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Sonic Prime is going to be Sonic Boom done right


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Sonic Boom was a huge marketing effort to revitalize Sonic's brand to a whole new audience and make the series more popular than before. However, despite the cartoon and the comic book series being very successful, it failed to reach these objectives. According to Takashi Iizuka himself in one recent interview, Sonic Boom is considered a failure by Sega.

We all know that Sonic's brand is stronger in the western world. Sonic is also popular in Japan, but he doesn't have the same status as an icon as he has in the West. An interesting thing is that recent games that had mixed reception in the West, such as Sonic Lost World and Sonic Forces, were well-received in the Japanese and eastern market. Sonic Lost World got 9/9/9/9 [36/40] scores from Famitsu, the most renowned Japanese gaming magazine, while Sonic Forces got 9/9/9/8 [35/40].

This may be weird, but the Japanese gamers' taste is very different from ours. There are games that here in the West are divisive or unpopular, but they are seen as masterpieces there. One of these games is Final Fantasy XIII. Here in the western market, FFXIII is one of the most divisive entries in the Final Fantasy franchise, some people like, some people don't, but most of them agree that's not one of the best in the series. In Japan, FFXIII is considered one of the best Final Fantasy games of all time, and the main cast was so popular that they starred in campaigns for huge fashion brands. It seems Sonic Forces is considered a good game in Japan. In the leaderboards of the game (at least in the PS4 version) we can see a lot of Japanese players as well.

This is only speculation of mine, but in my opinion, maybe Sega is seeing that Sonic is becoming less popular in the western market. In 2005, they released Shadow the Hedgehog following a lot of western trends to see if they could reach a more mainstream audience than with Heroes, they failed because despite the strong sales numbers, it seems Shadow only reached the same audience as always. Sonic Boom was also an effort to reach a larger audience in the western market. They gave the IP to western studios and everyone involved in the re-branding and re-designs were western developers, writers and artists, And I almost forgot to mention, but Sega hired Ken Pontac and Warren Graff as main writers for the games because they wanted the stories to have a more western taste. Sonic is popular, and the games always perform strongly in sales, but Sonic isn't as popular as franchises like Assassin's Creed or other western huge IPs anymore. Maybe Sega wanted Sonic to be as huge as them?

Considering all of that, maybe Sega restructured Sonic Team and brought the studio to the US to be more close to the target audience. Maybe they could hire more western developers. Takashi Iizuka moved to the US, so he could oversee everything that's been done with the brand. Sonic Team is now being called "Sonic Studio" in more recent interviews. Sega has also reported that Sonic Prime is part of a strategy to strength Sonic's brand.

I think maybe Sonic Prime is a similar strategy than Sonic Boom, but learning from everything that went wrong with the Boom series. They are going to release this new TV show to exposure Sonic's brand to a larger audience and a whole new generation of fans, but now the cartoon is in the same settings as the games, and it's even canon. The cartoon is going to be released in 2022, probably alongside the new game, so they could capitalize on that. Sonic Studio may be a mix of the old Sonic Team members like Iizuka with new western developers, so the games can be more in line with western tastes, but without being developed by people outside Sega with too radical changes.

Again, this is only speculation of mine, there aren't any sources to evidence this is the mindset they are going with this new projects, but I think this make sense. What do you guy think?

 

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They didn't said for the moment that Sonic Prime will be "canon", mostly that it'll be based on Sonic mainline universe. With how Sonic canon works (basically that it doesn't have a strong canon), it'll certainly mean more that it'll be inline with current game, like IDW. Not that it's a bad things, as the fact that the ST never really care that much about the canon, we will certainly will have some place to place Sonic Prime even if it doesn't 100% fit.

 

For me, Sonic Prime doesn't seems to really be a "Sonic Boom done right", as it's not a "Sonic Boom" to me, as it's not a gigantic sub-franchise like Sonic Boom was meant to be (nowadays it's more the movie that have that roles), nor a sitcom comedy like what Sonic Boom really was xD. In a way it's more like a "Sonic X" as it's more a show used to make the IP more popular to children than a big ambitious project (not that it is a bad things, being extremely ambitious doesn't mean succeeding).

Now about the "done right". Well let's see if the creators and the ST manage to create together something great. xD Because being "more related to the mainline game" isn't something that is enough to say if its "done right", the question is more if it's actually done right, especially when both most effective Sonic series to give a lot of fans where Sonic SatAM (a pretty different one to the game) and Sonic X (a pretty similar one to the game), even if I prefer the Sonic IP to be more harmonized (even if that means some "mandates", I feel it create a stronger core).

