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SEGA's New Sonic Strategy


Mr.Isklue
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SEGA doesn't want to make any more bad Sonic games.

That's the point SEGA West CEO Mike Hayes, who oversees North America and European development, drove home during an interview with IGN last week. He said the company is making sure it will listen to what fans want going forward.

"It's all part of a general strategy with Sonic where we are passionate about getting Sonic back up to the quality levels we've had historically," Hayes explained. "We've gone through a major segmentation analysis of Sonic and where it would appeal to the different fans."

Haynes explained the company is driving its Sonic brand at different audiences for the different platforms. The company released Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I on numerous platforms earlier this month. It will also release Sonic Colors for Wii and DS and Sonic Free Riders for Kinect in November.

"On the Wii and Nintendo DS, we're driving those brands to the younger audience," he said. "We have our Mario and Sonic brands that are very mass-market. Then we have our brands where we will focus on our SEGA and Sonic loyalists and we made the decision there to listen to what their feedback is."

"We delayed the launch of Sonic 4 to make sure we got that as right as we could and we're still listening because as we progress the series we want to make sure we get that right."

Hayes explained the SEGA is even approaching development of its Sonic titles differently depending on the target audience.

"Where I think we provide Sonic for a younger audience, there we have to take innovation ourselves and try and understand and work out what will be the best game for a more 8 to 12 year old audience," he said. "For the core fans, we definitely want to hear what they have to say about Sonic."

"It's just such a vital brand for us, and the most important thing is to get relevant quality, and that's what we're going to spend a lot of time and money doing over the next three or more years to get right."

Sonic 4 was released earlier this month on several platforms. When asked about the game's current sales, Hayes did not provide exact unit sales, but said Sonic 4 is tracking a little higher than he expected.

"It's absolutely bang on where we wanted it to be on all the formats," he explained.

"This is the whole part of us moving Sonic up the scale to a much better quality product. Fingers crossed; it's actually tracking a little bit ahead of where we expected it to be."

Info by:IGN

Edited by Mr.Isklue
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Detective Shadzter

Linky

That's very good to hear, but I do get tired of him keep going on about appealing to 8 to 12 year olds.

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You know Sega, Nintendo didn't need to separate it's audiences to get everyone to buy a Mario game. At the end of the day, you make a good Sonic game, people will buy it. It's as simple as that.

You don't need to cater specifically to those young kids because they'll buy the game either way. And if you stop fucking around and make a GOOD game, the core fans will like it hence why Colors is almost center attention and Sonic 4 came and went.

Also, this isn't a 'new' strategy, they've been saying this same speech since pre-Sonic 4 release.

Edited by Black Spy
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Badnik Mechanic

"Where I think we provide Sonic for a younger audience, there we have to take innovation ourselves and try and understand and work out what will be the best game for a more 8 to 12 year old audience," he said. "For the core fans, we definitely want to hear what they have to say about Sonic."

Anyone remember when Binky used to be in charge?

Shadzter: Binky?

Simon Jeffery.

Shadzter: Oh him...

Yes... Binky.

Anyway, back when Binky used to be in charge he said similar things to this... and he was wrong then, and this fellow as nice as he's been so far, is also wrong.

Why is he wrong? Well take this forum for example... you'd be very hard pressed to find many people aged 8-12 on it... the large majority seem to be over 16.. and some of us old buggers are getting on for over 25... I have some market research for them.

We want to play Sonic colours

Yes Mario and Sonic is on a Nintendo console... If you can't understand why then you need to go see the doctor.

Sonic colours looks great, lots of people want to play it. To say that it's on the wii/DS because it appeals to the 8-12 year olds is beyond daft. It's almost as daft an argument that Sonic sells best on the Wii when theres so many other things that come into force when the excuses/justifications pop out... This one is another example of poor reasoning.

I want to play Sonic Colours and I'm more than double the age range on that one!

If they're still seriously going along with Binkys old stance, then they're just... well... completely out of touch.

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I gotta agree with Gnasher here.

