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Wraith

New Sonic Games Delayed to 2022

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1 hour ago, Wraith said:

As a Sonic fan...yeah I do miss the bigger projects, but it ultimately wasn't a healthy direction for the series so I understand how they got here.

By this, do you mean the approach to the bigger projects wasn't a healthy direction, or rather that making big Sonic games itself wasn't a healthy direction?

 

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1 minute ago, HPX said:

By this, do you mean the approach to the bigger projects wasn't a healthy direction, or rather that making big Sonic games itself wasn't a healthy direction?

 

The approach.

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2 minutes ago, Wraith said:

The approach.

Gotcha.

And like I said, while I can understand the mindset behind this franchise's decisions, I think it's ultimately hurting the core of it by refusing to commit to something more substantial, and frankly more sustainable again. 

I don't think Sonic necessarily merits the resources of like a Ubisoft game, and it's hard to really know how much support Sonic games get from SEGA. But I'm always very conscious of the fact that SA2 was made by a team of less than half of what SA1 had. 

Granted, game dev has changed a lot and as I understand it, tech is a lot more demanding the higher fidelity things get. But I really do think it's a matter of management and clear vision that genuinely understands the IP and why people liked it in the first place. 

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Well, you can also argue that making (big) Sonic games is unsustainable.  

Sonic stages in general requires asset use/production that is probably is one of the least cost-effective one out there, if it has to match today's growing player expectations.

It's a tough spot to be in.

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45 minutes ago, FlameStream said:

Well, you can also argue that making (big) Sonic games is unsustainable.  

Sonic stages in general requires asset use/production that is probably is one of the least cost-effective one out there, if it has to match today's growing player expectations.

It's a tough spot to be in.

Is there an interview or something from no less then 10 years ago that can confirm this? Because I really find it hard to believe a current gen Sonic game would be less worth the money or more difficult to create then the AAA developer games we've been getting so far. 

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No, we don't have official confirmation, but that's honestly out of the realm of possibilities. 
There's no way in the world that a PR spokeperson would say "yeah this thing we did once is too good to be done again", but also it's clear that at the very very least SEGA sees no reason to have high budget Sonic games anymore.

If anything you can see they tried to optimize their workflow by using copy and paste assets in Colours, Lost World and Forces. All three of those games have very few original assets for each stage and they're just placed all over the place, maybe horizontally inverted or w/e, kinda like Sonic 4 EP I and II do it.

 

There's a good chance that mainline Sonic games don't sell as well as SEGA would like them to, they don't move more than 1.5m units on launch, and that's the most important time for budgeting cause that's when most of the money comes in.

To give you some perspective, the series from Nintendo that we define as niche such as Pikmin, Arms, Metroid and what have you, all sold at least double that amount even on failing consoles such as the GC and Wii U.

Sonic is widely known and fairly popular, but that doesn't translate in sales with the games, so the budgets don't grow. I have a feeling that the series is mostly still alive for all the side stuff like tv shows and merch, rather than games themselves.

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8 hours ago, HPX said:

Let's not forget that while Mania sold well, it didn't sell that well compared to other games that year.

To be fair, it also probably didn’t cost as much to make as many other games did.  Remember that it’s developers started out as hobbyist Rom-hackers and fangame developers; that’s a good barometer for the workload involved and also of how ready they are to do it.  You could also take a look at the credits for the Genesis Sonic games; not too many people there.

And sales figures notwithstanding, SEGA has been rather keen on promoting Classic Sonic as an important sub-series, so that we haven’t even had another game like that is rather surprising.  Especially given that it’s now Sonic’s anniversary.

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1 hour ago, FlameStream said:

Well, you can also argue that making (big) Sonic games is unsustainable.

Boost games, for sure. They were always going to be a dead-end design wise if Forces is any indication. And it is. 

Which is why they need to reevaluate Sonic's original design and evolve it to actually reintroduce some nuance and player creativity to explore levels again. Multiple characters are also an economic way of getting the most out of level design.

There's ample precedent for adding value to Sonic games, it's only encumbent on the developers to remember and care.

Of course, they could just as well come up with entirely new ways to add value and meaningful length.

 

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It’s funny how people keep saying Sega doesn’t care about Sonic anymore, they’re incapable of making a good game or they’re afraid of fan reactions. All of this is an exaggeration.

