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Sonic Boom was doomed to fail no matter what


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I think there wasn't any chance of Sonic Boom franchise to be successful, even if the games were good. Actually, Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric received updates that fixed all glitches and bugs, the game still has performance issues, but it's just fine. Sonic Unleashed has worse performance issues and no one say it's as bad as Boom Rise of Lyric. I don't think this game would work even if it ran smoothly and had wonderful graphics. Shattered Crystal and Fire & Ice are good, specially the second, but they just don't have the same appeal as the mainline Sonic games.
 
The thing is, Sonic Boom was doomed to fail because the project is problematic at its core. If you search for interviews with the developers or other people in charge of Boom games and TV show, they didn't seem to show respect for Sonic's source material. They said Sonic wouldn't survive if it doesn't include the elements they put on Boom (such as puzzles, combat, co-op, etc). Also, the characters redesigns would be much more different and worse, but Takashi Iizuka interposed.
When Sonic Boom was announced, Sonic was in a good place when it comes to popularity. Sonic Colors sold more than 4 million copies (according to Takashi Iizuka in a more recent interview), Sonic Generations was a huge success, Sonic & Sega All Star Racing Transformed was considered one of the best kart racing games of all time. The only misstep was Sonic Lost World that wasn't even bad, it only was too experimental.
 
The Boom team treated like Sonic was dying and the strong elements of the franchise weren't enough to keep people interested, so they changed everything. It was like a new studio got the chance to work on a licensed Mario game, and they decided to changed all the iconic and recognizable design of the characters and develop a game of a totally different genre.
 
Sonic survived all these years, even when Sega was struggling to delivery decent games, because the series has a unique appeal from the characters designs, to the art style, to the soundtracks. Sonic is an icon.
 
I don't thing it's a bad idea to release spin-off games with different visions and experimental ideas, the problem is these spin-offs need to still be recognizable as Sonic games. Sonic Riders is the perfect example, the characters have new designs, the environments are different, but the series still has the Sonic appeal.
Sonic Boom was a failure because it was disrespectful with Sonic's brand! I know the TV show and the comics were fine, they were well-written, but people don't seem to remember them nowadays. It's like Boom series was forgotten in the past.
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21 minutes ago, Raphael Martins said:

The Boom team treated like Sonic was dying

Sonic is and has always been dying.

21 minutes ago, Raphael Martins said:

Sonic survived all these years, even when Sega was struggling to delivery decent games, because the series has a unique appeal from the characters designs, to the art style, to the soundtracks.

Which designs, which art style, which soundtracks? What, you think all of those things were consistent until Boom came along?

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42 minutes ago, Diogenes said:

Sonic is and has always been dying.

Which designs, which art style, which soundtracks? What, you think all of those things were consistent until Boom came along?

What you said doesn't even make sense. The Legend of Zelda games always have different art styles. From Ocarina of Time, to Wind Waker, to Skyward Sword, to Breath of the Wild and others. Having new art styles per game isn't the same thing as being inconsistent. Just like Zelda, Sonic always has different art direction but they are all great and interesting and they are all defined by style.

Sonic Boom doesn't feel like Sonic, the environments look like they came from a Crash Bandicoot game or something like that, the character designs don't look cool, etc.

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3 minutes ago, Raphael Martins said:

What you said doesn't even make sense. The Legend of Zelda games always have different art styles. From Ocarina of Time, to Wind Waker, to Skyward Sword, to Breath of the Wild and others. Having new art styles per game isn't the same thing as being inconsistent. Just like Zelda, Sonic always has different art direction but they are all great and interesting and they are all defined by style.

Tell that to people who are still mad about Wind Waker.

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Rise of Lyric was a disaster, but I don't think Sonic Boom overall failed at all.  The TV show got a second season and the 3DS game got a sequel. These decisions are not made lightly.  These follow-ups probably wouldn't have been commissioned just to save face and "give it one more try" - the initial products must have met some sort of expectations.

I definitely think Boom would've stuck around longer if those products had been a BIGGER success, but it did well enough.  It stuck around for 3 years - about the same length of time the Sonic Storybook experiment did, only one year less than the Riders trilogy (and same number of games).  I doubt many would describe those as failures despite the games getting very mixed receptions.

 

Having said all this, I can't argue with the point that it seemed they were determined to just make the most generic kids adventure brawler platformer they could using the Sonic brand with Boom and only kept a few trace elements of what is unique about Sonic just for the sake of it.  I'm all for reinventing the wheel to try a wholly new thing for the franchise without regard for being consistent with the established series, but they didn't so much reinvent the wheel as they just ordered a copy of the same wheel a more successful car was using without even checking the wheel would fit.  And they didn't even get the actual branded wheel either, they got the cheap knock-off version of the wheel from a discount store.  If this analogy has gotten out of hand, the TLDR version is they wheely should have been more inventive with taking Sonic in a different direction from the core games.

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1 hour ago, JezMM said:

Rise of Lyric was a disaster, but I don't think Sonic Boom overall failed at all.  The TV show got a second season and the 3DS game got a sequel. These decisions are not made lightly.  These follow-ups probably wouldn't have been commissioned just to save face and "give it one more try" - the initial products must have met some sort of expectations.