The question is more if the show will have enough appeal to pull new children/teen into the Sonic IP, making them buy games, goodies, etc.

 

( And I'm not sure how much they're concerned about the Western market at the moment… the japanese one seems to be more a source of concern in interviews :') )

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I'll wait for a trailer before calling it "good," but the concept art sure looks promising. Any word on when the proper reveal date is?

19 minutes ago, thumbs13 said:

It's just a show about Sonic, nothing more. Boom was big with big intentions, Prime isn't, really. 

Yup. Feels more like a tie-in than the (failed) revolution that Boom was. Is that good or bad? Well, we dunno yet. Like I said: wait for a trailer.

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1 hour ago, Raphael Martins said:

but now the cartoon is in the same settings as the games, and it's even canon.

I'll parrot some of the previous comments and state that you are jumping the gun in declaring that. Just because the cartoon takes place in a game centric settings, and may even utilize previous games as its historical base, does in no way shape or form make the end result canon.

IDW does that too, and its not automatically canon to the games.

 

Personally, I don't think you can draw too many parallels between Prime and the Boom movement. Prime is clearly being built up to ride Sonic's current popularity, is sticking with the game formula and staying closer to the brand as a core philosophy. Boom from the very start was meant to be an offshoot. A separate branch of the franchise. It wanted to be a new flavor. It wanted to be a different kind of latch on point for new fans. It had a different mission. Its comparing apples to oranges. You might as well as say SATAM was AOSTH done right. It would make about as much sense.

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1 hour ago, Sega DogTagz said:

You might as well as say SATAM was AOSTH done right. It would make about as much sense.

In that case, the comparison would actually make a little bit more sense, since they were both made by the same production company. I know what you're saying though — AOSTH was intended to be a comedy and SATAM was developed as an action cartoon.

It's the same here. We could compare AOSTH to Boom and that would make sense, because both were comedies. Boom is the clear winner.

The better comparison for Prime is to contrast it with Sonic X, which was also an action cartoon that was leaning more heavily on the game lore. 

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4 hours ago, Kazhnuz said:

They didn't said for the moment that Sonic Prime will be "canon", mostly that it'll be based on Sonic mainline universe. With how Sonic canon works (basically that it doesn't have a strong canon), it'll certainly mean more that it'll be inline with current game, like IDW. Not that it's a bad things, as the fact that the ST never really care that much about the canon, we will certainly will have some place to place Sonic Prime even if it doesn't 100% fit.

 

For me, Sonic Prime doesn't seems to really be a "Sonic Boom done right", as it's not a "Sonic Boom" to me, as it's not a gigantic sub-franchise like Sonic Boom was meant to be (nowadays it's more the movie that have that roles), nor a sitcom comedy like what Sonic Boom really was xD. In a way it's more like a "Sonic X" as it's more a show used to make the IP more popular to children than a big ambitious project (not that it is a bad things, being extremely ambitious doesn't mean succeeding).

Now about the "done right". Well let's see if the creators and the ST manage to create together something great. xD Because being "more related to the mainline game" isn't something that is enough to say if its "done right", the question is more if it's actually done right, especially when both most effective Sonic series to give a lot of fans where Sonic SatAM (a pretty different one to the game) and Sonic X (a pretty similar one to the game), even if I prefer the Sonic IP to be more harmonized (even if that means some "mandates", I feel it create a stronger core).

The question is more if the show will have enough appeal to pull new children/teen into the Sonic IP, making them buy games, goodies, etc.

 

( And I'm not sure how much they're concerned about the Western market at the moment… the japanese one seems to be more a source of concern in interviews :') )

Sonic Team didn't use to care about the canon, at least in this past decade. But they are releasing a encyclopedia this year showing what''s canon and what's not. The book is being written by Ian Flynn. So, in my opinion they are trying to fix the canon and have more focus on stories from now on. They also have fired Ken Pontac and Warren Graff. 

3 hours ago, Sega DogTagz said:

I'll parrot some of the previous comments and state that you are jumping the gun in declaring that. Just because the cartoon takes place in a game centric settings, and may even utilize previous games as its historical base, does in no way shape or form make the end result canon.

IDW does that too, and its not automatically canon to the games.

 

Personally, I don't think you can draw too many parallels between Prime and the Boom movement. Prime is clearly being built up to ride Sonic's current popularity, is sticking with the game formula and staying closer to the brand as a core philosophy. Boom from the very start was meant to be an offshoot. A separate branch of the franchise. It wanted to be a new flavor. It wanted to be a different kind of latch on point for new fans. It had a different mission. Its comparing apples to oranges. You might as well as say SATAM was AOSTH done right. It would make about as much sense.

