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What if the Sonic the Hedgehog Franchise stopped being made?


Rabbitearsblog
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Rabbitearsblog
8 hours ago, Scritch the Cat said:

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.

I do wonder though how would SEGA rile up the critics?  By insulting them within the games or doing things that the critics didn't want (even though that's happening now, somewhat with the recent games).

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Scritch the Cat
15 hours ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

I do wonder though how would SEGA rile up the critics?  By insulting them within the games or doing things that the critics didn't want (even though that's happening now, somewhat with the recent games).

I may have been somewhat hyperbolic when I said critics would be riled up.  Maybe they'd give off that interpretation, but then a lot of game critics seem to be into trolling to some degree or other, so who knows what they really think or how passionate they are about those opinions?  It's easy to get genuinely angry at a game so badly made that it is accidentally very difficult to play, and I felt that about 06 constantly; as did many gamers and critics.  Hell; the same is true of the level Security Hall in SA2 for many people.  But with a creative decision some people don't like, such as, say, giving a playable character slot to Cream in Sonic Battle instead of Espio, the worst I and many could feel is disappointed.  Even if it convinces us not to buy a whole game, a choice people don't like won't usually make them mad.

There are exceptions, naturally.  I, like many people, got outright mad at the original ending of River City Girls, because it really did feel like an insult to the Kunio series and its fans, especially since it utilized meta-humor based on logic that many fans understood was not valid.  I only got really heated about it when debating it online and explaining to its defenders why it was so wretched, and to be fair Wayforward did patch the game so people could unlock a better ending by completing the post-game content.  Their metahumor is still there and still shit, though.  A big part of the issue in that case is, the game was a massive hit and many people felt wary of such metahumor and bastardization of characters seeping into the rest of the series if fans didn't put their foot down. 

And yeah; I think there are good times and places to put one's foot down angrily at the Sonic series, too.  I didn't pitch a fit when SEGA boasted about how there were no other playable characters in Sonic 4: Episode I, but I did feel very insulted, as did many fans, including those who weren't keen on a lot of the Adventure era editions but still considered playable Tails and Knuckles a vital part of the classic series, and so I would have boycotted the game in anger, but at the time I was already boycotting the whole series after 06, as I was not going to trust SEGA not to botch games yet again.  Lo and behold, this proved a wise policy when they did, in fact, botch the mechanics of STH4EI, despite only having to program one character.

With critics, though, when they have crossed the line to declaring that Sonic was never good, their opinion should be irrelevant to SEGA.  And again, it's impossible to know how much of that is genuine opinion or just being trendy.  But if they're back to "Sonic was only good in the Genesis era", well so far SEGA hasn't done much to address that since Sonic Mania.  If critics are still hating on the Adventure era, arguably SEGA is getting bolder against them in that they're calling back to that era more in TSR, the IDW series and cartoons, but that doesn't necessarily mean a whole lot, as those are for people who love Sonic enough to consume things that aren't games.

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Rabbitearsblog
On 5/12/2021 at 9:16 PM, Scritch the Cat said:

With critics, though, when they have crossed the line to declaring that Sonic was never good, their opinion should be irrelevant to SEGA.  And again, it's impossible to know how much of that is genuine opinion or just being trendy.  But if they're back to "Sonic was only good in the Genesis era", well so far SEGA hasn't done much to address that since Sonic Mania.  If critics are still hating on the Adventure era, arguably SEGA is getting bolder against them in that they're calling back to that era more in TSR, the IDW series and cartoons, but that doesn't necessarily mean a whole lot, as those are for people who love Sonic enough to consume things that aren't games.

Also, whenever critics say that a franchise is never good, that means that they haven't even bothered playing the games, which should be a warning sign to SEGA that these critics' words are not meant to be taken seriously and they should only listen to the critics whose opinions are actually valid, like their statements could be the gameplay was terrible or the characters were terribly written. Something that SEGA can easily fix.

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Scritch the Cat
On 5/17/2021 at 12:56 PM, Rabbitearsblog said:

Also, whenever critics say that a franchise is never good, that means that they haven't even bothered playing the games, which should be a warning sign to SEGA that these critics' words are not meant to be taken seriously and they should only listen to the critics whose opinions are actually valid, like their statements could be the gameplay was terrible or the characters were terribly written. Something that SEGA can easily fix.

It is objectively true that Sonic games were, at some points in the past, technical milestones.  A critic who has given a lot of Sonic games a chance might be able to form the sincere opinion that Sonic was never fun, but it's hard to believe such critics are sincere unless that has always been their opinion; as with people who weren't even born yet when Sonic debuted.  Those who say Sonic was never good who also said in the past that it was good, are probably doing so just because it has become fashionable to mock Sonic. 