I definitely think Boom would've stuck around longer if those products had been a BIGGER success, but it did well enough.  It stuck around for 3 years - about the same length of time the Sonic Storybook experiment did, only one year less than the Riders trilogy (and same number of games).  I doubt many would describe those as failures despite the games getting very mixed receptions.

 

Having said all this, I can't argue with the point that it seemed they were determined to just make the most generic kids adventure brawler platformer they could using the Sonic brand with Boom and only kept a few trace elements of what is unique about Sonic just for the sake of it.  I'm all for reinventing the wheel to try a wholly new thing for the franchise without regard for being consistent with the established series, but they didn't so much reinvent the wheel as they just ordered a copy of the same wheel a more successful car was using without even checking the wheel would fit.  And they didn't even get the actual branded wheel either, they got the cheap knock-off version of the wheel from a discount store.  If this analogy has gotten out of hand, the TLDR version is they wheely should have been more inventive with taking Sonic in a different direction from the core games.

Sonic Boom Fire & Ice is the weakest selling Sonic game of all time, while Rise of Lyric sold only 400k copies. I don't know how well Shattered Crystal did. The TV show was very successful and so was the comic book series. However, when it comes to the games, it was terrible. Sega definitely lost money and maybe that's why Sonic games have been low budget since.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Raphael Martins said:
Actually, Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric received updates that fixed all glitches and bugs, the game still has performance issues, but it's just fine. Sonic Unleashed has worse performance issues and no one say it's as bad as Boom Rise of Lyric.

 

Sonic Unleashed had performance issues in the form of FPS hiccups. Sonic Boom RoL had performance issues in the form of entire towns not loading in assets until you were halfway through walking through them. They aren't even comparable in the magnitude of how messed up RoL actually was, and that's before you even consider that RoL had much more wrong with it than performance issues.

Its hardly fine, even after the patch. The idea that you can compare RoL to anything short of 06 in terms of issues should be met with maximum hostility.

 

The bottom line here is that the video games didn't hold up their end of the bargain. RoL was a disaster. Both DS games were too ho-hum bland and uninspired to ever keep themselves afloat. The show did its job and received accolades for its efforts, but the games were meant to be the cornerstone that SEGA directly profited from here. Without that leg to stand on, the TV show and comics tumbled like a house of cards, as you would expect them too.

Its was never doomed to fail because of its concepts. It tanked because the video games couldn't hold up their end of the bargain in terms of supporting a the videogame franchise.

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The show ran for over a hundred episodes and despite Rise of Lyric and Shattered Crystal they still made a third game and honestly if Archie didn't cut comics to publish other ones the comic probably would have ran up until Archie lost the Sonic license and there's a dedicated following that still wantsa third season. 

I'm having a hard time seeing how it "failed" exactly. 

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11 hours ago, Sega DogTagz said:

 

Sonic Unleashed had performance issues in the form of FPS hiccups. Sonic Boom RoL had performance issues in the form of entire towns not loading in assets until you were halfway through walking through them. They aren't even comparable in the magnitude of how messed up RoL actually was, and that's before you even consider that RoL had much more wrong with it than performance issues.

Its hardly fine, even after the patch. The idea that you can compare RoL to anything short of 06 in terms of issues should be met with maximum hostility.

 

The bottom line here is that the video games didn't hold up their end of the bargain. RoL was a disaster. Both DS games were too ho-hum bland and uninspired to ever keep themselves afloat. The show did its job and received accolades for its efforts, but the games were meant to be the cornerstone that SEGA directly profited from here. Without that leg to stand on, the TV show and comics tumbled like a house of cards, as you would expect them too.

Its was never doomed to fail because of its concepts. It tanked because the video games couldn't hold up their end of the bargain in terms of supporting a the videogame franchise.

I don't think so. After the patches, the only real technical issue with Rise of Lyric is the framerate, and it's still way better than Unleashed in this regard. Yeah, the game was a disaster at launch, but I'm talking about the current status after all the patches. The game is not even close to be broken after the updates.

It was doomed to fail because the video games wouldn't work even if they were polished as hell. The games aren't sonic enough, this alienated the fan base. With the patches, Rise of Lyric is just a generic 3D platformer, comparable to the Lego games or something like that, it's not even that bad. Sonic 2006 was way worse, and Sega didn't release updates and patches to fix 2006.

10 hours ago, SBR2 said:

The show ran for over a hundred episodes and despite Rise of Lyric and Shattered Crystal they still made a third game and honestly if Archie didn't cut comics to publish other ones the comic probably would have ran up until Archie lost the Sonic license and there's a dedicated following that still wantsa third season. 

I'm having a hard time seeing how it "failed" exactly. 

We don't know why Sega still release another game, because both Rise of Lyric and Shattered Crystal sold poorly, about 500k copies of both versions combine. They were a colossal failure. No one asked about a sequel, no one cared, Sega insisted, and Sonic Boom Fire & Ice became the worst-selling Sonic game of all time.

Releasing a third game doesn't prove the Boom series did better than we expected, it only shows how insane Sega was to release a sequel to the biggest commercial failure of the franchise at that time.

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30 minutes ago, SBR2 said:

So basically this is just another "let's bitch about Sega" topic then? Cool.

