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What if the Sonic the Hedgehog Franchise stopped being made?

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I know.  GASP! SHOCK!  This is not the question you want to ask Sonic fans!

But, what if there was a scenario where SEGA just up and decided to not make anymore Sonic the Hedgehog games?  Would this affect the gaming community as a whole or would the fanbase do everything in their power to bring this franchise back?

For me, I don't see Sonic the Hedgehog going anywhere any time soon.  I mean sure, this franchise had hit a lot of low points during its run, but it does have a massive fanbase that will fight tooth and nail to make sure this franchise succeeds.  Also, since the movie proved to be a huge success, it would be wrong for SEGA to suddenly pull the plug on the franchise just when it seems like the franchise is seeing new popularity again.

 

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If Sega announced that they are done making Sonic games - and they never would, they would at least want to leave open the possibility of a Crash/Spyro style revival down the line - it would generate headlines in major gaming outlets. But the fact is that Sonic games have barely made any noise in a decade. Sonic Forces was released on the heels of a game that won universal praise, and it couldn't do more than generate a collective shrug by the broader game community. The positive feelings this series generate evaporate quickly in market that is more competitive than ever, and the "LOL SONIC WAS ALWAYS BAD" meme market is already oversaturated. Sonic is little more than a curiosity (or an overused punchline...) at this point to most people, and so they would move on with their lives very quickly.

Fortunately, I agree that it is unlikely that Sonic is going anywhere anytime soon. The series still rakes in money - in multiple formats, no less - and so Sega still has incentive to keep the lights on.

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37 minutes ago, Cosmos Rogue said:

If Sega announced that they are done making Sonic games - and they never would, they would at least want to leave open the possibility of a Crash/Spyro style revival down the line - it would generate headlines in major gaming outlets. But the fact is that Sonic games have barely made any noise in a decade. Sonic Forces was released on the heels of a game that won universal praise, and it couldn't do more than generate a collective shrug by the broader game community. The positive feelings this series generate evaporate quickly in market that is more competitive than ever, and the "LOL SONIC WAS ALWAYS BAD" meme market is already oversaturated. Sonic is little more than a curiosity (or an overused punchline...) at this point to most people, and so they would move on with their lives very quickly.

Fortunately, I agree that it is unlikely that Sonic is going anywhere anytime soon. The series still rakes in money - in multiple formats, no less - and so Sega still has incentive to keep the lights on.

I guess with that being said, do you think that people will eventually stop saying that "Sonic was Always Bad" if the games eventually get better?

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It depends on how much that is something they actually believe, and how much is performative clickbait. The former group will believe what they believe, while the latter will have to move on to some other low hanging fruit or face diminishing returns. That said, if a generation of kids grow up with unquestionably good Sonic games - and contrary to what a lot of Sonic fans believe, most people (including critics!) are willing to give this series a fair shot - then someday the mainstream narrative about Sonic will shift in a positive direction.

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Then I'd play something else. Anyway it's not very likely because as much as fans want to believe the worst Sonic is not doing that badly. Didn't Forces perform surprisingly well?

Anyway it's Sega's flagship franchise and honestly they have several others to fall back on. 

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1 hour ago, SBR2 said:

Then I'd play something else. Anyway it's not very likely because as much as fans want to believe the worst Sonic is not doing that badly. Didn't Forces perform surprisingly well?

Anyway it's Sega's flagship franchise and honestly they have several others to fall back on. 

Yeah, like SEGA is currently doing the Yakuza series and if they want to, they could hold off on a Sonic game until they find the right story and gameplay to implement into the games to satisfy the fans.

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4 hours ago, Cosmos Rogue said:

If Sega announced that they are done making Sonic games - and they never would, they would at least want to leave open the possibility of a Crash/Spyro style revival down the line - it would generate headlines in major gaming outlets. But the fact is that Sonic games have barely made any noise in a decade. Sonic Forces was released on the heels of a game that won universal praise, and it couldn't do more than generate a collective shrug by the broader game community. The positive feelings this series generate evaporate quickly in market that is more competitive than ever, and the "LOL SONIC WAS ALWAYS BAD" meme market is already oversaturated. Sonic is little more than a curiosity (or an overused punchline...) at this point to most people, and so they would move on with their lives very quickly.

Fortunately, I agree that it is unlikely that Sonic is going anywhere anytime soon. The series still rakes in money - in multiple formats, no less - and so Sega still has incentive to keep the lights on.

Indeed, Sonic still makes SEGA money, and that isn't really surprising.  Despite many fans opining that the main series hasn't had a good game in a decade, if not more, the fans remain fans because the older good games haven't really gone anywhere.  Almost all of them not only are still available, thanks to SEGA going third-party, the rise of mobile gaming and the near domination of digital distribution, these games are more available than ever, and cheaper too.  It's still possible for fans to go back and play Sonic 1, Sonic Adventure 2, etc, and it's also possible for people to play them for the first time; many of whom weren't even born yet when they premiered.  Sonic fans will always exist so long as at least some Sonic games they always enjoy exist, so obviously SEGA will capitalize on them.