That's why I think Prime is Boom done right. A show to strengths the franchise and explore more the characters and the world in a way that the games can't do, but without going too far like Boom did.

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On 8/22/2021 at 3:34 AM, Raphael Martins said:

Sonic Team didn't use to care about the canon, at least in this past decade. But they are releasing a encyclopedia this year showing what''s canon and what's not. The book is being written by Ian Flynn. So, in my opinion they are trying to fix the canon and have more focus on stories from now on. They also have fired Ken Pontac and Warren Graff.

Releasing an encyclopedia doesn't mean imo that they're trying to "fix the canon" (nor the lore), we'll know that if the encyclopedia actually try to explain stuff more that present everything that are in the game. Maybe it'll be more a presentation of stuff like badnics, some important location, events of the game. Maybe it'll have full-on timeline. Maybe it'll solve some big point like the "two worlds" stuff. Maybe they'll do a Breath of the Wild and make something that's entirely strange with the encyclopedia the very next game (yeah the "it's on all timeline" is a pretty hacky fix XD). (The only things we can be sure of is that there certainly won't be a complete geography of Sonic's World)

And we don't know if they have fired Ken Pontac and Warren Graff, as the most we have is Pontac talking about that in the past and some date on LinkedIn. They might simply have decided to stop. And TBH, it's not really related to the canon, as Pontaff hardly were responsible for stuff that affected the whole canon. For instance they certainly not the responsible for Classic Sonic being from another dimension and stuff like that. So for me it's another argument that don't prove anything.

That's why for me we can't say that Sonic Prime will be "canon" nor that things really have changed on that topic, more than "it might well because it seems self-contained enough". In a way, that's not really that much of a problem as Sonic have a pretty elastic canon : they don't have to care about character aging, we can add nearly as much story between one another as the characters don't really evolve more than it's necessary, and the world can be already kinda different each game.

So I'm pretty sure that except one or two minor things, we might have no problem to make Sonic Prime fit in our personal Sonic timelines.

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4 hours ago, Kazhnuz said:

Releasing an encyclopedia doesn't mean imo that they're trying to "fix the canon" (nor the lore), we'll know that if the encyclopedia actually try to explain stuff more that present everything that are in the game. Maybe it'll be more a presentation of stuff like badnics, some important location, events of the game. Maybe it'll have full-on timeline. Maybe it'll solve some big point like the "two worlds" stuff. Maybe they'll do a Breath of the Wild and make something that's entirely strange with the encyclopedia the very next game (yeah the "it's on all timeline" is a pretty hacky fix XD). (The only things we can be sure of is that there certainly won't be a complete geography of Sonic's World)

And we don't know if they have fired Ken Pontac and Warren Graff, as the most we have is Pontac talking about that in the past and some date on LinkedIn. They might simply have decided to stop. And TBH, it's not really related to the canon, as Pontaff hardly were responsible for stuff that affected the whole canon. For instance they certainly not the responsible for Classic Sonic being from another dimension and stuff like that. So for me it's another argument that don't prove anything.

That's why for me we can't say that Sonic Prime will be "canon" nor that things really have changed on that topic, more than "it might well because it seems self-contained enough". In a way, that's not really that much of a problem as Sonic have a pretty elastic canon : they don't have to care about character aging, we can add nearly as much story between one another as the characters don't really evolve more than it's necessary, and the world can be already kinda different each game.

So I'm pretty sure that except one or two minor things, we might have no problem to make Sonic Prime fit in our personal Sonic timelines.

They specifically said the encyclopedia is going to tell which games are canon and which ones aren't. This book is going to be Sonic's "Hyrule Historia"

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25 minutes ago, Raphael Martins said:

They specifically said the encyclopedia is going to tell which games are canon and which ones aren't. This book is going to be Sonic's "Hyrule Historia"

I need a source for the first part, but TBH even saying which game is canon doesn't mean that it'll "fix the canon". At most, it'll confirm that many classic games and Chronicles aren't canon, and maybe some other game, but TBH most of the game that could be removed didn't cause issue to the canon. Knowing which game is canon isn't the problem of Sonic canon, it's that there are contradiction even between canon and confirmed informations. It might be more like Mario's Encylopedia than Hyrule Historia… which is quite normal as if both have soft canon, there is far less question on the timeline in Sonic than in Zelda.