Well, it's not our fault that Sega made terrible decisions over and over again, even when Sonic was going back on track. It's a miracle that Sonic isn't dead yet, it only shows how beloved the character and the series is. After Sonic Boom, Sega was doing another terrible decision licensing the franchise to Paramount, but without having the right to oversee the production of the movie. That's why we had that terrible design. We are lucky that Paramount saw the disaster coming, and they changed Sonic's design.

Have you ever consider that Sonic could be dead if the movie was released with that horrible design? And that happened after the Sonic Boom disaster! How can a company make all this terrible decisions one after another? Sonic is still the most important Sega IP, so they should be more careful with its products.

However, we are in a better situation now. The movie ended up being great, the IDW comic book series is going strong, Colors Ultimate probably will do fine. The Netflix TV show seems to be wonderful and more faithful to Sonic's source material, and it's canon. Maybe we will have a happy ending? Only time will tell.

 

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3 hours ago, Raphael Martins said:

Have you ever consider that Sonic could be dead if the movie was released with that horrible design? And that happened after the Sonic Boom disaster! How can a company make all this terrible decisions one after another? Sonic is still the most important Sega IP, so they should be more careful with its products.

I'm not sure that it would have killed Sonic, the idea "movies about gaming IP are terrible" are pretty common (which is why the movie being "good enough" sufficed to really help it being seen as a kinda-big success). And many people were more accusing the Paramount more than SEGA IIRC. So I'm not sure that it would have sufficed to kill Sonic.

And Sonic Boom RoL, not enough people care about it to have any factor in "killing Sonic". Sure, how bad it was (because you say about how the game isn't buggy after some patch… but to be fair, it's not what people think about when they think about Sonic Boom. They think about "buggy mess").

The biggest effect of Sonic Boom isn't to the public (sure, RoL is seen as the "worst Sonic game since 2006" by many, but many other doesn't even care about the game), but to Sonic Team itself, having certainly had a role about how the Sonic Team got more control about the IP nowadays (not that I think it's bad. Nor good. It's just as it is, it's their product after all).

 

And as many other I wouldn't call Sonic Boom even that much of a failure, overall. I mean, one of this character have a lot of call to come in the main canon, they got a lot of product. Sure, it's didn't become the big american sub-IP that SoA wanted to have, but it's like most other derivative (even SX only got its second serie/third season a bizarre way).

People love to see everything as being able to "kill Sonic", but to be frank, the highest risk from that kind of IP isn't a failure. it's the IP holder decided to see somewhere else.

It's just another Sonic sub-IP. Some people will like it, some people will dislike it. It's a non-event, in a way. It won't change the grand order of things for the IP. It's biggest event is that RoL was a bad game.

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55 minutes ago, Kazhnuz said:

I'm not sure that it would have killed Sonic, the idea "movies about gaming IP are terrible" are pretty common (which is why the movie being "good enough" sufficed to really help it being seen as a kinda-big success). And many people were more accusing the Paramount more than SEGA IIRC. So I'm not sure that it would have sufficed to kill Sonic.

And Sonic Boom RoL, not enough people care about it to have any factor in "killing Sonic". Sure, how bad it was (because you say about how the game isn't buggy after some patch… but to be fair, it's not what people think about when they think about Sonic Boom. They think about "buggy mess").

The biggest effect of Sonic Boom isn't to the public (sure, RoL is seen as the "worst Sonic game since 2006" by many, but many other doesn't even care about the game), but to Sonic Team itself, having certainly had a role about how the Sonic Team got more control about the IP nowadays (not that I think it's bad. Nor good. It's just as it is, it's their product after all).

 

And as many other I wouldn't call Sonic Boom even that much of a failure, overall. I mean, one of this character have a lot of call to come in the main canon, they got a lot of product. Sure, it's didn't become the big american sub-IP that SoA wanted to have, but it's like most other derivative (even SX only got its second serie/third season a bizarre way).

People love to see everything as being able to "kill Sonic", but to be frank, the highest risk from that kind of IP isn't a failure. it's the IP holder decided to see somewhere else.

It's just another Sonic sub-IP. Some people will like it, some people will dislike it. It's a non-event, in a way. It won't change the grand order of things for the IP. It's biggest event is that RoL was a bad game.

How long do you think a franchise can survive having failures? Sonic is lucky. Yeah, Sonic Boom didn't kill the franchise, but because of luck. The game was released for Wii U and most of the people didn't have one, so not many people were able to experience the game. Most people (general audience) only knows Sonic Boom because of the cartoon and comic books, that were good. But if the game were released for other popular platformers, the disaster would be worse than Sonic 2006.

The game isn't broken with the patches, and it's actually a decent, average 3D puzzle-platformer comparable to games like the LEGO series (in my opinion), as I said before. But it doesn't change the fact that releasing a game that broken when the franchise was still recovering  its reputation was the worst thing possible. Maybe Sonic Boom would work in another time. But I don't think people were open-minded at that time, people were cautious about every new entry. It wasn't the right time to release a side-franchise with a totally different gameplay, art style and settings all together right after Sonic Lost World that was controversial because Sega decided to abandon the boost formula and started to experiment with the gameplay again.