For one thing, they really need to stop using that shitty "Sonic Colors is for babies while Sonic 4 is for the true hardcore fans" explanation. As long as the game is good, then why on earth would you even need to separate the games into age groups anyway? Just look at Mario: Nintendo never said that only retro fans should play NSMB while only younger fans should play Mario Galaxy, because as long as the game is actually good (like Colors looks to be), it should be enjoyable to all age groups. Not to mention it's extremely ironic, seeing as most older fans seem to be much more excited for Colors than they ever were of 4.

I know Sega reps in the past have tried to cover this up when Iizuka said something similar a few months ago, but the fact that Hayes is bringing it up now again just shows that they're still a bit out of touch.

Edited by gamerguy21
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Of course it is your vital brand. Even LucasArts came to its senses on that recently and put out enhanced re-releases of their Monkey Island classics.

Now we hear them say it, and I am not sure how to take this. He did not state it with full specificity, but it sounds like Sega wants its Sonic games to cater specifically to the pre-teen audience. Well, back in the 90s the teenies were playing Nintendo and hardcore gamers were playing Sega. On the other hand, as Shadow the Hedgehog showed, Sonic does not necessarily work in a more mature, darker and edgier setting. I am just not sure what to think, but I believe most of us enjoy Sonic anyways and will keep doing so.

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Making good games? Eh... I dunno, sounds like a weak strategy to me.... :rolleyes:

And yeah... um... let SEGA think that the Wii/DS games will be aimed at the young kids. Maybe we'll get more games of Sonic Color's caliber, 'cause personally I think it looks vastly better than Sonic 4. And Sonic 4 ain't exactly a bad game ;)

But I AM eager to see what they got in mind for the HD consoles...

Edited by EXshad
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Am I the only one who enjoys sonic games in an end of the world, apocalyptic setting? it's nice, a good excuse to pull out some other characters whom need dusted off (so to speak) and it adds awesomeness to it, I loved Shadow the Hedgehog, and wish there was a sequal (and trust me, Ive been a fan for ages and been on the is site for a few years, just so you know I ain't some lil noob-child :lol: )

I also loved Sonic 06, just with both games, they really consistantly use the same enemies, especially in Sonic 06 (How the hell does a fire-lizard appear in Aquatic Base? O.o....especially in Silver and Shadow's time-travel to the past??? :S)

But I do love the dark setting more than the happy setting :)

But this whole seperation gash needs to disapear, and SEGA to release all the games (bar Mario and Sonic) to all consoles, especially when a sequal to Sonic Unleashed is not coming on the 360 -.-.....

Anyways...that's me...for now!

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CrownSlayer’s Shadow

Kinda getting tired of hearing the same thing said for nearly 3-4 years. Sonic Colors my be evidence showing promise after all that time, but really, could you evaluate the idea with how it will fare to the fans?

Like Unleashed: clearly two out of the three branches of Sega said not to put the werehog in the game, but the other branch went ahead and did it. It wasn't as bad as Sonic 06, but the welcoming would've been better without the werehog.

Am I the only one who enjoys sonic games in an end of the world, apocalyptic setting?

If you want every game to be like that, then yeah most likely.

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If you want every game to be like that, then yeah most likely.

Not really EVERY game, just every now and then. lol

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You know Sega, Nintendo didn't need to separate it's audiences to get everyone to buy a Mario game. At the end of the day, you make a good Sonic game, people will buy it. It's as simple as that.

You don't need to cater specifically to those young kids because they'll buy the game either way. And if you stop fucking around and make a GOOD game, the core fans will like it hence why Colors is almost center attention and Sonic 4 came and went.

Nintendo do it, they just don't announce it.

This is basic market strategy. M@S at the Olympics targets a completely different audience to colours or even unleashed for example.

Stuff like this is important, because there's no point in wasting valuable resources and money on a market that just isn't there.

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This all brings me back to a scene in the Angry Video Game Nerd's Nintendo Power tribute video in which he reads a section from the feedback columns that says something along the lines of "What is popular to the older audience is usually what is popular to the younger audience." While I don't think this particular fan-voiced suggestion has anything to do with Nintendo's business strategy, if you look at any of the games coming out this year and all the games that have come out last year and years before that, you can see that Nintendo has kept a similar mindset with them throughout the years.

But it's not like Sega is the first to try to pull this kind of thing off* - Really, Sega. Consider learning from the mistakes of others. You can't make them all yourself:

BombActZerobox.jpg

*However, Sega is the first to try to pull this kind of thing off, get immensely bad reception, and not learn their lesson.

