E3 2010 Interview: Aaron Webber

E3 2010 Interview: Aaron Webber

NOTE: We have this in video form, but the audio is so poor and hard to hear due to the loudness that is E3, (I was yelling too!) that we’re just gonna have to transcribe it. I may still put up the video later if we can clean up the audio. By the way, I wanna say that Aaron couldn’t have been a nicer guy. He puts up with a lot of heat on the forums, but always comes off very classy. Also, you can thank Nuckles87 for the Mine Kart question.

Hello folks, I’m here at Alton Towers. (Points to Sonic 4 backdrop) Just kidding! We’re at the Sonic 4 area here at the Sega booth. With me is Sega Rep, Aaron Webber. Who many of you may know as RubyEclipse. Aaron, how’s it going today?

Aaron – Pretty well. It’s been a really busy day as it was yesterday with a lot of people playing Sonic 4. It’s great though because for many, it’s their first time getting their hands on it.

Now, Sonic 4 has been a controversial game with many people loving it or loathing it on some forums. There does seem to have been some improvements on the physics I myself, have been enjoyed what I played so far and it is up for IGN’s nomination for best platformer at E3. Can you tell me what kind of improvements they’ll be making to this game?

Aaron – It’s actually much more than just physics. There’s a lot we haven’t announced yet or talked about as far as changes we are making to this game. We’ll be revealing some of those soon, but I just want to say that physics will be just a small piece of it. Now, with regard to your comment about the fans, I think there’s truth that no matter what kind of Sonic game we make, no matter what it entails, no matter what it’s expected to be, they’ll be people who love it and they’ll be people who hate it. No matter what kind of game you make, there will always be people in that spectrum and you have to accept and understand that.

We understand that no matter what we do, no matter what improvements we make they’ll still be people out there that are like “You know what? Those eyes are not black, ergo it’s not cool with me” The physics might be perfect. The game might be feeling like classic Sonic. But because the eyes are different, they might feel it’s different. We understand that people will always have difference of opinions, but when it comes down to it, they don’t say those things because they’re angry or negative people, but the reason they are so passionate is because they really love Sonic and the franchise and they love the memories and nostalgia they had growing up with the Genesis games. I think that’s the reason why they are so passionate whether they are for it or against it. So, regardless where they sit on that spectrum, if it’s because of that passion, then it’s very respectful.

Is there anything you can currently tell us about what to expect in Episode 2?

Aaron – We haven’t officially announced episode 2 at this point, so I can’t really talk about a game we haven’t announced yet. We did call it episode one for a reason though, so there is more we’ll be able to talk about Sonic 4 in the future.

Is there anything you can tell us about the exclusive iPhone levels coming out?

Aaron – The iPhone levels are definitely designed to take advantage of the accelerometer and motion controls. I know a lot of stuff’s been out there, (in regards to leaked videos) I know a lot of people have seen some stuff, but it’s not the final version of the game. So I think in many ways, having Sonic 4 at E3 is a good chance for us to let them know that just because you saw something that you think is final doesn’t mean it’s final. Somethings that are touchy on console controls work much better on a motion control setting.

When I first saw Sonic 4 in motion, I thought it would make a great portable game myself. But as far as leaked videos go, from my own experience, it’s one thing to see it. It’s another thing to actually sit down and play it. It’s a much better game than they might expect. Is there anything you can tell us about the controversial Mine Kart level?

Aaron – (Laughs) That level I know was very controversial when it got out there. One was probably because of the design of the level and two because it was actually unfinished. So people might look at it and say “this isn’t what we were expecting”. It’s kind of like, when you look at a building being built. You don’t look at the framing and say “Well, where’s the air conditioning?” That was something people were obviously frustrated about because they saw what was not completed and they judged it based on that.

That’s kinda how I felt about Casino zone act 2. It’s obviously unfinished and feels like it’s there as possibly a placement holder.

Aaron – In many cases, it’s things that we test out. So at times it’s like “How would this play on a console? How would this feel?” and in many cases we got some fantastic feedback. In many ways, regardless of what some guy on a forum might have said, regardless of how controversial things may have been, that any change we make because of that is for the better.

Thanks so much for your time.

Aaron – You’re welcome.


  1. Wow.
    That was a great interview =D.
    Good questions, Good answers, good job Jason and Nuckles87

  2. There are a ton of Sonic fans that really need to read this interview. Good job Aaron for bashing some common sense into the heads of fans who will read this interview (ie. the unfinished building and people basing opinions on an unfinished product)

  3. You could add subtitles to the video and put it up on YouTube. Then I think it could reach the haters.

  4. When people complain about the eyes (and complain so much that it seems there just looking for reasons to complain,) I can’t help but laugh. I mean, seriously, Sonic’s been that way since ’98. It ain’t gonna change anytime soon.

    This interview shows that SEGA understands the fandom, both its hideously negative sides and its hopeful, just-enjoy-it sides, and thats good.

  5. I respect Ruby, but he’s basically trying to cover up the fact that the game had some serious flaws. Don’t forget the game was due for release next month, and if it wasn’t for the leaked footage, it probably still would be. They’re currently working out the flaws, but as mentioned at E3, the tweaks are very minor at this stage, so if the release date was next month, most of those flaws would have remained in the game.

    Thank god for the delay.

  6. Oh so the minecart was an experiment eh?

    The game was in BETA form?

    I call bullshit. Stasis and I are hopefully on the same page. The entire theme of this was “What we were making was shit and WE know it.”

    But you guys keep throwing SEGA your cash. FACE FACTS MORONS. SEGA doesn’t fucking care about quality unless it’s graphics because everyone has to be a graphics whore these days. If the gameplay’s not that spectacular the game will fall flat despite pretty visuals.

  7. *sigh* And so, Aaron’s point is demonstrated…

    There has been all manner of massive overreaction with regards to Sonic 4, both positive and negative. And unfortunately, some people will feel the need to be vindicated so strongly they will construct a private reality in which they can be.

    Sad, really.

    Matt is right.
    As a matter of fact, the game WAS in it’s BETA form, which was all that was in those leaked videos.
    You can call bullshit if you want but it doesn’t mean you’re right, you know.

    If SEGA didn’t care about quality, then they wouldn’t have delayed the games release date to tweak the PHYSICS AND GAMEPLAY. Pay attention.

  9. A game is in BETA form until it is released. At the point, it’s GOLD.

    So yeah, the game was in BETA and will continue to be a BETA until SEGA stops working on it.

  10. @BlueChaos:

    And they reason they were improving the game was because SEGA got massive backlash once the game was leaked.

    SEGA only cares about your money. Stop defending a company that can’t live up to it’s name.

  11. Well obviously, they hardly want anymore complaining fans who will stop at nothing to criticise them.

    Isn’t making money pretty much the goal of any company?

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