Still, Sonic Boom brought a lot of hate and negativity towards the franchise. I remember people saying Sonic wasn't worth anymore, that Sega should just give up on the IP, and we had the infamous video of IGN saying Sonic was never good. This was all Sonic Boom failure's fault. I don't think the series would be able to survive another tremendous disappointment like that all over again with the movie and that terrible design.


Sometimes a successful movie can revitalize a franchise. Marvel Comics was struggling before the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Characters such as Iroman weren't popular at all. Nowadays, Marvel is a huge movie franchise and the characters are famous than ever.

Sonic is having a renaissance now because of how well the movie did. It brought the general audience attention, made people remember how special Sonic is, introduced the franchise to a whole new generation. The Netflix TV show is only happening because the movie wasn't a failure. If Sonic movie weren't this success, Sonic would be still struggling to recovery his reputation. It would be a way longer way ahead.

Sega got lucky because Sonic is a beloved franchise and they had several opportunities for redemption. They got lucky because the Wii U was a failure, so the disaster of Sonic Boom would be an urban legend for the mainstream audience. But luck doesn't last forever, and not all franchises have the same privilege.

Sega needs to step up their game and release a truly amazing and memorable game to take advantage of how exposed Sonic's brand is nowadays, and they need to take the lesson and be more careful and protective with their IP in the future, so things like Sonic Boom and the original movie design don't happen ever again.

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32 minutes ago, Raphael Martins said:

How long do you think a franchise can survive having failures? Sonic is lucky. Yeah, Sonic Boom didn't kill the franchise, but because of luck.

Not really because of luck, more because of persistence. It would have killed the franchise even if SEGA would have decided than Sonic isn't worth it. And more than "doomed to fail", Sonic Boom was doomed about being unimportant, so it's not luck.

In a way, having current Sonic but bad is way worse for the IP than having a side game being bad. It would have been the real danger. But something as Boom ? Not that much. It's something not that hard to survive. And for the movie… there is still the fact that "bad movie with horrible design" wouldn't something that surprise that much people. So it wouldn't have "killed Sonic". Sure, it would be an opportunity less… but not that much something that would kill an IP like that, especially as even something as Forces managed to do ok sales.

And in a way, I would call the situation around Boom lucky, as the lack of Sonic Team official game after him for several years gave him overexposure, (it was the "last big Sonic game" until Forces, and yet managed to be that urban legend). So nope, no "luck" here. It's way more complex, even if it was kinda predictable that Boom wouldn't have that much of an impact.

 

32 minutes ago, Raphael Martins said:

But still, Sonic Boom brought a lot of hate and negativity towards the franchise. I remember people saying Sonic wasn't worth anymore, that Sega should just give up on the IP, and we had the infamous video of IGN saying Sonic was never good. This was all Sonic Boom failure's fault. I don't think the series would be able to survive another tremendous disappointment like the movie was going to be with that terrible design.

People said that kind of stuff for YEARS before Sonic Boom was released. Even when Generation was released, a lot of people still talked about 2006, and it was still a source of joke. Sonic 4 Episode 1 was released at the same time than Colors. Sonic and the Black Knight was still considered as a bad game. Lost World was seen as either "not that bad" or "a bad one" depending of who you're asked. There was still talk about how the fandom was strange. Sure, Colors and Generations where seen as good games… but it didn't change that the IP as a whole was still in the kind of strange place it was since Shadow the Hedgehog. There was some hope for things to go better but there was a lot of "they can do worse again", and for many people Sonic Lost World was kinda the proof that yes, they could do. ( And a big part of the fandom was starting to be annoyed by the writing. )

Sonic Boom RoL was another brick as "Sonic games are bad", but to be fair… it was pretty tame for how buggy the game was. Sonic Boom was part of a most complex issues, and just seeing it as one "non-Sonic Game" that is the root cause of all the problems is an oversimplification of how things was at that time, and for the years before that.

And to be fair, that's why neither him or a bad movie would be enough to simply kill the IP. Because SEGA is kinda persistent with it, and the fact that they don't have as much as bankable IP make it that they'll continue to start things. To really kill Sonic, it would need several downright awful Sonic Team game for a while, or the IP loosing a lot of its appeal for their current public. Sure, the IP wouldn't be in such a strange-yet-kinda-good position. But with how the IP works, with how SEGA works… it wouldn't be enough to simply kill Sonic, especially with stuff like Mania in between.

If it was followed by several really awful or uninteresting games, it might kill Sonic, but tbh that things is persistent because they want it. In a way that's why "Sonic is lucky". Because there is a lot of people at SEGA that are ready to continue it, and a public for that blue rat.

 

( And in a way "careful SEGA" is already what we got now. It's them controlling how the brand is shown in IDW. But it doesn't mean that things will be "good" or be the vision you have of Sonic. )

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15 minutes ago, SBR2 said:

I love this idea that Sonic is one bad game away from dying a horrible death when it's consistently Sega's highest selling franchise. 

It's been going since the platinum selling 06 "nearly destroyed the franchise and dookied on it's smoldering ashes"

Maybe Sonic's now like Pokemon, where the real money is in the merchandising and not sales of the games?