Profit motive should not be ignored either.  Another standout example of critics changing their tune is the company Rareware.  While they were a wildly successful developer for Nintendo, critics hardly ever criticized them.  After migrating to Microsoft and finding it hard to recreate that success, critics started to mock more and more Rareware games of the past.  Almost every Rare game that was loved at the time has entered lists of most overrated games, and a few, like Donkey Kong 64, have entered "never good" status for a wide number of people.  With game magazines being stuffed with ads from developers and relying on that industry doing well to succeed themselves, there's a financial incentive not to bite the hands that feed them, so I suppose critics didn't want to say much to irritate the most popular developers or their fans.  Some may even have been caught up in the hype themselves.   Of course, any critic who admits this would likely lose any credibility if continuing to be a critic.

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Rabbitearsblog
16 minutes ago, Scritch the Cat said:

It is objectively true that Sonic games were, at some points in the past, technical milestones.  A critic who has given a lot of Sonic games a chance might be able to form the sincere opinion that Sonic was never fun, but it's hard to believe such critics are sincere unless that has always been their opinion; as with people who weren't even born yet when Sonic debuted.  Those who say Sonic was never good who also said in the past that it was good, are probably doing so just because it has become fashionable to mock Sonic. 

Profit motive should not be ignored either.  Another standout example of critics changing their tune is the company Rareware.  While they were a wildly successful developer for Nintendo, critics hardly ever criticized them.  After migrating to Microsoft and finding it hard to recreate that success, critics started to mock more and more Rareware games of the past.  Almost every Rare game that was loved at the time has entered lists of most overrated games, and a few, like Donkey Kong 64, have entered "never good" status for a wide number of people.  With game magazines being stuffed with ads from developers and relying on that industry doing well to succeed themselves, there's a financial incentive not to bite the hands that feed them, so I suppose critics didn't want to say much to irritate the most popular developers or their fans.  Some may even have been caught up in the hype themselves.   Of course, any critic who admits this would likely lose any credibility if continuing to be a critic.

I'm guessing that's why IGN took down their ratings of Sonic Unleashed because they either didn't finish playing the game, so their ratings would have been invalid at that point or some of them have played it recently and decided to change their opinions about the game.

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Shadow Chaos Control

If it stopped being made we would still have all our cherished memories and games we played. 
 

However, I believe they won’t stop being made. Sonic in Wreck it Ralph and his own feature film ‘20 showed there is still a place for the Blue Blur to beat in the hearts of a new generation. 
 

Sonic is here to stay. 

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Rabbitearsblog
14 hours ago, Zoomzeta said:

Never. And if they did, it would just be an extended break.

I can definitely see this happening.  Like, we haven't gotten a new Sonic game for years, until Sonic Rangers anyway.  And Sonic is SEGA's bread and butter, whether they like it or not.

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Scritch the Cat
7 minutes ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

I can definitely see this happening.  Like, we haven't gotten a new Sonic game for years, until Sonic Rangers anyway.  And Sonic is SEGA's bread and butter, whether they like it or not.

Is it really?  I haven't seen sales figures, so is Sonic really that important to SEGA at a time when they have things like Yakuza and Persona to make them rich?

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KingMario05

They wouldn't call it quits. Hell... if they wouldn't make new games, someone else would. Sony and Microsoft aren't the smartest tools in the shed, but both would absolutely jump in to take over the franchise if Sega decided to stop.

Spoiler

My money would be on MS being the more likely candidate to perform such a takeover. They have no platformers outside of Psychonauts (which is niche) and the Rare duo (whom they refuse to bring back... for some reason). Nabbing Sonic would deliver a massive shot in the arm to Game Pass' rather weak family selection, which is exactly the kind of growth Microsoft is after. Combine this with the fact that they bought both Halo AND Gears off of their original devs, and it'd make perfect sense.

Still, Sony shouldn't be counted out in such a fight. All of the above benefits for Game Pass would also immediately apply to PS5, and gaming is far more critical to Sony's bottom line. Plus, Ratchet & Sackboy are getting kinda lonely over there.

But Sega won't decide to suddenly stop making Sonic games. Why?

The same reason why Sony or MS (or even someone new, like ViacomCBS) would want it: It's a fuckin' cash cowRise of Lyric is the only Sonic game to have out-and-out bombed... even Forces moved a ton of copies, and that was before it hit PS Plus. Combine this with a ton of merch, a budding movie franchise, and one of the greatest comic book legacies this side of Marvel/DC, and it's easy to see why Sonic stays alive.

