UPDATE: The Spin: “What Do You Mean? There’s a Problem With Sonic Runners?”

spin

UPDATE: Following the publication of this article, the following happened.

A YouTube Video was posted showing a possible workaround for the instant crash bug. Looks like it was related to the always online DRM.

UPDATE 2: Sega has published a new update for Android users, the instant crash bug has been fixed but performance problems are still being experienced.

Game still can’t be downloaded by some users despite the fact it runs on those devices fine.

ORIGINAL STORY:

So… How did the Sonic Runners launch go?

sonicrunnersbroke

Take a look at it…  Just look at it, that isn’t them all, it’s barely a quarter of all the complaints I could find, it’s also just from one source, a small sample of all the complaints on the official Sonic the Hedgehog Facebook group regarding today’s release of Sonic Runners.

Sonic Runners was released nearly 20 hours ago and since then there has been nothing but problems reported, mainly from Android users, most iOS users despite some reported problems are actually able to get the game to start and are able to play.

Now with a lot of games lately there are bugs and issues, with mobile games especially, you have the minefield of non standardised hardware being an issue, however Sonic Runners really does set a new standard for some pretty major bugs and issues, some of which potentially pose risk to the actual device and the health of the person playing the game.

Since the game launched, players of the game have inundated Sega’s various Facebook and twitter accounts, as well as the official and fan forums to report problems with the game and in some cases issues which threaten the device it was running on.

The problems are mainly located on the Android platform, however iOS users have also reported serious issues ranging from game crashing, poor optimization, loss of connection and data loss.

Android users however have had nothing but hell since the game launched, if indeed they can get the game launched. I have at hand 3 devices which by all rights should be able to play this game without any problems, all these devices were able to play every single soft launch release build flawlessly.

 

  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (barely 6 months old)
  • Sony Xperia Z3 (less than a year old)
  • Google Nexus 7 (3 days old)

 

All these devices are running the most up to date firmware/operating systems. the S5 has played runners daily at length since it originally launched. The following is a list of the VERY serious issues that I have personally experienced and other users on our forums have reported with the same/other devices.

 

  • S5 & Xperia: Crashes the moment you try to start it up, it gives the impression that the app has closed, however it’s actually still running as a background app.
  • Xperia: If the app is started and left in the background (say unnoticed by the user), the phone will get extremely hot to touch, the battery will also drain very quickly.
  • Nexus 7: The worldwide release works and runs, however after only 2 min of play the device gets extremely hot, so hot in fact we had to turn it off for fearing the safety of the hardware and because we were very concerned that it would become a fire hazard had we left it running, one part of the device was so hot it could have potentially burned someone.

 

The issues with the Nexus 7 were so bad, the owner of it immediately uninstalled the game and made me promise never to install it on there again.

Regarding the Nexus 7 issue. This is almost certainly the result of the hardware not being upto scratch, the system is being pushed near it’s limit which is generating a massive level of heat.

But the issue is this. Why is an older device  cleary struggling to play the game able to do just that. But more advanced systems can’t even get past a splash screen?

Following efforts to get the devices to play Runners, we also noticed that the devices had issues with their normal operations after the game was stopped, such as 3G & 4G connectivity completely failing for around an hour and some other web service issues, yes we even travelled to another location to verify this wasn’t a localised problem to the area.

As mentioned, other users who have got the game working on android have also noticed phones/devices overheating (confirmed on both iOS and Android), some have reported data loss when upgrading to the worldwide launch version and others have reported major performance problems on both iOS and Android.

Now to be fair here, I have some experience with developing games for mobile devices and there is a problem, unlike developing for a console, even if your testing studio has 100 devices, you will still never have universal compatibility or be free from problems, even from things such as the size of the screen can fail a build. When releasing a game for Android, you will NEVER have a problem free launch…

However… given the scale of the issues reported, this can barely be an excuse, some of the most advanced devices using the latest OS and firmware are reporting major problems, even in Sega’s own compatibility list, devices which should work are not, in fact Sega has only said iOS users must be over iOS 7. There is absolutely no reason at all why the S4, S5, S6 or the Sony Z3 shouldn’t be able to play this game. It’s frankly baffling how this was allowed to be released in it’s current state.

But you know what is really odd about all this?

Yesterday, all these devices were playing the game fine, absolutely no problems, I was enjoying the game and have been doing nothing but praising the game since it was launched, yes I have some issues with it which I was actually intending to bring up later if they were still present in the worldwide version, but given the state of the worldwide version as it stands right now, it’s not worth the risk to your device to play it.

Now to be fair, Sega have release a statement on the matter.

 

runnersstatement

 

I want to be reassured that it’ll be fixed soon, I really do, I really love Runners and really want to play it again, however it took 2 years for them to fix Sonic 4 on mobile devices and it’s really easy to put a statement like that out, especially with no time frame or what they define as a ‘challenge’.