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14 minutes ago, BadBehavior said:

It's been going since the platinum selling 06 "nearly destroyed the franchise and dookied on it's smoldering ashes"

Maybe Sonic's now like Pokemon, where the real money is in the merchandising and not sales of the games?

I mean maybe but Generations, TSR and Mania are still selling like hotcakes. 

I think a lotof fans have a hard time remembering that the people they talk to who share their opinions on why everything is shit aren't the only ones playing Sonic games. There are still children playing Sonic and especially with the movie many new fans getting made.

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43 minutes ago, SBR2 said:

I love this idea that Sonic is one bad game away from dying a horrible death when it's consistently Sega's highest selling franchise. 

If only the stakes were that high, the series would actually have to do better. 

Sonic sells, has always sold, probably always will sell. It's still very popular with kids and manages to skirt by on its iconic brand recognition. I'm convinced this series could survive dozens of Sonic 06s or Rise of Lyrics, because there's a dedicated contingent of the fanbase that will enthusiastically buy the latest Sonic regardless of quality.

For better or worse, the Sonic brand is in absolutely no danger.

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1 hour ago, Kazhnuz said:

Not really because of luck, more because of persistence. It would have killed the franchise even if SEGA would have decided than Sonic isn't worth it. And more than "doomed to fail", Sonic Boom was doomed about being unimportant, so it's not luck.

In a way, having current Sonic but bad is way worse for the IP than having a side game being bad. It would have been the real danger. But something as Boom ? Not that much. It's something not that hard to survive. And for the movie… there is still the fact that "bad movie with horrible design" wouldn't something that surprise that much people. So it wouldn't have "killed Sonic". Sure, it would be an opportunity less… but not that much something that would kill an IP like that, especially as even something as Forces managed to do ok sales.

And in a way, I would call the situation around Boom lucky, as the lack of Sonic Team official game after him for several years gave him overexposure, (it was the "last big Sonic game" until Forces, and yet managed to be that urban legend). So nope, no "luck" here. It's way more complex, even if it was kinda predictable that Boom wouldn't have that much of an impact.

 

People said that kind of stuff for YEARS before Sonic Boom was released. Even when Generation was released, a lot of people still talked about 2006, and it was still a source of joke. (...)

Nah, other franchises were persistent as well, and didn't have the same luck. For example, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Megaman. All of them had hiatus because they reach a point where there were no demand for new games. Sonic is a character from the 90s that never had a hiatus, even with colossal failures like 2006. Yeah, people were still talking about Sonic 2006 even after Sonic Generations, because Sega hadn't proved yet if they would be able to delivery high quality games consistently. Only Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations from the mainline games had a good reception without any kind of controversy. Sonic's reputation was still recovering.

 

1 hour ago, SBR2 said:

I love this idea that Sonic is one bad game away from dying a horrible death when it's consistently Sega's highest selling franchise. 

Nope. Sonic is now the Sega the highest selling franchise, but in this past decade it wasn't consistent at all. Sonic Lost World sold poorly on Wii U and 3DS, 710k copies. You can't make the argument that the game sold poorly because of the Wii U, because the 3DS was a very popular platform on 2013 and this number covers both versions of game combined! The game was also released on Steam as well and didn't have a strong performance either. You can search for the player base of Lost World on Steam to see how the game is unpopular. Later, we had Sonic Boom RoL and Shattered Crystal that both sold 490k copies, it was the biggest commercial failure for Sega.

For comparison, according to Takashi Iizuka in a recent interview about Sonic Colors Ultimate, he confirmed that the original Colors sold more than 4 million copies on the Nintendo Wii.

Source for Lost World sales: https://www.engadget.com/2014-05-09-sonic-lost-world-tails-off-at-710-000-units-shipped.html

Source for Sonic Boom sales: https://metro.co.uk/2015/02/12/sonic-boom-revealed-as-sonics-biggest-flop-yet-5060737/
Source for Sonic Colors sales: https://tailschannel.com/sonic-the-hedgehog/30th/iizuka-hoshino-insight-colours-ultimate-interview/

Sonic Mania, Forces, and Team Sonic Racing have performed strongly, however you can't deny that the commercial success of Sonic in this decade was a rollercoaster, it was the first time a mainline Sonic game sold less than expected (Lost World) and that a game staring Sonic sold 490k copies.

 

1 hour ago, BadBehavior said:

It's been going since the platinum selling 06 "nearly destroyed the franchise and dookied on it's smoldering ashes"

Maybe Sonic's now like Pokemon, where the real money is in the merchandising and not sales of the games?

Do you think Sonic 2006 didn't damage the series reputation only because the game had good sales numbers? People bought the game because Sonic was a famous franchise that still had a reputation at that time. People were hyped about the game. But, we can feel the Sonic 2006 damage to the franchise to this very day. It's one of the most reviewed and infamous games of all time.

Yeah, Sonic haven't had only failures during all these years. Sonic Unleashed did well and is still popular, I still enjoy most of this "dark age games". However, we can't deny that Sega wasn't in a comfortable situation, all the games had some kind of controversy surrounding them. There were always a cloud of negativity above the franchise. The thing is, most these games had things to enjoy and to love about, despite all their flaws, but Sonic was still recovering for the bad reputation the franchise and Sega had with Sonic 2006.

