Following the recent spate of redundancies in the wake of SEGA’s re-organisation in which many casualties have included high profile employees such as SoA’s Kate Burning, it has now also been confirmed that the last remaining member of SoE’s community team, Laurie Cooper, has also now left the company.
For sites such as the Sonic Stadium, the community teams play a vital role in being the conduit through which SEGA and the fandom can directly communicate; although not a vital component to the functionality of SEGA itself, the members of these teams over the past years have played pivotal parts in reshaping future Sonic titles, and voicing dissatisfaction when games have not been up to standard.
To add to that, several individuals have been the linchpin in the creation of Summer of Sonic and Sonic Boom; two events which have become extremely close to the hearts of the thousands of you guys and girls who have attended. For this, and for their many other trailblazing projects, the community teams at SoA and SoE have been recognised not only within SEGA, but have acted as a template to many other companies within the videogames industry with regards to talking with their passionate fans and communities.
While it is uncertain what the connotations might be in the long run in losing the European arm of the community team altogether, TSS would like to extend our gratitude for the years of service from the SEGA community staff (past and present, American and European), and their ability to go above and beyond the call of duty when usually it was never asked of them.
As tribute, here are some of the community team’s defining achievements over the last six years:
SEGA PAX 2010 Community Event
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdSeEDt9fuM[/youtube] Fans at PAX Prime were treated to a night of food and drink, gaming…and Cash Cash even turned up to play some songs!
Alton Towers Sonic Spinball Launch Event
Members of the press along with key community members from UK Sonic fansites were invited to ride the Sonic Spinball ride at the Alton Towers theme park before anyone else, along with a beach party to get a hands-on of Sonic & SEGA All Stars Racing.
Dreadknux also got to sleep in the Sonic Room!
Summer of Sonic (2008 – Present)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Umila55Vl5g[/youtube] Although primarily a fan-organised event, the SEGA Community team have in recent become heavily involved in supporting this rapily growing endevour.
Free Stuff Fridays
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY6kiRfxxm0&feature=relmfu[/youtube] If you love merch as much as I do, you’ll love FSF too! The SoA team’s weekly appearance has been a great way to have a little fun on Friday.
E3 Community Event: Sonic Boom
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJYZmQTbSVE&feature=related[/youtube] Spearheaded SoA including members of the community team, Boom proved to be as popular as Summer of Sonic, and will be making a triumphant return at ComicCon this year.
TSS tips our hat to the likes of Kate, Laurie, Kevin, Martin, Rom, Aaron, Kellie and Julian for all of their hard work, and we wish all those who have departed the company all the best in their future endevours; we hope they are all proud of what they have accomplished for our community.
Do you guys have any favourite moments associated with the community teams from the past few years? Let us know along with any messages you want to convey in the comments.
EDIT: Burd bloopers: Do’h!
1. The PAX party was at PAX Prime, not at PAX East.
2. While the Sonic Boom event was hosted by Aaron Webber, many others at SOA were crucial in creating this event – hats off to all of those involved!
3. Ken Balough is a Digital Brand Manager, not a Community Team member; he is however still super cool.