantly joked about the Sonic doll whenever the Boom sections came up.

11 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

"We're still relevant damnit!".

Language aside, this does recap the problems I tend to have with the series' recent direction, especially at with the social media and Boom.

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Artsy-Aspie
11 minutes ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

No I actually agree with you to a degree. I do appreciate people like Webber who keep fan interaction high and acknowledge past mistakes....but for me, you can go too far in self-deprecating humor when you don't take corrective steps. And over the few years or so, they have not done much outside of Mania (which largely was not Sonic Team) to ensure that consumers can trust Sonic as a brand again. At some point...well, it already is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and not one that I think is good long term. It reeks of desperation because they don't know how to successfully manage the brand....which by the way Sonic's recognition is still colossal even after his many missteps.

Even when the quality of the games improve on average, I would keep the self-deprecating jokes to a minimum. I do think it is actively hurting sales, because there are many people who do not trust the games quality (at least Modern Sonic games) who might otherwise give them a shot. If anyone doesn't think this played some role in Forces relatively  'weak' charting performance (compared to Mania) even though released within months of each other and at peak season, then they should think again.

I find it could potentially hurt their chances of getting new people into the series. Maybe.
With so many young people using the internet nowdays they're obviously going to stumble upon the Sonic memes on sites like Twitter, but while I'm sure most kids will probably laugh with them, I'm sure there would be those more mature newcomers who would be completely turned off by the fact that they're seemingly mocking themselves. 

It just feels counterproductive. 

13 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

I'm personally fine with the Sonic social media outlets engaging with the community through memes. Some of them can be pretty funny, or charming in their own way. The Cooking with Eggman videos for example or the Big game stuff. That said, I can get some of your frustration. There's a lot of times that the Sonic twitter runs jokes into the ground, ones that weren't really funny to begin with (I actively groan anytime "sanic" is brought up at this point). 

While obviously the quality of games also have an impact, there's a fine line between laughing at yourself and acknowledging the silliness in your own product, and flat out making yourself into a laughing stock that makes it hard to really care about a series. Stuff like the Big game, or the April Fool's day lines and jokes in that demo is something that was clearly made with the idea of laughing with the series. Mentioning things that fans actively laugh at, poke fun at, and such but not in a hateful or spiteful mocking sense, I suppose. Stuff like Sanic however is something I'd find pretty awful because not only is it the poster boy of "LEL SANIC IS SUCH A FUCKING MEME GOTTA GO FAAAAST" but it's just not very funny as a joke. Oh, wow it's badly drawn memememe sonic, haaaa. 

But even with all that said, it doesn't bother me as much. Stuff like putting Sanic shirts into Forces, even as a free DLC? That's the part where I actively have to shake my head and just chringe at how godawful the memes are and realize how desperate SEGA want to be - as TV Tropes would put it - "We're still relevant damnit!". 

That said, I find the memes and jokes at least more good than bad, so take that as you will. At best, it's harmless, at worse it's chringy.  I'd take them being good more than bad over just having a boring social media that just posts to say about deals and new game announcements. Plus, I have to give props to Aaron for how much work he puts into fan engagement. Stuff like getting Mike and Roger to actually answer questions and such in character on occasion is something that would require a lot of effort and love for the community on his part.

TL;DR - They're harmless. Some of the memes are absolutely godawful (Sanic) and I hate when they work their way into the games. That said, there's more good than bad and I appreciate the absolute effort Aaron places in to engage with the community and be apart of it. 

Yeah, I hate most Sonic memes in general. Sanic, Gotta go Fast, Da wae, and Damn 4th Chaos emerald are just a few that just irk me. 
I think you'd have to be pretty childish or not caring to find those funny. 
But yeah, for the most part I think they're harmless enough. But they're overstepping their boundaries a little bit.It does go a little too far when they make DLC out of said memes (like seriously, Sanic t-shirts? Did they seriously do that).

 

And yes, I HATE Gotta Go Fast (The Japanese theme is so much better in my opinion)!

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UpCDownCLeftCRightC
17 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

While obviously the quality of games also have an impact, there's a fine line between laughing at yourself and acknowledging the silliness in your own product, and flat out making yourself into a laughing stock that makes it hard to really care about a series. 

At best, it's harmless, at worse it's chringy.  

