HoL’s Musings: Was maybe an artificial extension of the Nintendo deal made?

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I’ve decided to rename my The Spin articles into HoL’s Musings, it’s a title I came up with on my own site, and I think this will help differentiate them from The Spin which I think is more Hogfather’s own thing and make it more my own, let me know what you think!

So this occurred to me not that long ago, as we all know, Sega and Nintendo signed a deal to make three Sonic games Nintendo-exclusive, those three being Sonic Lost World (Wii U and 3DS), Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games (Wii U) and both Sonic Boom games (guess they’re counted as one, with Rise of Lyric on Wii U and Shattered Crystal on 3DS). and Sonic Boom came out at the end of 2014 and was confirmed to be the 3rd and last.

Before I continue, I want to make it clear that mobile games always seemed to be exempt from the deal, since Sonic Jump Fever and Sonic Dash came out during this deal. Also Dengeki Bunko Fightin Climax does feature Green Hill Zone, but I’m not sure if Sonic even appears in it bizarrely, and this also was during the deal.

Anyway, so I’m thinking, Sega would taken advantage of the deal ending and get Sonic on PS4, XBO, Vita, and/or PC ASAP for 2015. That never happened.

Following Boom’s release, we got our first console announcement with Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for Wii U and 3DS, which wasn’t that surprising as it’s continuing the pattern we all came to expect (why was Sochi even part of the deal anyway, that was exclusive no matter what!), but then a bit over a week later, came the announcement of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice for 3DS exclusively. Actually there’s also 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on 3DS to also consider also!

This is extra puzzling as 1) the deal is over so how come no sign of a non-Nintendo Sonic game has been seen in the slightest? And 2) they could have made Fire & Ice on Vita also, while without precedent (no Sonic game’s ever been on a Nintendo and Sony handheld together), it’s not something they couldn’t do, after all, Sanzaru did work on numerous Vita games (all four Sly games) so they could do it easily.

And also with the release timing of the two games being in 2016, this is seemingly going to turn out to be one crowded anniversary for Sonic, makes sense, but consider that 2011 only had Generations and London Olympics. Go back a year earlier and that was REALLY packed with Sonic, we got Sonic 4, Sonic Colors, Sonic Free Riders, and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (Wii got all but Free Riders also).

So what’s going on? I can only guess, and I just can’t help but at least ponder if an extension to the deal was made that was never discussed with the public. There’s also the many amiibo appearances of Sonic to also make note of, so far he’s shown up in Mario Kart 8 (as a Mii costume), Yoshi’s Woolly World (as a Yoshi color), and Super Mario Maker (playable and everything in the SMB levels), all in 2015 alone.

It’s just a topic I wanted to bring up and I’m curious of what folks think, and what the future holds.

Here’s a bet; if next year goes by with the anniversary and all, and Sonic is a no show-on Sony and Microsoft systems, something will be up for sure, count on it. I literally thought 2015 wouldn’t go without a game on those systems, and it looks like I was surprisingly wrong.

And there you have it! What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments, and thank you very much for reading! 🙂

20 Comments

  1. Fire & Ice being 3DS exclusive is probably because it’s easier to just re-use the engine on that rather than make a new engine for or port the engine to a platform on which the game wouldn’t sell well.

    As for the Amiibo: it’s cause Sonic was in Smash Bros and thus got one that could be used in other games. Same thing with Mega Man, Pac-Man and Ryu.

  2. I’m inclined to agree with TimmiT.

    Plus, while I could see Sega hiding something like that, I doubt Nintendo would just sit there being secretive should such a deal have occurred. It just doesn’t seem like something in its nature to do, what with all the openness and honesty its expressed to its fans over the years. That’s assuming Nintendo even wants more exclusivity deals after what happened in 2013 and 2014…

      1. I doubt Sega would want to extend the deal given the sales numbers of all their exclusive nintendo stuff of the last two years.

        1. If anything they’re just trying to focus their energy toward the 25th anniversary and making a huge Sonic wave then. And I believe the next game was already confirmed to be multiplatform again, so no worries there. Really what matters right now is making sure that whatever main series anniversary title is released is of a much higher quality than the last few games, maybe even more than Generations or Unleashed.

  3. Well SEGA did had it coming but i dont blame them from there mistakes and i see they are trying to get sonic games on 2 nexr gen consoles even though they stop listen to fans and never give us what we wanted so if they try to make a better 25th anniversary game then i would say SEGA need to put the 25th anniversary game on every console like Wii U
    XBO & PS4 so yeah we will have a awsome sonic game with better graphics and with different versions and also if SEGA make another deal with dimps then i guess thats worth it even though some people hate dimps alot because of there games graphics.