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Shadow Chaos Control
3 hours ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

I can definitely see this happening.  Like, we haven't gotten a new Sonic game for years, until Sonic Rangers anyway.  And Sonic is SEGA's bread and butter, whether they like it or not.

My hope is the 30th Anniversary response has reinvigorated SEGA’s zeal to make some great games. 

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Rabbitearsblog
11 minutes ago, Shadow Chaos Control said:

My hope is the 30th Anniversary response has reinvigorated SEGA’s zeal to make some great games. 

I hope so too.  The symphony has shown how many people had enjoyed the franchise over the years, especially its music.

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Shadow Chaos Control
2 minutes ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

I hope so too.  The symphony has shown how many people had enjoyed the franchise over the years, especially its music.

Indeed. Crush 40 and the other bands were my introduction to rock. I use to play the SA2 Album over and over. 

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When I completed Sonic Adventure 2 knowing the Dreamcast was on its last legs, and seeing "A new day brings new adventure. But for now... rest easy heroes" I was so down about it possibly being the end. Hopefully I'll never have another moment like that in my lifetime. 

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Rabbitearsblog
34 minutes ago, Stasis said:

When I completed Sonic Adventure 2 knowing the Dreamcast was on its last legs, and seeing "A new day brings new adventure. But for now... rest easy heroes" I was so down about it possibly being the end. Hopefully I'll never have another moment like that in my lifetime. 

Oh yeah! I actually thought that that was the end of the franchise right there!

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Shadow Chaos Control
21 hours ago, Stasis said:

When I completed Sonic Adventure 2 knowing the Dreamcast was on its last legs, and seeing "A new day brings new adventure. But for now... rest easy heroes" I was so down about it possibly being the end. Hopefully I'll never have another moment like that in my lifetime. 

It would have been a glorious end to stop the franchise at SA2. But I am glad it wasn’t, otherwise no Sonic Heroes, and Shadow The Hedgehog Game. 

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Rabbitearsblog
2 hours ago, Shadow Chaos Control said:

It would have been a glorious end to stop the franchise at SA2. But I am glad it wasn’t, otherwise no Sonic Heroes, and Shadow The Hedgehog Game. 

Worse yet, Sonic wouldn't have a 30th anniversary to begin with if it ended at SA2.

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Shadow Chaos Control
18 minutes ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

Worse yet, Sonic wouldn't have a 30th anniversary to begin with if it ended at SA2.

Great point! At my department store there is a Sonic The Hedgehog Section (pre-30th Ani). I just bought a bunch of figures, plushies, and etc. :) 

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Mobotropolis

Imagine they'll spend the next 30 years re-releasing the existing Sonic games on anything that'd play them. 

Classic Sonic Arcade1Up? You betcha. 

Wanna play Sonic Adventure on your Smart Refrigerator? SEGA's got you, fam' 

The hottest semi-animated movie hitting streaming services in 2042? Sonic the Hedgehog 12: Attack of the Shadow Clones

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Shadow Chaos Control
11 hours ago, Mobotropolis said:

Imagine they'll spend the next 30 years re-releasing the existing Sonic games on anything that'd play them. 

Classic Sonic Arcade1Up? You betcha. 

Wanna play Sonic Adventure on your Smart Refrigerator? SEGA's got you, fam' 

The hottest semi-animated movie hitting streaming services in 2042? Sonic the Hedgehog 12: Attack of the Shadow Clones

Give me Sonic Adventure 2: Battle on mobile and I will be happy. 

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Indigo Rush

Too big to fail. But if it did, the fanbase would easily triple their output and create stuff to fill the void. 

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Rabbitearsblog
38 minutes ago, Indigo Rush said:

Too big to fail. But if it did, the fanbase would easily triple their output and create stuff to fill the void. 

I can definitely see more fan fictions, fan comics and fan games being made to make up for the series' absence, if it gets to that point.

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Dr. Mechano

To be honest, I barely buy Sonic games anymore anyway. 

In the past decade, I've bought Sonic Generations, Sonic Mania, and a couple of Mario & Sonic games. That's it.

So if they stopped making Sonic games, my buying habits wouldn't change all that much. I'd still miss having the series around, and I'd still miss having new Eggman appearances, but I mean, I'd live.

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CertifiedNobody
3 hours ago, Dr. Mechano said:

To be honest, I barely buy Sonic games anymore anyway. 

In the past decade, I've bought Sonic Generations, Sonic Mania, and a couple of Mario & Sonic games. That's it.

So if they stopped making Sonic games, my buying habits wouldn't change all that much. I'd still miss having the series around, and I'd still miss having new Eggman appearances, but I mean, I'd live.

So you missed out on like two main games and a few racing spinoffs?

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