You seem to argue that they're doing more good than bad but this implies that they're actually doing more bad than good. I think that is probably the case with the Modern series of games. It doesn't have to be, of course, because they could simply make better games and then people will more easily ignore previous mistakes. But when they continue to make mediocre games and then constantly remind everyone how they haven't seem to learn any important lessons all this time....then they should not be surprised when consumers say (as they often did leading up to Sonic Forces release):

"Sonic Team hasn't learned anything".

At some level, they're telling us directly they haven't when they don't fix the issue. We should take them at their word and stick to the obviously superior Mania series. And to no ones surprise, consumers have often done that since August.

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Ryannumber1Santa
1 minute ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

You seem to argue that they're doing more good than bad but this implies that they're actually doing more bad than good. I think that is probably the case with the Modern series of games. It doesn't have to be, of course, because they could simply make better games and then people will more easily ignore previous mistakes. But when they continue to make mediocre games and then constantly remind everyone how they haven't seem to learn any important lessons all this time....then they should not be surprised when consumers say (as they often did leading up to Sonic Forces release):

"Sonic Team hasn't learned anything".

At some level, they're telling us directly they haven't when they don't fix the issue. We should take them at their word and stick to the obviously superior Mania series. And to no ones surprise, consumers have largely done that since August.

And that has nothing to do with my point. I'm not arguing for the quality of their games, nor am I arguing for the lessons learned on Sonic Team's part. This is an incorrect title as this isn't run directly by SEGA of Japan or Sonic Team - It's done through their community manager Aaron Webber and he's the one who ultimately posts and makes these jokes with the obvious approval of SEGA of America/Europe. 

Trying to use these memes as a way to claim this and that on Sonic Team doesn't make sense because they ultimately don't have an impact on their developmental cycles. Forces' issues aren't to be blamed because of a twitter account making a few jokes at the series' expense (Other than the Sanic shirts in Forces' DLC at least). I think it's been pretty well documented at this point that the developmental issues on Forces was due to the wrong team and director being placed on it, as well as mishandling the time they were given in order to create the game. 

And don't misquote what I said - I said they deliver good/funnier memes than bad memes, not "they do more good for the series than bad". All they'd be doing if the memes didn't exist here would be limiting community outreach and not gathering any kind of good will among fans while the same issues exist in the games. Opinion on memes withstanding - at least making an effort to communicate to your fanbase, interact and partake in their jokes/fun is a good way to gather good will, especially when Aaron goes the extra mile of getting long lost concept art from the series, getting the actual VAs to do community projects and more. Aaron's handling of social media isn't going to effect how Japanese teams develop their products, but he can at the very least gather good will by working hard to interact with fans.

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UpCDownCLeftCRightC
10 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

And that has nothing to do with my point ---

And don't misquote what I said --- 

I understood your point just fine. I quoted you to show you how what you argued can work against it using your own reasoning.

I agree with some of your earlier points, as I mentioned in my first post in this thread. Aaron's fan outreach is a very positive ting for the franchise and is not something every company does, especially to the extent that he does. Ultimately the quality of the games will play a big factor in how well they do in sales but marketing is perhaps equally important, at times even moreso (Sonic on the megadrive: "blast processing"..."faster than Mario" gameplay...these marketing pitches are why we're even here discussing this). And the sonic social media gives a ton of exposure to the franchise, even though it is already well known, and does help to keep Sonic relevant. It can easily be posited based on the most basic principles, that them constantly reminding everyone of Sonic's rough history of game quality while concurrently not fixing the issue, can and will have negative effects of the brand. This not their intent, because they don't set out to make bad games, but it is what happens when they do. I don't think we need to dig much for proof of this....

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MetalSkulkBane

I'm really tired of Sonic memes (heck, most memes), I just learn to live with them. I don't follow Sonic Twitter, but Archie comics were FILLED with them. And I bet IDW won't be any different.

I think my biggest problem with memes is that they are used as shortcut for something good. You know, instead of coming up with actual joke, you're just repeating old meme and BOOM, you did great job.

(Granted it is possible to use meme in original creative way. Sadly, it's exception rather then a rule).

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Ryannumber1Santa
1 minute ago, UpCDownCLeftCRightC said:

I understood your point just fine. I quoted you to show you how what you argued can work against it using your own reasoning.