    Yeah they cant do anything right and never make a better version of a sonic game and also i seen what they did to sonic colors it was horrible on the ds and sonic boom on 3DS it was horrible to see this stuff makes people to hate dimps alot depending on the games they make with different versions yeah sometimes SEGA mess up but sometimes they dont even though some fans are starting to lose trust with SEGA because after what happen a 1 month ago fans betrayal yeah i know SEGA have alot of great IPs like nintendo and sony but there business between games looks very phenomenal.

    And also the 25th anniversary game will have a new character

    1st anniversary tails introduce 1992
    10th anniversary shadow introduce 2001
    15th anniversary silver introduce 2006
    20th anniversary classic sonic reintroduce 2011
    New character male or female ???? 2016 on the 25th anniversary

    Yeah i just figure that out a few months ago so every anniversary will have a new character anyway if SEGA trying to come up with a title on that anniversary they see the fans comments that people talk about sonic colors 2 sonic lost world 2 and sonic generations 2 yeah thats just a few sequels that some people come up with ok i got a better 25th anniversary title for next year that SEGA need to used how about Sonic Origins yeah thats a awsome title and its perfect and pretty cool yeah still SEGA come up with good sonic titles but not the sonic 06 one even though they fail on naming that title.

    1. Lost World is basically Colours 2 anyway. Seems a little early for a Generations 2, but I’d love to see that gameplay style return.

  4. I don’t think SEGA wants another Sonic on Vita being the Vita doesn’t have many sales to begin with outside of Japan, and a Sonic game with a handheld with that amount of sales with considering the type of games Vita users usually play (JRPGS) would be dangerous to release as far as sales. I dunno how much Asrt sold on vita, but I’m assuming it wasn’t much.

    1. Have to agree on that. Where I live the Vita is very close to dead. Only 1 store in my area even stocks Vita and it’s shelf is so tiny that you can miss it easy.

  5. I think I’ve said this many times (particularly at GAF), but to me Sonic’s best chance of selling is on Nintendo systems. Don’t forget Nintendo is the king of family gaming franchises which Sonic fits in like a glove.

    I think it’s fair to say the PS4, XBO, and Vita audience wouldn’t be nearly as interested in buying a game starring a talking blue hedgehog. The stereotype is that they mostly buy shooters, sports games, JRPGs, etc, and I think that’s fair to say.

    Nintendo’s made its living with franchises like Sonic and that’s where people expect to play games like that.

    A big example is Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, as I pointed out in my Sonic’s History with Nintendo article, that game actually sold possibly more on Wii U than on PS3 or 360, and one even said combined, we’re talking about a launch title on a userbase at the time on a few hundred thousand versus userbases in the tens of millions.

    The reason why Lost World and Boom under performed (hell some argued Boom sold way too much since it was shit) was because they were mediocre to down right awful. Transformed got rave reviews.

    Had Lost World and Boom been very high-quality AAA Sonic games, no doubt they would’ve done really well, even for Wii U.

    Also note that most leaked info from NPD (US sales) usually pegged the 3DS versions only being a bit higher than the Wii U versions. If you can’t sell a poorly made Sonic game on 3DS, where else would you hope to do so?

    1. Sonic boom sales was horrible for them but even so they decided to make another sequel after the downsizing in february yeah i dont think SEGA will never listen to fans again also i hope they make another sonic racing game.

    2. You’re correct about Sonic and his mutually beneficial relationship with Nintendo. Is it any wonder why so many pundits and fans alike have requested Nintendo to buy SEGA outright, as to give Sonic a better environment to perform at a higher level.

      However, I wouldn’t count out the PS4 just yet. Sony’s key to their overwhelming success have often been their vast and diverse library of IPs, from the most sugar-coated kiddy shovelwear that would make RoL look like a masterpiece to the violent and mature games that ironically attracts the most child-like and immature audience, and everything in between. Plus, as a Japanese publisher, Sony would have a better relationship working with SEGA and their products, and maybe for a little exclusivity, could even help finance a better Sonic product; look what they’re doing with Street Fighter 5. So yes, The Playstations have often been targeted towards older tweens and adults, and that clashes with SEGA’s choice of audience, but rather then go on forever as to why SEGA should stop marketing Sonic exclusively to children instead of to a peripheral audience, I think the PS4 has enough leeway to allow a family-friendly title a good amount of success. Not AAA success but at least something.

      The only problem lies with Microsoft: They tried to appeal to families near the beginning and the end of the 360’s reign, but most of those titles came from XBL. Now a days, there is barely any variety with the XBONE, so they’re stuck permanently placating the FPS dude-bros.

  6. Well, for Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, it’s easier to build of Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal’s engine, and the Vita does not sell well. Sanzaru made the Sly games for Vita, but they also did so for PS3. As for Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, it’s exclusive to Nintendo anyway.

    I have pretty good faith that the anniversary game will be on PS4 & Xbox One. I don’t feel like it’s a deal extension we’re seeing here, but indeed a cooldown period.

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