If what I'm saying isn't true, how can you explain why Sega decided to de-listed all games released before Sonic Colors from the shops? 

Quote

 

SEGA has removed Sonic games with average Metacritic scores from shop shelves to combat franchise fatigue.

"Any Sonic game with an average Metacritic has been de-listed," SEGA's SVP of EMEA Jurgen Post told MCV.

"We have to do this and increase the value of the brand. This will be very important when more big Sonic releases arrive in the future."

 

Source: https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2010-10-07-average-sonic-games-removed-from-shops

 

They know that they cannot sell low quality or controversial games forever if they want Sonic to continue to be relevant and remembered in the future. They want Sonic to be remembered more than a 90s character.
 

53 minutes ago, SBR2 said:

I mean maybe but Generations, TSR and Mania are still selling like hotcakes. 

I think a lotof fans have a hard time remembering that the people they talk to who share their opinions on why everything is shit aren't the only ones playing Sonic games. There are still children playing Sonic and especially with the movie many new fans getting made.

I'm not saying the series isn't in a comfortable situation now, I said it wasn't a comfortable situation in this past decade, mainly because of the Sonic Boom project. I said several times that the franchise is becoming more relevant and popular now because of the movie success and the Netflix TV Show that's coming next year. 

And the series isn't in a comfortable situation now when it comes to the mainline games. There are a lot of hype and expectations about Project Sonic 2022 (or Sonic Rangers), but there are a lot of concern as well.  I don't think Sonic is going to die if this game fail, but I don't think people are going to give Sonic Team and Sega credibility anymore, Sonic would be a movie character and that's all.

 

38 minutes ago, Dr. Mechano said:

If only the stakes were that high, the series would actually have to do better. 

Sonic sells, has always sold, probably always will sell. It's still very popular with kids and manages to skirt by on its iconic brand recognition. I'm convinced this series could survive dozens of Sonic 06s or Rise of Lyrics, because there's a dedicated contingent of the fanbase that will enthusiastically buy the latest Sonic regardless of quality.

For better or worse, the Sonic brand is in absolutely no danger.

I don't think so. As I said before, Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric and Shattered Crystal were commercial failures. People didn't buy this games because they would buy anything that has Sonic on its cover. This is an assumption that doesn't make much sense.

Sonic's brand is not in danger because we are in a better place now. But if Sega would be able to take advantage of this good situation now, it will only depend on the next mainline game.

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Having side games made by other companies being commercial failures in no way put a brand in danger in itself. Commercial failures happens in a lot of IP, and when a side-IP isn't as good as they want it to be, they'll trash it first before trashing the whole IP.

Nothing was ever in danger with Sonic Boom. In a way, Sonic Boom wasn't doomed to fail. It was doomed to not have have a lot of  lasting consequence. And to not last that long as ST didn't seem really on board with that, which is always not really a good idea.

But even that, I wouldn't call the global Sonic Boom project a complete failure, because of the cartoon. Basically during Sonic Boom was the only time I had seen children talk about Sonic since Sonic X. Of course, it's mostly anecdotal data, but it shows that the games weren't selling like hot cakes, it had kinda an effect of raising the awareness of the IP to people that really count : children. It certainly wasn't enough to do a "Sonic X effect" (but in a way only SatAM was at this level), though.

8 hours ago, Raphael Martins said:

but I don't think people are going to give Sonic Team and Sega credibility anymore


Like after Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic 2006, Sonic Unleashed (because yep even if I love it, it was seen as "this half-good game with the werehog"), Sonic 4 Episode 1, Sonic and the Black Knight, Sonic Lost World, Sonic Forces ?

The Sonic IP is as chaotic as its emeralds, stuff could go either way. Sonic Heroes was an okay-game at best but managed to do marvels thanks to Sonic X. Sure, things would be better if Sonic Rangers was an marvelous and fantastic game… but people are wary of Sonic Team since a while.

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Sonic Boom has been referenced by Iizuka as a failure. I wouldn't be surprised if the followups we did get were already in motion and they just decided to see it through. The show had a decent amount of enthusiasm surrounding it but it didn't make sense to keep the running Sonic cartoon anchored to terrible games so I'm not surprised it got buried. This is anecdotal, but I also didn't see anyone who weren't already Sonic fans engaging with it. The point of the brand was a modern version of the series that broadened it's appeal, but we mostly just had old heads comparing and contrasting the characterization to the older games with mixed reception. This couldn't have been what they wanted, even if the outcome was better than the games.

That being said, I don't see anything in Boom that's a more extreme betrayal of Sonic than the film. Surely if Sonic Boom was a doomed concept because it strayed too far from Sonic's core appeal, the film that couldn't even be bothered to have Tails in it would have been shot out the sky.

Even if you were to just consider the games, this wasn't even the first time they focused on poorly conceived beat-em-up gameplay. I can hardly blame BRB for throwing out the series's core gameplay loop when Sonic Team had done it 3 times over by this point.

What this decade proved to me is that only thing Sonic requires to function is for Sonic to look presentable and do cool shit. The design is that strong. Sega has proven by now that just about everything else isn't necessary because they've taken all of it away at some point or another and they're still trucking along like nothing happened. Tails, Knuckles, Eggman, Amy Rings, the Chaos Emeralds, rolling, Shadow, etc.