Especially since in a few hours time the birthday celebrations are due to begin, in which free items will be given away and users will have the chance to get classic Sonic… will we get it fixed in time to be in with a chance at picking him up? If not, how is that going to work? Compensation? If so how you going to do that since there’s no way to prove who was prevented from playing and who is a new user?

I don’t like this waiting game, especially when it was working fine the other day and there really is absolutely no justifiable reason as to why this became such a disaster for such a large portion of the user base who provided you with the test data for today’s launch.

56 Comments

  1. Given the number of months this was available in Canada, the level of issues on the proper launch is inexcusable.

    Then again, I haven’t experienced any issues.

    Then again, to experience issues, the damn thing would actually have to install first. Which it won’t.

    1. OK, so I got it installed; Google Play was to blame for that issue.
      So I fire it up- another 10 minutes of downloading‽ REALLY‽‽‽

      *time passes*

      Yay! I finally get to play- aaand it’s laggy and unplayable.

      Head, meet desk.

    2. I can see the developers and Japanese not complaining cause they ha dno issue with it at first.
      Then when the product is release shit gets fucked up. Its like Arkham Knight.

      1. At least Runners is not a heavily and falsely advertised 60 fucking dollar game. Jesus, fuck the abomination that is Batman Arkham Knight.

  2. The game is doing absolutely abysmally on the U.S. iPhone charts. Not featured as an App of the Week, not in the top 150 free apps. It’s selling worse than the 2 year old Sonic Dash is right now.

    1. It crashes on my iPad mini 2 once I press start. It was working before, though.

      Sonic Runners and Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice. The “main” Sonic Games.

      O.O

  3. To go from “FPS now and then issue” to “Nope” is downright moronic. I’m severely pissed off at their handling of this.

  4. Let’s not also forget it’s serious compatibility issues!

    Compatible with a two year old Samsung Galaxy S III Mini (Android 4.2.2) – but barely runs.

    Compatible with a two year old Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (Android 4.2.2) – Playable with lag spikes, very long loading times

    INCOMPATIBLE with a barely 2 month old Samsung Galaxy A5 running Android 4.4.4!

  5. The only problems I have so far are heating up and battery drain. The game also sometimes lags a good bit, and I can’t help but feel that’s not my phone’s fault, as no other game does that (except sometimes Sonic Dash, but that’s normal.)

  6. You know Sega and Sonic Team, I’m starting to think that you should have waited a lot longer before ending the soft-launch…

    Seriously, the server issues are not excusable. The only positive I can really think of is that, hey, server overload issues on this level must mean that the game was more popular than anticipated, or else the game would be running smoothly as Sega would have invested in enough servers to sustain everybody. Though even that popularity won’t last if these issues remain.

  7. Yeah, this is unacceptable! Even though I haven’t had any problems with the worldwide release (possibly due to having an iPhone 6 or I don’t know what?), it’s still crazy stupid that these problems are occurring. I know first hand how it is to have a phone that feels like an oven and it isn’t fun. Question is why? The soft launch was working fine so what’s the deal? I feel bad for those who are experiencing problems with what should just be a quick and easy experience. SEGA get you stuff together and fix this mess m, especially since you guys want to focus more on mobile gaming! Your mobile reputation depends on fixing this, otherwise you’re screwed harder than you already screwed yourselves!

  8. I must be one of the lucky android users. I’ve had the app since it came out in april and its still working great on my Samsung Galaxy S4. They also dont have classic sonic up for grabs yet, just way better roulette odds and red rings, no new buddies yet too.

  9. Wow, I’m actually really surprised to be honest.
    I downloaded Runners on my iPhone 5 and have had nothing but great things to say! I had no idea other people were having problems like this until a few hours ago.

  10. I’m having no issues with it, surprisingly. Probably one of all 50 people that can say that. Maybe it’s because I downloaded the game via that QooApp from my android and have been updating the game since via QooApp. I think DarkSpinesSonic made a video about this and said that if you want to get past the screen you have to turn off your wifi (yes you have to turn it off so a game that requires internet connection will play) and then turn it back on when it asks for you to move to a place with stronger connection. That should get you into the game more often than not, even if your device isn’t compatible. Just watch his video on it to be honest. He makes it a lot clearer than I can.

  11. The only problem I have is that’s it’s stuck on the install! And it always comes up, EVERY SINGLE TIME!
    “Connection failed. Please move to a place with a stronger signal and try again.”

    – On iPad Air.

  12. Well, it’s strange. Everything works fine for me on both devices (SGS3 LTE & Nexus 7 [2012]). I can’t understand why newer devices have problems and the old ones not. (at least no major problems. I mean, it sure is ab bit laggy on my Nexus 7, but still okay.)