We will definitely get an announcement sooner than later. I’m not expecting anything until June 23rd or after. We might even get a trailer of some kind or at least something like art and details about the new game.

I know it’s annoying waiting and speculating but people are just trying to make something out of Sega not saying anything yet when it actually well within reasonable time.

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3 hours ago, Wildcat said:

It’s funny how people keep saying Sega doesn’t care about Sonic anymore, they’re incapable of making a good game or they’re afraid of fan reactions. All of this is an exaggeration.

We will definitely get an announcement sooner than later. I’m not expecting anything until June 23rd or after. We might even get a trailer of some kind or at least something like art and details about the new game.

I know it’s annoying waiting and speculating but people are just trying to make something out of Sega not saying anything yet when it actually well within reasonable time.

I agree that the whole "SEGA doesn't care about Sonic" is a bit of an exaggeration because if SEGA seriously didn't care about Sonic anymore, then they would have announced by now that they are going to cut off all ties with the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and focus on other games they are making.  Although to be fair, it's great that SEGA is focusing on the Yakuza series as well because I always believed that SEGA needed to have more successful games under their belt besides Sonic to keep the company afloat, just like how Nintendo don't just have Mario, but they also have Kirby, Donkey Kong and Zelda to rely on for profits.  Also, if SEGA didn't care about Sonic, then why are they promoting the movies and the TV shows, when they are connected to Sonic?

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I'm not joining the pessimism train. There was supposed to be an announcement of some sort last year, and the event got canceled due to covid, the announcements were already delayed to this year, the game got already delayed. The worst case I can see is that it got slightly delayed again to release close to the new movie and ride its likely success, but that's it. Last time the movie came out in February, I can see the second movie releasing around the same time frame if not earlier (I don't know if there are official dates yet). If the game releases in January/February, we will definitely recieve trailers and info this E3, the anniversary day, or in the worst case around September. Also, there is Colors, spin offs and the rumored 2D game, so announcements will definitely come soon.

Sonic Prime and the movie sequel are also 2022 products and we already know about them, even if the game releases in 2022 we will know about it soon as well.

Unless they signed some deal with Nintendo to not show anything until a direct drops; that would explain the lack of informations, since Nitnendo started to apply the same strategy on their games as well (they say nothing until the new game is 1 month away from release). But IMO this is less likely. Despite having a logo and a set of dedicated artworks and posters, they are not even celebrating the anniversary yet, SEGA is clearly waiting for the anniversary day to start the actual celebrations. The only anniversary thing we know about so far is the announcement of the IDW classic special that will release later this year.

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Yeah, I agree actually, I apologize for having been "annoyed/frustrated", besides the fact that I understand SEGA's situation right now, I also still expect them to release a couple of things this year, and even announce some of the stuff coming in 2022.

Don't go in panic mode.

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Sonic 2 releases April 8th.

I just get tired of seeing people say stuff like Sega doesn’t know how to run the franchise anymore and the games have been going down for a long time. It’s just hyperbole imo.

I understand why people were disappointed by Forces. My only issues were it being too easy and too short. I also felt this way about Colors and Generations but I still enjoyed all 3 for what they were. The notion that the series is in such disarray that it needs “saving” is really exaggerated to me.

Mania was great but now a lot of people are making it out to be the best Sonic game since Adventure I guess and other developers should be in charge now because Sega is apparently too incompetent.

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The game may release with the movie, but it could also easily take the holiday spot next year. If you're going to delay anyway, might as well take the full year to work on it, right? In that case I don't think there's really a reason to drop a trailer at E3. I could be wrong since they revealed Forces so early, but that went over so poorly that I don't know if they'll do something like that again.

 

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I dunno. I don’t really think the Forces reveal being so early really went down badly at all, at least to me. Never been sure what people meant when they said that, unless it’s about it not living up to expectations? But that’s an issue that would’ve happened regardless of if that trailer dropped a year before or a month before.

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The only real issue I saw with the Forces trailer, in hindsight anyway, is just the lack of communicating what it even was. It was mostly about recapturing the goodwill from Generations practically beat for beat with a pretty concept trailer. It's especially kind of jarring because they were so upfront about Mania, which was announced the same night (and I admit I was kinda bitter about the trailer because Mania had the classic trio back together and Project 2017 was just "look, it's Sonic and Sonic teaming up... again!"). I get that the game probably didn't really start getting work done until after that trailer was shown though.

