If you’ve been checking out TSS this morning or discussing various things on the SSMB today, you’ll probably have noticed that there’s a new Sonic game announced that’s getting more attention than any in recent times. But what’s caught the attention of some fans, even more than the impressive teaser trailer, is the mysterious appearance of a website at http://www.needlemouse.com/
Featuring nothing but a black page and the above image (labelled as ‘concept artwork’ within the page’s source code), the safe assumption is that we’re seeing a bunch of early renders for a Green Hill-esque stage in the new 2010 ‘Needlemouse’ project. But, is it a real legit SEGA website?
A few forum members on the SSMB have dug up WHOIS information and have found that, while the domain name was registered back on the 21st August 2009, the nameservers link to one ‘dreamhost.com’ – obviously, this isn’t exactly the sort of host you’d expect to see an official SEGA website on. The fact that SEGA are usually so protective of leaked images, and hardly ever release concept artwork, suggest that this webpage could either be a clever hoax or a lead-up to some sort of fan project.
Having said that, nothing solid has been proven against the validity of the needlemouse.com website – this could all be a clever grassroots viral campaign, lead by a development team that isn’t as protective as Sonic Team. Indeed, we’re not even told if Sonic Team are even involved in this project at all.
The only sure way to find out is to obtain comment from SEGA — the Sega America official blog does not mention the needlemouse.com domain at all (where you would imagine that it would get some sort of acknowledgement) and our calls to SEGA directly about the matter has been met with the response; “I’ve asked”. Sounds a bit ominous if you ask us.
We’ll update you guys on SEGA’s official response on whether what you’re seeing is the real deal. Stay tuned.
EDIT: Apparently TSSZ has been in touch with a Sega America representative who told them that the site “is not connected to our Project Needlemouse”. Regardless, we’re holding out until we hear some sort of confirmation ourselves. But the prospect isn’t looking too good is it?
UPDATE: IGN has now gotten word from the Sega America Community Team about the non-relation to Project Needlemouse. So that settles that, then. If you didn’t like the fan-created Green Hill Zone then your prayers have been answered. If you did like it though, perhaps the real thing might turn out better. Who knows.