For the moment even if it "says which game are canon", we don't know what this book will exactly be. The only information that we can really infer is that it won't have a definitive answer on how is Sonic's geography (as Flynn already said that there is no such thing as a consistent geography. We might have some list of location though, maybe even a reference to South Island if they feel fancy enough).

Which doesn't mean that we won't get any goodies, they might reveal to us some cool stuff, like when they revealed some stuff about Blaze's Dimension in IDW, or adding some elements from Sonic X in the game universe like IDW again.

But all this doesn't really help us to know if they care that much more than before about canon, especially as they are still making stuff that can be seen as disruptive to the canon for some, as interpreting differently some important character, the two-world/one-world thingy (where we are in a situation where both solutions are kinda contrary with some of the games XD). They might still be in their "we sometimes references stuff but we still will make our new stuff self-contained" (which is neither a good or a bad things. It's… just a thing).

But all that for just one things : it's too early to says that they "care more about canon" and even less if Sonic Prime will be canon. It's something where we don't really have information, and if there is one things that this fanbase should have learned with times is that it's not because we want something. Trying to predict things accurately is already difficult when we are on solid ground so saying out of the blue "it'll be like this" without any proof simply make it more difficult xD

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9 minutes ago, Kazhnuz said:

I need a source for the first part, but TBH even saying which game is canon doesn't mean that it'll "fix the canon". At most, it'll confirm that the classic games and Chronicles aren't canon, and maybe some other game, but TBH most of the game that could be removed didn't cause issue to the canon. Knowing which game is canon isn't the problem of Sonic canon, it's that there are contradiction even between canon and confirmed informations. It might be more like Mario's Encylopedia than Hyrule Historia… which is quite normal as if both have soft canon, there is far less question on the timeline in Sonic than in Zelda.

For the moment, we don't know what this book will exactly be. The only information that we can really infer is that it won't have a definitive answer on how is Sonic's geography (as Flynn already said that there is no such thing as a consistent geography. We might have some list of location though, maybe even a reference to South Island if they feel fancy enough).

Dude, they specifically said the book is going to dive into the lore of the franchise and tell what's canon and what's not. The book is going to fix the canon:
 

Quote

A listing for an official Sonic the Hedgehog Enclyclopedia appeared on Amazon, named Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia. This is the first time ever in the Sonic series that an encyclopedia dedicated to the canon has been made.

Published by Dark Horse Books and written by Ian Flynn, this encyclopedia will aim to explore the lore of the Games’ universe, take an in-depth look at the characters, settings, stories, and show what is canon.

"Celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog’s 30th anniversary with a full-color hardcover historical retrospective that explores nearly every one of the blue speedster’s video game appearances!

Dive deep into the extensive lore and exhaustive detail of each game in Sonic’s ever-expanding universe–from the beloved SEGA Genesis to the most bleeding-edge video game consoles. This tome leaves no stone unturned, showcasing in-depth looks at the characters, settings, and stories from each exciting installment!

Dark Horse Books and SEGA present the Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-Speed-ia–a must-have volume for any fan of Sonic, young or old!

- Dark Horse Books"

 

Source: Tails Channel

 

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1 hour ago, Raphael Martins said:

Dude, they specifically said the book is going to dive into the lore of the franchise and tell what's canon and what's not. The book is going to fix the canon:

As I said, the problem of the canon isn't just "what is canon or not" ^^ It's "how we reconcile all the contradictory stuff said in obiviously canon game without making one of them non-canon".

Maybe they'll go to that road to fix something so precise, maybe not. To "fix the Sonic canon" (if such a thing is needed), it would be a bit more complex.

But it doesn't mean that the encyclopedia won't give us good lore and usefull stuff. Just that I wouldn't say know. There is a difference between describing the lore, and trying to fix it.

EDIT : and two of the sentence you have shown as proof… comes from the Sonic Channel and not even the source.

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1 minute ago, Kazhnuz said:

As I said, the problem of the canon isn't "what is canon or not" ^^

Well, they are going to release a whole book about the canon of the franchise. They will explain how the games bend together, and they hired Ian Flynn to write the book, he is probably the writer with more knowledge about the franchise. Again, this book is exactly a "Hyrule Historia" of Sonic. It's going to have the official timeline, etc. The source says it's going to be a "deep dive into the lore of the games' universe". It's not a matter of opinion, the book is going to be about the lore and this is confirmed, whatever you like it or not.

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As much as I'm excited for Prime, I don't think it's fair to compare it to Boom. Boom wasn't just intended to be a cartoon, but a whole sub-franchise spanning a variety of mediums. Of course SEGA sees it as a failure; they had way bigger plans for it than they ever will for Prime.