The question, though, is whether SEGA chooses to do so in any way beyond those that take almost no investment.  People have been illegally duplicating and downloading ROMs for free for decades, so it was only a matter of time before companies figured they could do that legitimately for a profit, and they were right.  Selling another copy of most Sonic games is now all benefit and no cost to SEGA because unlike cartridges or discs, making a copy of a ROM is completely free.  Likewise, once they have a free-to-play but real-money-purchase-filled mobile game ready to go, it costs SEGA little to no money to dig up a model they made for another game and stick it in.  Sonic might well be reduced to these sorts of releases because unlike with ambitious titles like 06, there is no real cost of failure; merely the benefit of success, even if it's only a little bit of success.

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It is amazing to contemplate how many, whether they are single level demos or various lengths of complete games, additional Sonic game experiences have been made by fans over the years!!   Every game series at this point has its share especially in terms of reconstructing the older 8 and 16-bit titles via computers, but Sonic is near the absolute top i would have to guess! 

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14 hours ago, Scritch the Cat said:

Indeed, Sonic still makes SEGA money, and that isn't really surprising.  Despite many fans opining that the main series hasn't had a good game in a decade, if not more, the fans remain fans because the older good games haven't really gone anywhere. 

Plus an important thing that most fans never take into account is kids still play these games. It doesn't matter how much the fans talk about how bad things are kids are still playing the games and still loving them.

Plus the movie has introduced Sonic to more kids. I know the movie is the first version of Sonic that my cousins kids havery seen and they liked it a lot (though apparently not enough to take me up on my offer to let them borrow the cartoons off me. And her daughter didn't really like Jim Carrey Robotnik but whatever) so there's new fans made everyday and no matter how bad we may think a game is it's someone's favorite. 

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If the Sonic franchise had ended in 2004, it would probably on the whole have been fondly remembered despite already having made questionable steps. The good would have vasty outweighed the bad. If it were to end now however... it would already be way way way to late to save the series reputation. An entire generation of gamers have grown up with the idea that Sonic is cringy and terrible and has a cringy and terrible fanbase. I'm sorry to have to put it that way, but that is the image associated with the series. I swear to god, I can't count the number of times I've casualy mentioned Sonic in online conversation and some young whippersnappers spontaneus reply have been something like "Sanic is the cringiest thing in all of gaming!". Sigh.

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4 minutes ago, batson said:

If the Sonic franchise had ended in 2004, it would probably on the whole have been fondly remembered despite already having made questionable steps. The good would have vasty outweighed the bad. If it were to end now however... it would already be way way way to late to save the series reputation. An entire generation of gamers have grown up with the idea that Sonic is cringy and terrible and has a cringy and terrible fanbase. I'm sorry to have to put it that way, but that is the image associated with the series. I swear to god, I can't count the number of times I've casualy mentioned Sonic in online conversation and some young whippersnappers spontaneus reply have been something like "Sanic is the cringiest thing in all of gaming!". Sigh.

I agree.  If SEGA were to end the Sonic franchise, they would really need to work hard on regaining Sonic's reputation in the gaming world again and that could take years to do.

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6 minutes ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

I agree.  If SEGA were to end the Sonic franchise, they would really need to work hard on regaining Sonic's reputation in the gaming world again and that could take years to do.

Indeed. Honestly, this might sound excessive, but I believe that in order for Sega to truly build up Sonic's reputation again they would need to make great games consistently for somewhere around 10-15 years, in other words long enough for en entire new generation of gamers to grow up in an era where Sonic games are acclaimed as opposed to mocked.

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3 minutes ago, batson said:

Indeed. Honestly, this might sound excessive, but I believe that in order for Sega to truly build up Sonic's reputation again they would need to make great games consistently for somewhere around 10-15 years, in other words long enough for en entire new generation of gamers to grow up in an era where Sonic games are acclaimed as opposed to mocked.

I definitely agree with this!  The question is though is how can SEGA keep up the good quality games every year?  Sometimes it can be hard to make good games each year without slowing down.

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Sega needs to do a better job managing the release schedule than they have been in the past decade, but yearly releases are not practical, desirable, or necessary at this point. Colors and Generations were released one year apart from each other, as were Lost World and Rise of Lyric. Worse, Forces was released just three months after Mania! Yearly releases create competition within your own franchise. At best, both games are well received but one outshines the other and the lesser title fades from the public's mind. At worst, you pump out two more bad games that confirm many people's priors that Sonic is a trash series - and if the series is producing annually poor games, who can argue otherwise?

If Sega can get to a point where a new Sonic platformer is coming out every 2 or 3 years, ideally cycling through the many different styles of games the series has produced over the years, then I think Sonic will be in a good place. Presuming the quality improves, natch.

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14 hours ago, Cosmos Rogue said:

Sega needs to do a better job managing the release schedule than they have been in the past decade, but yearly releases are not practical, desirable, or necessary at this point. Colors and Generations were released one year apart from each other, as were Lost World and Rise of Lyric. Worse, Forces was released just three months after Mania! Yearly releases create competition within your own franchise. At best, both games are well received but one outshines the other and the lesser title fades from the public's mind. At worst, you pump out two more bad games that confirm many people's priors that Sonic is a trash series - and if the series is producing annually poor games, who can argue otherwise?