I agree with some of your earlier points, as I mentioned in my first post in this thread. Aaron's fan outreach is a very positive ting for the franchise and is not something every company does, especially to the extent that he does. Ultimately the quality of the games will play a big factor in how well they do in sales but marketing is perhaps equally important, at times even moreso. And the sonic social media gives a ton of exposure to the franchise, even though it is already well known, and does help to keep Sonic relevant. It can easily be posited based on the most basic principles, that them constantly reminding everyone of Sonic's rough history of game quality while concurrently not fixing the issue, can and will have negative effects of the brand. This not their intent, because they don't set out to make bad games, but it is what happens when they do. I don't think we need to dig much for proof of this....

That doesn't really matter however. Them not bringing up their own spotty history isn't going to mean jack-shit because they're already infamous enough as is. They're going to be brought up no matter what happens and no matter what game happens - if it's connected to a past failure, people will bring it up. At least if they do so through a means of comedy they at least look like they're somewhat comfortable with their past failures and willing to own up to them.

Again, it's not really fair to bring up Sonic Team not learning from their mistakes as a thing because they don't control the Twitter account. Aaron is the one who does so and he works for SEGA of America IIRC, and he's unconnected largely to Sonic Team as a developmental house. 

You're right, you don't need to dig much proof up of this, because we already know how infamous the bad games are. I very much doubt Aaron acknowledging them and having fun with the fact is going to do much harm other than make SEGA look comfortable with it's failures and not trying to hide them out of shame - owning up to it. I'd get the point more if it's malicious jokes that flat out mock the quality of the series and such, but simply joking at games' expense doesn't really mean much.

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Artsy-Aspie
1 minute ago, MetalSkulkBane said:

I'm really tired of Sonic memes (heck, most memes), I just learn to live with them. I don't follow Sonic Twitter, but Archie comics were FILLED with them. And I bet IDW won't be any different.

I think my biggest problem with memes is that they are used as shortcut for something good. You know, instead of coming up with actual joke, you're just repeating old meme and BOOM, you did great job.

(Granted it is possible to use meme in original creative way. Sadly, it's exception rather then a rule).

They need to have something important and meaningful to convey. Otherwise, yeah, they are repetitive and vapid. 

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The Tenth Doctor

I'm tired of the Twitter. The idiotic jokes and the stupid clues that lead to NOTHING. Not to mention how out of touch they are with anywhere that isn't America just makes me roll my eyes when someone talks about them. I hate how I'm going to have to give them attention to watch Mania Adventures.

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UpCDownCLeftCRightC
1 minute ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

That doesn't really matter however. Them not bringing up their own spotty history isn't going to mean jack-shit because they're already infamous enough as is. They're going to be brought up no matter what happens and no matter what game happens - if it's connected to a past failure, people will bring it up. At least if they do so through a means of comedy they at least look like they're somewhat comfortable with their past failures and willing to own up to them.

Again, it's not really fair to bring up Sonic Team not learning from their mistakes as a thing because they don't control the Twitter account. Aaron is the one who does so and he works for SEGA of America IIRC, and he's unconnected largely to Sonic Team as a developmental house. 

You're right, you don't need to dig much proof up of this, because we already know how infamous the bad games are. I very much doubt Aaron acknowledging them and having fun with the fact is going to do much harm other than make SEGA look comfortable with it's failures and not trying to hide them out of shame - owning up to it. I'd get the point more if it's malicious jokes that flat out mock the quality of the series and such, but simply joking at games' expense doesn't really mean much.

Marketing always plays a role and a current one, no matter how big or small a brand is. Its why billions of dollars are spent on marketing every year. Certainly you don't believe McDonalds reached a point decades ago in which they believed they were too big to fail? No company will because no company is. They all can have blunders....and they can either help or hurt themselves by correcting for those blunders. SEGA's entire marketcap is a drop in the bucket compared to much larger companies who absolutely care about their history of their products.

No Aaron has little to do with Sonic Team in terms of the actual game development but they absolutely work hand in hand as a company. The dev team makes the games, and Sonic social media, along with paid advertisements, market the games. The difference here is that social media has become vital to marketing over the past ten years...and is crucial to engagement with consumers and the like. So why would anyone believe that, in public interactions with consumers, that constantly harping on about past mistakes and then NOT fixing them, would have no effect on the performance of the brand?