My only real hope is if there is something next month (whether that's E3 or the anniversary--my guess is Colors will be in Nintendo's Direct at E3 and Sega holds off anything else for their own thing later) that it just has a bit more substance than a concept trailer and we kind of know what we're in for. I'm not too picky about when it releases, though I agree with a holiday release just in the hopes of it maximizing their time.

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The Forces reveal trailer was... fine? Like, I know some people got super antsy about the fact that we heard nothing between the teaser in August the gameplay reveal at Comic Con in March, but that was fine. Mania was the focus of all attention because it was coming first, and Forces would be the main event once Mania was out/almost out. Don't forget that Mania was supposed to come out in Spring before it was delayed until the summer, so Forces' was full revealed not long before Mania's original release date. It was fine because we had something of a roadmap of what to expect from Sonic in 2017.

In hindsight, the Forces reveal trailer was problematic for harping on about "from the people who brought you Sonic Colours and Sonic Generations" because that was demonstrably false outside of a few Sonic Team mainstays. But announcing the game in that way if that information was true? Sure, no problem at all because they announced Mania at the same time and that was the focus of at attention for a while as it was out first. As soon as SEGA started showing off gameplay, particularly when we saw lots of independent footage at trade shows and SEGA put up footage on YouTube, they didn't try to hide the fact that the game looked like crap. 

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Alright, clarification time since bias apparently colored that last point: most people thought revealing Forces early was fine, but I didn't. I hate CGI reveal trailers and I'd rather them not commit to anything until the game is close to completion.

There was also like, the obvious shitstorm over Classic Sonic that got forgotten about when the OC caused a bigger one I guess.

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Honest to god I wouldn’t mind a CGI trailer for once, if the concept presented in it was interesting at least. Some gameplay would be preferred for suuure, but I’d also be down with having something to chew on and wonder about it for a little while as they wait til later to show the game in a more finished state.

Speculation is part of the fun of game reveal rollout lol.

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I don't really think Forces was revealed too early, Forces' issue was there was so little game to actually showcase that SEGA didn't put any effort into showing anything. We were literally getting the same gameplay '''reveals''' of Sunset Heights less than a few weeks before Forces dropped. Forces' marketing period felt far worse because we were barely getting any gameplay, what gameplay we did get was reused over and over again, and then they memed on us by dropping Green Hill Zone, along with Classic's garbage gameplay as the biggest "reveal" after months of waiting following the Sunset Heights showcase.

Forces (and Mania, and TSR as well) all had really bad marketing periods, solely because SEGA just didn't know when to market it. We didn't even find out we were getting a Switch port of Mania until the eleventh hour.

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Forces was also in a weird spot. We know that they spent most of the time developing the hedgehog engine and the game had less than 2 years of development time. I'm all for SEGA taking their time but I'm don't want us waiting for years only to have another game where they basically released another game leaving us where the rest of it was.

Team Sonic Racing while a spinoff also had the same issue as well. And from what I was told the latest Olympics title felt like that as well unless somebody else can vouch for it. But hey we'll see what happens hopefully it'll be good

 

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On 5/3/2021 at 11:44 PM, Dr. Detective Mike said:

If they're gone for half a decade and we end up with another Forces, that'll be the official word on it being time to give up.

That'd honestly feel almost worse than the time during the mid-2000s where they were relentlessly pumping out game after game after game all in the span of a single year.

Some of those were good and all of them had more replay value than Forces if you actually liked whatever game it was.

This opposite period where things are taking longer, there's less playtime, less characters, less story, and no update to the art-style or art-direction just feels worse.

I know I shouldn't have to choose between the two but at this point I think I've lost the last fuck I can give so I'll just say it; I'd gladly play another Shadow the Hedgehog if the only alternative was another game where its most interesting feature was the fact that it technically functioned well.

Maybe one day I'll regret saying that. I left the monkey's paw in the other room so I didn't see if it curled or not but they've made these 2.5D Sonic games so boring now. I can't stand it.