If Sega can get to a point where a new Sonic platformer is coming out every 2 or 3 years, ideally cycling through the many different styles of games the series has produced over the years, then I think Sonic will be in a good place. Presuming the quality improves, natch.

I agree with this!  I think one of the many issues that SEGA has right now is that they keep on pushing out games so fast without really taking the time to see if the game is developed well or not.  When you are pushing out games so fast like this, that means that you don't have the time to really fix any kind of mistakes within the game, whether it's the gameplay or the story and you end up putting out a half finished product in the market.  That's pretty much what happened with Sonic Forces when they tried to rush out that game without trying to fix any kind of mistakes within that game.  I think that if SEGA started taking their time with the Sonic games and not rush them out, they would be in a better position.

 

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I would be crying My eyeballs out for Sonic. I have a passion for all sonic games, even the so called "Bad Ones"

By the way:

RIP: SEGA Dreamcast.❤️😢

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8 hours ago, Superessaay2 said:

I would be crying My eyeballs out for Sonic. I have a passion for all sonic games, even the so called "Bad Ones"

By the way:

RIP: SEGA Dreamcast.❤️😢

Sonic, and SEGA forever in my heart.

Note to, that SEGA is doing well with the Sonic Movie, as well

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On 5/7/2021 at 9:03 PM, Rabbitearsblog said:

I guess with that being said, do you think that people will eventually stop saying that "Sonic was Always Bad" if the games eventually get better?

Of course not. Since 06, mainstream gamers and critics have said that regardless of what game was being made, be it Rush, Unleashed, Black Knight, Colors, Generations, Lost World, Forces, or Mania

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15 minutes ago, CertifiedNobody said:

Of course not. Since 06, mainstream gamers and critics have said that regardless of what game was being made, be it Rush, Unleashed, Black Knight, Colors, Generations, Lost World, Forces, or Mania

If you mean like we will still have haters anyway even if the games are good because there are people out there who will always hate Sonic the Hedgehog no matter what, then I do agree with that.  Even Mario and Pokemon got some haters despite the games doing well.

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On 5/8/2021 at 1:24 PM, batson said:

If the Sonic franchise had ended in 2004, it would probably on the whole have been fondly remembered despite already having made questionable steps. The good would have vasty outweighed the bad. If it were to end now however... it would already be way way way to late to save the series reputation. An entire generation of gamers have grown up with the idea that Sonic is cringy and terrible and has a cringy and terrible fanbase. I'm sorry to have to put it that way, but that is the image associated with the series. I swear to god, I can't count the number of times I've casualy mentioned Sonic in online conversation and some young whippersnappers spontaneus reply have been something like "Sanic is the cringiest thing in all of gaming!". Sigh.

It's kind of ironic that for a brief point, people expected it to retire even earlier.  Sonic was invented to secure SEGA's role in the console market, and with them exiting the market, it was a logical extensionn that Sonic would die with it.  In fact, in many ways Sonic Adventure 2 feels kind of like it was written to be the end of the series.  But of course, history went differently when SEGA decided to port it to Gamecube less than a year after its release, and in a twist that I suspect surprised many, Nintendo fans loved it.  About that time much of the gaming press turned against the Adventure series but it was such a big hit, as were other ports, that I wouldn't be surprised to learn that there were actually more Sonic fans then than there were in the Genesis era.  Maybe not as many who thought the series was the coolest ever, but there were a lot of people who liked Sonic and obviously SEGA was going to strike that hot iron if at all possible.

In retrospect, though, their attempts were messy.  You really have to hand it to SEGA; they were one of the most aggressively experimental game companies and this led them to a number of firsts, such as expansion packs and online play, but it cost them, too.  SEGA didn't seem to have a clear vision of what it intended Sonic to be in the Adventure era, and it seems kind of like it bet a lot on people loving Sonic's world enough that they'd buy things in it, regardless of their quality, tone or gameplay mechanics.  Maybe that was more true back when Sonic games were on the technical cutting edge, but in the early 2000s, not so much.  There were already murmurs and debates about whether SEGA remembered what Sonic "should" be back when SA2B was the hip new game, but when Shadow the Hedgehog got revealed, that's when a lot more people came to conclude that considering oneself a Sonic fan didn't mandate them to buy everything Sonic, as doing so would go against the ideals of the "true" Sonic.  Of course 06 also didn't help, as it convinced people that even if doing a game whose concept they'd made work before, they couldn't be trusted to deliver.  The really sad thing, though, is that even if the game went on to be assailed by Sonic fans and Sonic detractor's alike, people were fooled long enough that it sold well.

And that's probably the big factor here: It doesn't really matter how much hatred Sonic gets, unless Sonic gets so much hatred that all of SEGA suffers financially from its reputation.  Apparently, there was a big enough concern about that for SEGA to pull 06 from sale but hardly the whole series.  Again, critics were bashing SA2B even as it was topping the Players' Choice list.  There is still clearly enough profit motive to keep this series afloat even with its naysayers.  The one question I have is whether SEGA feels secure enough in its profits to experiment and risk riling up critics.

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