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1 hour ago, Diogenes said:

What makes Sonic look like shit to people outside the series isn't the memes, it's the product being shit. Some jokes on Twitter aren't actually going to do any harm to the series, and I'd rather they have people with a sense of humor and some modesty and a willingness to acknowledge the series' mistakes over someone soulless and dull pretending that everything is fine.

An awareness that it's shit just makes them look even worse, because there's active knowledge of the problems but an unwillingness to fix them.

I don't mind a bit of levity, but the seriess tendency to just make fun of itself now without really fixing anything is grating, personally. I'd rather them at least own what they're making or talk more about the good parts.

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1 minute ago, Josh said:

An awareness that it's shit just makes them look even worse, because there's active knowledge of the problems but an unwillingness to fix them.

I don't mind a bit of levity, but the seriess tendency to just make fun of itself now without really fixing anything is grating, personally. I'd rather them at least own what they're making or talk more about the good parts.

How is the PR team in any position to fix anything though? They dont have anything to do with maaking the games shitty 

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I mean, when you outright include a Sanic T-shirt in your own game, I think that goes far, far beyond simply the PR team's problem.

EDIT: Just noticed that this topic is in the SAGE subforum. Moving to regular discussion.

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1 minute ago, Soniman said:

How is the PR team in any position to fix anything though? They dont have anything to do with maaking the games shitty 

They represent the franchise as a whole even if they're not technically to blame for the problems. They should be more in sync with the dev team. It's just not a good look for the Sonic brand, as a whole, to release subpar products and then point out that they're subpar on social media. 

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UpCDownCLeftCRightC
1 minute ago, Soniman said:

How is the PR team in any position to fix anything though? They dont have anything to do with maaking the games shitty 

They aren't in a position to fix anything. But they can still hurt the company when the devs screw up, by continuing to talk about how the devs screwed up. 

Its not their fault but it doesn't matter because we're still asked to buy games from the company. And since we can't trust them because they have constantly demonstrated that we can't, them also reminding us of it is hurting them in the long run.

Again, I do think the social media can be a very positive thing and I welcome Aaron and his team's efforts to engage fans and beyond. But the self-deprecating memes can definitely go too far in the negative direction when the devs clearly aren't on track.

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Do the PR team make fun of any of Sonic's bad games outside of decade(s) old stuff like R,  Sonic 06 and Shadow and whatever? Things way past the point of relevancy so its no real harm in taking the pisss out of them on occasoin since everyone else does anyway?

Like if they were making jokes about how shitty Forces was that'd be one thing sicne the game is new, but they havent really?

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UpCDownCLeftCRightC
2 minutes ago, Soniman said:

Do the PR team make fun of any of Sonic's bad games outside of decade(s) old stuff like R,  Sonic 06 and Shadow and whatever? Things way past the point of relevancy so its no real harm in taking the pisss out of them on occasoin since everyone else does anyway?

Like if they were making jokes about how shitty Forces was that'd be one thing sicne the game is new, but they havent really?

Let's not forget Boom...

And it still matters when they design games that not only recall memorable elements of those old games, but push them to the forefront. Don't you think that the inclusion of things like Infinite as an "egdelord" (just one example), immediately draws a connection to that SA2, Shadow, '06 era of Sonic games that still even today is derided? That was a heavy part of the marketing for Forces, along with the 'totally serious' story which, like before, turned out to be a dud. Surely you see how that can harm their efforts when they joke about those kinds of things on twitter....when the game comes out and gets "mediocre at best" reviews? It makes people think nothing has changed with Sonic Team, regardless of how true that may or may not be. 

 

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8 minutes ago, Soniman said:

Do the PR team make fun of any of Sonic's bad games outside of decade(s) old stuff like R,  Sonic 06 and Shadow and whatever? Things way past the point of relevancy so its no real harm in taking the pisss out of them on occasoin since everyone else does anyway?

Like if they were making jokes about how shitty Forces was that'd be one thing sicne the game is new, but they havent really?

 THey didn't directly call out Sonic Forces but they were kind of dancing around it up until release with the edgy and OC jokes. It's kind of jarring with how sincerely the game believes in the OC concept that the PR team is taking the piss and intentionally making and referencing "cringe" ones.

 

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