Edited by Akito
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Ironic. The Wii and DS are home to the Sonic games that actually seem to have satisfied the core fans (Rush and Colors). Yet, those games are more aimed at younger gamers than the core fans to Sega. :huh:

If anything, stuff like Free Riders is what's aimed at younger gamers.

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Am I the only one who enjoys sonic games in an end of the world, apocalyptic setting? it's nice, a good excuse to pull out some other characters whom need dusted off (so to speak) and it adds awesomeness to it, I loved Shadow the Hedgehog, and wish there was a sequal (and trust me, Ive been a fan for ages and been on the is site for a few years, just so you know I ain't some lil noob-child :lol: )

I also loved Sonic 06, just with both games, they really consistantly use the same enemies, especially in Sonic 06 (How the hell does a fire-lizard appear in Aquatic Base? O.o....especially in Silver and Shadow's time-travel to the past??? :S)

But I do love the dark setting more than the happy setting :)

But this whole seperation gash needs to disapear, and SEGA to release all the games (bar Mario and Sonic) to all consoles, especially when a sequal to Sonic Unleashed is not coming on the 360 -.-.....

Anyways...that's me...for now!

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I'm not banking on Sonic Team making another good game after the unexpected wealth of creativity and genius they have dumped into Sonic Colors.

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I'm not banking on Sonic Team making another good game after the unexpected wealth of creativity and genius they have dumped into Sonic Colors.

Creativity isn't a commodity that gets used up, and has to regenerate by not being used. If anything, the more creativity is put into the products, you get more creativity back to use. Sonic 1's innovations led to Sonic 2's innovations led to Sonic 3's innovations.

Recent Sonic hasn't had the creativity injection that can start the process up again (Except for the daytime Unleashed stages, which was the precursor to Sonic Colours.) Plus there's the fact that a string of bad games depresses the workforce, and when you're depressed it's hard to be creative.

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SHAX Hedgefox

I don't see why there's all the hate for Sonic 4. It was a decent game, stop nitpicking about how the physics are crap or his eyes are green.

Anyway, Sega does seem to have a weird mindset about all of this. Just because a game is on the Wii doesn't necessarily mean it's for kids. I mean look at Madworld for a good example. Or for the reverse version, look at Viva Pinata on the 360, or Little Big Planet on the PS3.

Also, don't make another post apocalyptic game, please? You tried, and subsequently failed, to do that with Shadow and Sonic 06, and look how they turned out!

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I don't see why there's all the hate for Sonic 4. It was a decent game, stop nitpicking about how the physics are crap

This isn't nitpicking.

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CrownSlayer’s Shadow

Also, don't make another post apocalyptic game, please? You tried, and subsequently failed, to do that with Shadow and Sonic 06, and look how they turned out!

Except they also tried and subsequently got it right in the Adventures and somewhat at the end of Unleashed. Just because you fail once doesn't mean you shouldn't try again; it means to learn from what didn't go well and try to make it better, doesn't matter what it is.

You could very well have said for them not to make a lighthearted plot after the chessy crap in Heroes.

Tho whether it was apocalyptic or not, that didn't call for the language that went into ShTH. That just shows where this series limits are.

Edited by ChaosSupremeSonic
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SHAX Hedgefox

Except they also tried and subsequently got it right in the Adventures and somewhat at the end of Unleashed. Just because you fail once doesn't mean you shouldn't try again; it means to learn from what didn't go well and try to make it better, doesn't matter what it is.

How the hell where the Adventures post apocalyptic? If you mean the final battles, they were only one or two levels. Unlike Shadow, in which at least every second level was post apocalyptic. But I don't think we need to beat that horse too much, do we?

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I don't think we should interpret comments like these to be primarily meant to point out how certain games (such as Colors) is just for kids. No, i think that what the guys at Sega are mostly trying to get across is how certain games (such as Sonic 4) is strictly aimed at older fans. So yeah, the basic message to the fans is probably "we will continue to make games for everyone, but we will also make games specifically for YOU".

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SEGA is ruining their franchise brand. why can't they let the Programmers/developers speak.