Worst case scenario is a game that’s somehow both (see also Rise of Lyric, and Forces borders on this) unambitious and nonfunctional, or the games being Legends 3’d into non-existence (which could lead to something like a “Red Ash” equivalent for Balan Wonderland), the latter of which I feel is more likely. (Well, at least it hasn’t ended up like Bomberman, Goemon, Earthworm Jim, and Rayman yet...)

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5 hours ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Forces (and Mania, and TSR as well) all had really bad marketing periods, solely because SEGA just didn't know when to market it. We didn't even find out we were getting a Switch port of Mania until the eleventh hour.

The Switch version of Mania was announced back in January 2017. A while after the original reveal which listed the PS4/XBO/PC platforms (since TBH, the Switch hadn't even been announced by then); but Mania was originally set for a tentative Spring date before it was delayed to August. Unless you're thinking of another game, I don't think that's really cutting it close.

As for marketing, I'd say the issue is less not knowing when to market, and more not having a budget to market anything and not knowing what to do with the little that you have. I get the impression that there's no real marketing plan in place with how much radio silence that's been broadcast since the Boom fallout; barring the occasional silhouette teaser, cryptic hint, and spoonful of meaningful news. And as much as I've been vocal in criticizing that "strategy" over the past few years, I don't completely blame them for relying on those crutches--Sega has largely given up on advertising Sonic games to the mainstream as of the 2015 restructure. 

5 hours ago, Dejimon11 said:

Forces was also in a weird spot. We know that they spent most of the time developing the hedgehog engine and the game had less than 2 years of development time. I'm all for SEGA taking their time but I'm don't want us waiting for years only to have another game where they basically released another game leaving us where the rest of it was.

Hedgehog Engine 2 development/conceptual development only took up the first year of production, the next three years were spent working on the game. Second and third year of Forces' production was handled by a small team though; with the game entering "full production" for its fourth and final year.

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29 minutes ago, Milo said:

The Switch version of Mania was announced back in January 2017. A while after the original reveal which listed the PS4/XBO/PC platforms (since TBH, the Switch hadn't even been announced by then); but Mania was originally set for a tentative Spring date before it was delayed to August. Unless you're thinking of another game, I don't think that's really cutting it close.

I thought it was March or April in which Mania Switch was revealed, but it's probably the delayed release date throwing me off a bit. 

Still though, it doesn't really alter my point, I don't even think it's a matter of budget either. SEGA still had the money to throw around on marketing their games, they just didn't place it in the right spots. Forces still got a ton of coverage prior to the release of the game, the issue is that they never used that coverage to show anything actually new. As I said, we were getting major gaming events leading up to Forces' reveal, and they were still showing and attempting to hype up the same one minute and 30 second Sunset Heights stage.

Mania levels were usually shadowdropped randomly out of the blue on the way up to release, and TSR apparently had the cash to get coverage, host largescale influencer events, and even cart both The Completionist and Arin Hanson over to Japan, all expenses paid, and with massive perks, like touring the SEGA studios, and meeting Jun Senoue, yet instead of actual reveals, they were intent on just throwing up random OSTs with a blurred JPEG of the stage in question, and both Arin, and the Completionist sounded absolutely unenthused about promoting TSR, even after the massive expense burnt on them both. 

Arguably the Influencer event in which both Caddicarus, Antdude, and many others attended was the most successful, because that event actually got people talking about the game, and got actually enthusiastic responses from the people who attended them, to the point Caddicarus and Antdude got into a rivalry over the game, and the results of that tournament. That was arguably a really good marketing event for the game.

That's the big issue, it's not really as if to say SEGA don't have the budget to market, they clearly do if they can organise such huge events and promotional stunts to get good word of mouth, but the problem is they tend to be absolutely baffingly terrible. I still legitimately don't understand how anyone could think it's a good idea to get the man who's made a chunk of his career out of his infamous hatred for Sonic, and the same person who's intentionally picked worse, buggier versions of the games solely for the purpose of making them look worse in front of their audience, and then fly that person - all expenses paid - in a vain attempt to get an enthusiastic endorsement from him. 

Putting the effort into getting spots in events and other places for gameplay, just to show the exact same level off over and over again also isn't particularly good either. It's frankly pretty damn tone-deaf and a really bad idea in general. Generations' marketing wasn't super good, but that at least had a steady stream of new levels being revealed up towards release, plus a decent early reveal, and two demos to get the public hyped up for it. 

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