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I think part of why Boom failed was because it didn't differ from the main franchise enough. The characters were supposed to be radically redesigned, we were supposed to see their backstries explored, ect, but Sega got cold feet and decided against all that would have made the franchise a genuine departure from the main Sonic franchise. Instead we got the regular Sonic universe with the regular Sonic characters... except everyone is wearing bandages. Yes yes, Sonic nerds like you and me can point out a ton of differences between the main franchise and the boom franchise but I'm talking from the perspective of the average consumer. Sonic boom was just traight up pointless. Add to that that the games were fucking garbage and that there was no communication and thus no cohesion between the various installments of the franchise (the various games, the cartoon) and viola, you got youself a spectacular failure.

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14 hours ago, Kazhnuz said:

Having side games made by other companies being commercial failures in no way put a brand in danger in itself. Commercial failures happens in a lot of IP, and when a side-IP isn't as good as they want it to be, they'll trash it first before trashing the whole IP.

Nothing was ever in danger with Sonic Boom. In a way, Sonic Boom wasn't doomed to fail. It was doomed to not have have a lot of  lasting consequence. And to not last that long as ST didn't seem really on board with that, which is always not really a good idea.

But even that, I wouldn't call the global Sonic Boom project a complete failure, because of the cartoon. Basically during Sonic Boom was the only time I had seen children talk about Sonic since Sonic X. Of course, it's mostly anecdotal data, but it shows that the games weren't selling like hot cakes, it had kinda an effect of raising the awareness of the IP to people that really count : children. It certainly wasn't enough to do a "Sonic X effect" (but in a way only SatAM was at this level), though.

It doesn't matter if it's another studio, it's Sonic's name and face on the cover. It's Sonic on the advertisements. Sega hired BigRedButton and worked alongside them. 

The game hurt the franchise, that's probably why we started having lower budget games like Sonic Forces and Team Sonic Racing. Again, the cartoon and comic books did amazing, however Sega invested a lot of money into the games. They did a huge promotional campaign.

Are you really trying to convince me that releasing a horrible game that threw the series reputation in the trash all over again and sold poorly don't have any impact on the brand at all? Do you really think Sega doesn't care if their games have a bad reputation?

It's not good for a brand to be surrounded by controversy all time.
 

14 hours ago, Kazhnuz said:

Like after Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic 2006, Sonic Unleashed (because yep even if I love it, it was seen as "this half-good game with the werehog"), Sonic 4 Episode 1, Sonic and the Black Knight, Sonic Lost World, Sonic Forces ?

The Sonic IP is as chaotic as its emeralds, stuff could go either way. Sonic Heroes was an okay-game at best but managed to do marvels thanks to Sonic X. Sure, things would be better if Sonic Rangers was an marvelous and fantastic game… but people are wary of Sonic Team since a while.

Nah, you are treating like all the time Sonic's IP was in the same situation as when Sonic 2006 was released, when it's not the case at all.

Let's recap:

Adventure/Heroes era:
- Sonic Adventure 1 & 2 (1998 and 2001) - critically acclaimed and huge successes. When they were first released for the Dreamcast everyone treated like they were the perfect transition to 3D
- Sonic Heroes: huge success, a little more mixed reception compared to the Adventure games. The game has flaws, a lot of glitches, collision problems, weird physics and controls, it was repetitive, etc. However, it was still treated with positivity

Dark age era:
- Shadow the Hedgehog (2005) - the game was a mess, the very first time a Sonic game had unanimous bad reception. It sold well because the series still had a strong reputation, but it left a bad taste on people's mouth

- Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) - the game that promised to take Sonic back to his former glory after the Shadow the Hedgehog disaster. It turns out to be worse  because Shadow is a poorly designed game, but it's not broken, while Sonic 2006 was an unfinished mess. The game killed Sonic's and Sega's reputation, became one of the most infamous game of all time, and one of the most reviewed games of all time.
- Sonic and the Secret Rings (2007) - experimental spin-off with motion controls, had a mixed reception at the same level as Heroes. Nowadays, people act like Secret Rings had a terrible reception at the same level as 2006, but it wasn't the case at all.

- Sonic Unleashed (2008) - the next mainline game after 2006. The game was controversial and divisive because of the werehog, but the new boost gameplay style turns out be very addictive and popular. The game has a lot of things to love about and enjoy, and it's still popular nowadays.

- Sonic and the Black Knight (2009) - because Secret Rings didn't have the same unanimous bad reception as Shadow TH and Sonic 06, Sega decided to develop a sequel. Unfortunately, Sonic and the Black Knight had a worse reception than Secret Rings and killed the storybook series.


Renaissance era:
- Takashi Iizuka came back to work with Sonic.
- Sonic Colors (2010) - the first mainline home console Sonic game since Sonic Adventure 2 to have a good reception without any controversy surrounding the game. The media said "Sonic is finally back". The game was praised because it was a pure action Sonic adventure without intrusive elements or gimmicks. The Wisp powers were praised because they add variety to the game without being intrusive.

- Sonic & Sega All Star Racing (2010): a good kart racing spin-off.

- Sonic FreeRiders (2010) - it was bad, mostly because of the Kinect, however it was just a Kinect spin-off that no one cared enough. It's not even remembered.