SEGA Doesn't believe it has a large fan base that are Excited about Sonic Colors? just by Telling them its for kids, that a lone could cause trouble to sonic colors sales.

their is a lot of passion been put to the game, Sonic 3 similar level design, Wisps are optional, badniks from the old games more than sonic 4, Yellow springs return, water levels return, great music.

i would not trust this guy, first he said black knight is a good game (which is okay since its his opinion) then Free riders is for adults and sonic colors is for kids.

i think the explanations of this would be that I think : iizuka wanted to create a sonic game for the Wii so he told hayes that its going to be for kids so it would sell Just so they could get the development kits for the Wii and Hayes is repeating what iizuka told him.

in any case, Colors is really for Every one That what the developers want. Hayes is so conveinced that its just for kids just because iizuka told him so so that they could publish the game...

such a shame really. i could expect a better answer like 'for kids and adults', does he even realize that this is sonic unleashed without the werehog and more platforming?

wow enough said. SEGA's mind is Destroyed, they can't get it right.

Hayes please stop... Let the developers say that its for Every one for once and for all.

First iizuka says it for kids then changes his mind. then Hayes says its for kids and riders is for adults, then The game's brand manger says its For Kids and fans then Hayes says its for kids.

*sight* Just Let the Programmers/developers speak, i am sure the Actual Programmers/developers/Coders would have said its for every one, its obvious after all, they have unleashed without the werehog and more platforming and old badniks returns and explorations return. its sad such a great job would be ruined by the president of SEGA him self.

I Feel sorry for the Developers of sonic colors. Sonic Team are probably die hard sonic fans and wants to Advertise this game too much but SEGA isn't allowing them, and instead SEGA is telling the fans not to buy it, 'COZ Sonic colors is for kidz and free riders is for adults', I AM NOT EVEN JOKING, HAYES SAID FREE RIDERS IS FOR ADULTS AND COLORS IS FOR KIDS AND SONIC 4 IS FOR THE CORE GAMERS -.-

you know if the Developers (the ACTUAL Developers not Mike Hayes Not iizuka) were able to speak, they would have said 'Colors is for both kids and fans. you know more like mario being for every one and satisfied the fans of the classic mario and kids and sold very well. we are also doing that for colors, making it for every one , classic fans will be happy and fans of the classics will be happy.

probably would have been better better than what SEGA Says now. they Need to let the black knight team speak, Sonic Reputation would have been better this way. Colors is for every one, Mike Hayes is only speaking for the sake of Money, he doesn't know what the black knight is aiming , they are aiming that its for Every one and for the classic fans (PROVE NO WEREHOG DAY TIME UNLEASHED AND MORE FOCUSE ON PLATFORMING), JUST LET THE BLACK KNIGHT TEAM SPEAK, STOP RUINING SONIC'S REPUTATION, SEGA.

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I don't really see the problem with saying that Sonic Colours is 'for kids'. It's a pretty indisputable fact that the game was created with a younger target audience in mind. That doesn't mean that it has any less play-value for older fans, just that it was created to be accessible and easily playable by a younger audience.

Every game in existence has a primary target audience. This can be age-specific, genre-specific, gender-specific, hobby-specific, casual-vs-hardcore-specific etc etc. I think it's more a reflection on people's easily wounded pride (oh no, I can't play a game that's aimed at KIDS!) than on poor labelling.

Colours is for 'everyone' in that most fans should be able to get good play-value from it regardless of age. But it was created mostly with a younger audience in mind, to ensure that they will be able to get good fun out of it without being overwhelmed or put off by too-steep learning curves or presented with unsuitable themes, and I think it's perfectly fair and accurate to say that.

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Colours is for 'everyone' in that most fans should be able to get good play-value from it regardless of age. But it was created mostly with a younger audience in mind, to ensure that they will be able to get good fun out of it without being overwhelmed or put off by too-steep learning curves or presented with unsuitable themes, and I think it's perfectly fair and accurate to say that.

I wish that was the case, too bad Hayes disagrees.

the way SEGA Promotes their titles (at least starting from now) is Wrong.

the developers are saying its both for kids and fans (Judging from the game) but Mike Hayes already said not only in this interview, in another interview that

'colors is for kids. free riders is for adults. sonic 4 is for fans' what?

Edited by speedduelist
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