On 8/21/2021 at 9:33 PM, Raphael Martins said:

and it's even canon

IIRC Prime will be loosely based on the games a la IDW. I wouldn't exactly call that canon.

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On 8/23/2021 at 7:45 PM, Raphael Martins said:

Dude, they specifically said the book is going to dive into the lore of the franchise and tell what's canon and what's not. The book is going to fix the canon:

The top half of your quote, where you've emphasised the word "canon", is from Tails Channel, not an official press release. 

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To be fair, Sonic Prime shouldn't be compared to Sonic Boom because it looks like that they are completely different shows, since Sonic Boom is more comedy focused and is set in a different universe from the main games, while Sonic Prime is supposedly more serious in tone and is set in the mainstream Sonic games.

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58 minutes ago, Pengi said:

The top half of your quote, where you've emphasised the word "canon", is from Tails Channel, not an official press release. 

The official press release says very clearly: "Dive deep into the extensive lore (...)". "Lore" and "canon" are the same thing.

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2 hours ago, Piko said:

As much as I'm excited for Prime, I don't think it's fair to compare it to Boom. Boom wasn't just intended to be a cartoon, but a whole sub-franchise spanning a variety of mediums. Of course SEGA sees it as a failure; they had way bigger plans for it than they ever will for Prime.

IIRC Prime will be loosely based on the games a la IDW. I wouldn't exactly call that canon.

 

12 minutes ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

To be fair, Sonic Prime shouldn't be compared to Sonic Boom because it looks like that they are completely different shows, since Sonic Boom is more comedy focused and is set in a different universe from the main games, while Sonic Prime is supposedly more serious in tone and is set in the mainstream Sonic games.

I'm not saying Sonic Prime will be a better show than Boom because I don't think they are comparable in terms of quality. Sonic Boom is a very good show in its own right, despite being different from the mainline series. But they are different shows and different marketing strategies aiming the same goal: to make Sonic popular again among children and strengths the Sonic's brand. I think Sonic Prime has potential to be more successful than Boom in this aspect.

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2 minutes ago, Raphael Martins said:

But they are different shows and different marketing strategies aiming the same goal: to make Sonic popular again among children and strengths the Sonic's brand.

This is the goal of every Sonic product in existence.

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1 minute ago, Shaddy Zaphod said:

This is the goal of every Sonic product in existence.

Not all of them. Sonic Generations and Sonic Mania, for example, were more focused on the older fans. And, when it comes to Boom and Prime, I'm talking specifically about multimedia strategies (TV shows, movies, etc).

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2 minutes ago, Raphael Martins said:

Not all of them. Sonic Generations and Sonic Mania, for example, were more focused on the older fans.

Well no, they focused on older content, but they were just as much an appeal to young people as anything else.

Even if they weren't, all this means is that you could write "Sonic Prime is X done right" about anything that isn't an anniversary celebration.

2 minutes ago, Raphael Martins said:

And, when it comes to Boom and Prime, I'm talking specifically about multimedia strategies (TV shows, movies, etc).

Okay, and which Sonic shows and movies were not designed in any way to appeal to kids and make the series money?

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1 minute ago, Shaddy Zaphod said:

Well no, they focused on older content, but they were just as much an appeal to young people as anything else.

Even if they weren't, all this means is that you could write "Sonic Prime is X done right" about anything that isn't an anniversary celebration.

Okay, and which Sonic shows and movies were not designed in any way to appeal to kids and make the series money?

Nope, they have less appeal to younger audience and new generations because this audience doesn't have nostalgia for the Sega Genesis or other older titles in the franchise that came out when this kids haven't even been born yet..

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19 minutes ago, Raphael Martins said:

The official press release says very clearly: "Dive deep into the extensive lore (...)". "Lore" and "canon" are the same thing.

They are not. Especially not in this instance, where they talk about exploring the lore "of each game". It says nothing about declaring what is and is not canon, it's talking about exploring almost everything about the series' history.

Just now, Raphael Martins said:

Nope, they have less appeal to younger audience and new generations because this audience doesn't have nostalgia for the Sega Genesis or other older titles in the franchise that came out when this kids haven't even been born yet..

They may not have nostalgia for the Genesis games but they (presumably) enjoy the more recent games that are also represented in Generations. Also both games act as a way to introduce younger fans to the older parts of the series. They may be aimed more at long-time fans than other games, but Sega absolutely wants newer fans to buy them too.

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