  13. Been very lucky. Have had no problems on my iPad mini or LG Optima. The only crash that occurred was once when a level ended and it went to an ad. It sucks that so many people are having a problem playing the game. Is there a compatibility list anywhere?

  14. Okay… Can Someone PLEASE Explain To Me, How In The World Did This Ended Up Like That!!!??? :/

  15. It’s not exactly ‘nothing but problems’. It worked fine for me, and still does
    I feel bad now, because I know how many people it doesn’t work for, and I wanted to make the joke ‘elementary mistake from SEGA’. Oh well

  16. I personally couldn’t even find the app on my samsung galaxy s5 googly store, But I did found it on my dad’s xt-626 and when I entered the app download page through the previouse version it says my device is incompatible, so I had no choise but to update the game the same way I did until now by downloading it from QooApp and the game works really fine on my samsung galaxy s5 andit seems compatible with the device unlike what the google store said

  17. Unplayable. I can’t even play it now. Crashes before it even gets past all the notifications. I can’t even play the game anymore! WTF, Sega?!

  18. I still hate that Sega didn’t fix Android and ISO anyway. I can’t even download Sonic Runners on my HTC Desire OPCV1 because it isn’t compatible, hope they fix soon. I can’t wait any longer just to play Sonic Runners.

  19. At least you all could download the game. I’ve got android 4.4.4 and a ZTE Olympia/ZMAX and it says it isn’t compatible. Bullshit.

  20. I don’t know how to get the game on my Galaxy S5, and before risking to melt the device I’m trying to get it running on BlueStacks: it starts, gets to the title, I tap (click) and it loads forever.

    Pre-worldwide release was working perfectly on my phone (had to uninstall it to make room for other apps). What a shame.

  21. I’ve been trying all day to get this working on my phone. Even with the update/patch (Ver. 1.1.1) it just constantly crashes at the loading screen. Before the patch, I could at least reach the ‘Enter Your Name’ part of the game, but now I can’t even reach that part. This is ridiculous!

  22. I so annoyed about crashing issues yesterday since I had been waiting for so long so i’m glad they fixed it within a day.

  23. Thinking about this game, I think the reason why this problem occurred was because Sonic Team is used to developing for consoles. For consoles, games are traditionally developed for one platform (traditionally in the Playstation, Xbox or Nintendo line) then ported to fit other platforms. This mindset generally works for consoles as there are fewer varieties of consoles on the market (making the process quicker though, like all things in modern game development, not fast by any means), and even if the ports fail, if the original is good then people will simply consider it a good game with bad ports. Sonic Heroes is a good example of this, and even Shadow the Hedgehog has defenders because the Gamecube version is clearly superior to the other versions of the game. However, thing is, cellphones don’t work quite like consoles. Phones come in a variety of hardware and software, and unlike consoles, a lot of people don’t replace phones until they either stop working or a phone comes out that revolutionizes the phones. As a result, there’s a lot of outdated hardware and software for phones floating around. Sonic Team, due to inexperience with the platform, didn’t factor this and so developed the game like it always develops games– console-style. Judging by what happened here, it appears to have been developed for the iOS, then ported to Android, and only optimized for the most up-to-date versions of each. Combined with underestimating how demanding the game would be on servers due to popularity, this resulted in a very poor launch as the game only worked for, well, iOS and recent enough Android devices.

    Now, why this game would work fine for the soft launch but fall on its face here admittedly isn’t known by me, but I speculate that it had to do with the fact that since the servers weren’t taxed as much, they could efficiently process what each version of each phone that was connected to it and downgrade accordingly. When the game came out, however, the servers were put into overtime just trying to accept each request from the phones, causing them to just reject or otherwise struggle with any download that required a downgrade, as downgrading just piles on even more work for already overworked servers.

  24. Ok so I’m just wondering. How the heck do you get classic sonic?! Is it impossible? Do you spin the wheel for him? I really want him.

  25. I own an iPhone 4 & it can’t get anymore IOS updates for Runners to be playable. Even so, I would dread to think what sort of damages that game can make on my phone if it was allowed to be downloaded.

  26. IZ NOT POSSEEBLE!!!

    So I left the game to download from Google Play overnight. I was so excited. I woke up the next morning and opened the app. Tapped the screen to start the game as usual with mobile games. Then it said it needs to download data. Okay fine download data it’ll just be like five minutes or something. STAYS AT ZERO PERCENT FOR FIVE HOURS AND OUT OF NOWHERE SAYS IT CANT DOWNLOAD BECAUSE OF CONNECTION. I had the best internet connection of any Android phone AND YOU CANT DOWNLOAD?!?!?! #r00d

    1. I’ve had the exact same problem for a little while now and i seriously don’t know what’s wrong. I’m too afraid to re-install the app since, if the problem stays, i’ll lose my progress.

    2. I’ve had the exact same problem for a while now. I’m too afraid to re-install the app since, if the problem stays, i’ll lose my progress.

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