- Sonic Generations (2011) - another game released right after Sonic Colors that had a unanimous good reception as well. The boost gameplay evolved and reached its peak. Sonic was being respected again, the future of the franchised looked promising and bright.

- Sonic 4 Episode 1 & 2 (2010 and 2012) - weak downloadable games that not many people cared about. Episode 2 was decent, despite the terrible soundtrack, while Episode 1 was bad. However, they weren't relevant enough to stop the momentum that the franchise was going at that moment.

- Sonic & Sega All Star Racing Transformed (2012) - huge success, some people consider one of the best kart racing games of all time.

 

Lost World/Boom era:
- Sonic was in a good situation, Sega was able to delivery high quality games more consistently in a short period of time. Most of the games were unanimously well-received. Sonic was being respected again, it seemed like the franchise finally went back on track. Then... Lost World happened.
- Sonic Lost World (2013) - Sega decided to throw everything through the window, change the gameplay style and start experimenting all over again. Sonic Lost World had a very mixed reception. Some people like, some people don't. But it was the first mainline game developed by Sonic Team to sold poorly. Only 710k copies of the Wii U and 3DS versions combined. The game was later released on PC, but it didn't perform well either. Lost World wasn't that bad (at least, in my opinion), it was a forgivable misstep, I had a lot of fun playing it. However, people started being cautious and skeptical about Sega being able to deliver quality Sonic games consistently again.

- Sonic Boom (2014) - the game was bad, it was unfinished. The Wii U Miiverse Community only had posts about glitches. They fixed the glitches with patches, but it was too late. People got confused about the new designs. Some people thought it was a reboot. This episode brought a lot of hate and controversy towards the franchise all over again. Sega was able to make a similar mistake to 2006 again, after all these years.

 

Current situation:
- Sonic Mania (2017) - it turns out to be a huge success, got more content added and a physical version released. Sonic Mania brought old fans back to the franchise and even was able to bring new fans

- Sonic Forces (2017) - Sega decided to go back to the boost formula. The game had a mixed reception again. People say the boost gameplay devolved, the game is uninspired and unoriginal, too easy and forgetful. However, it performed strongly in sales. In my opinion, the game is flawed, but decent. It's bad for long-time fans, but enjoyable for newcomers and casual players.  Forces didn't have the same bad impact on the brand as Boom, 2006 or other controversial games, but it didn't also have any impact on restoring the faith people have on Sonic Team and Sega. It's clearly a budget game, it wasn't sold at full price, the staff behind the development was small, it didn't even have any CGI opening or cutscenes;

- Team Sonic Racing (2019) - a solid game, but lacks content and post-launch support. Too few tracks and playable characters, specially if you compare to games like Mario Kart 8. It's selling well, but ASR Transformed was more popular;

- The Sonic the Hedgehog movie turned out to be a success, what exposed the Sonic's brand to a whole new audience. The character is becoming more popular again. The comics are doing fine, there are a TV show coming, etc. The future seems bright again, but if Sega will be able to deliver more consistent games from now on, it's still uncertain.

_______________

In summary:

Sonic's history is a roller coaster with a lot of ups and downs. I didn't mention every entry, I decided to focus on the most relevant home console releases (for better or for worse). The series has never fully recovered from 2006 backlash, however we can see that Sega tried hard and persisted throughout the years. Not all the games were released after 2006 were successful, they were almost all divisive and controversial, but they had redeeming qualities that make people still give Sega more chances to make them work.

Finally, Sega released games like Sonic Colors and Generations that were universally acclaimed. They only needed to continue releasing games at this level of quality to be able to restore people's trust, but they didn't. They release Lost World that was a misstep, and later they release the Boom trilogy, the first two were awful, and they dare to release a third one that end up being decent, but it was too late for the audience to care about. Thanks to the movie being a success, the comic books being more popular than ever, the Netflix show coming. Sonic is having a new renaissance, and Sega has another opportunity to make Sonic huge and deliver consistent quality games again.

In my opinion, it's contradictory how you guys say Sonic series was never in danger but also say Sonic survived all these years because of persistency. Do you see people say Mario or other big franchises are persistent? Assuming Sonic is persistent is the same thing as assuming Sonic wasn't comfortable and needed to strive to stay relevant. I just want Sonic to stop surviving, stop being "almost there" and stop having games that are borderline good. I want Sonic to stay comfortable in his place as a gaming legend.

Everything is lining up to a brighter and exciting future, but I cannot deny the possibility that Sega could f#ck up everything again as they did before in similar situations.

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1 hour ago, Raphael Martins said:

Nah, you are treating like all the time Sonic's IP was in the same situation as when Sonic 2006 was released, when it's not the case at all.

I never said that the situation was the same at when 2006 was released, please don't put words into the mouth of other.

What I said that the situation as more complexe than "things where in a good place". People don't just forget previous game just because a few good happened (and at that time a lot of Adventure fans where unhappy and already talked about Sonic Team lacking inspiration, bad stories, etc). Things aren't all black on white, and having a "nice simple narrative" is often an oversimplification of things.

Sonic Colors and Generations restored some trust, but people didn't forget other games. Sonic 4 was often seen as a shame, etc.

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