I think I have figured out the marketing strategy for Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice. Sega is the Wizard, Dorothy & Friends are the fans, I feel like Toto…
I get it Sega, you know Rise of Lyric wasn’t very good. You know fan reception of Boom has for the most part been poor, you know this, and we know this, but this is now getting silly.
What is going on with Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice?
Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice was announced on June 9th and since then there has been absolutely no information on it. Well actually that’s not ‘quite’ true. TSS managed to interview with Sanzaru games about Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice about a month later, since then, nothing.
Then last week, news of a promotional toyline for a fast food chain is announced? What? We’re getting promotional/release like adverts for the game, yet we’ve not seen or heard of anything about the game for several months now?
What’s going on?
Ok, I get it, the initial reception for Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice wasn’t that great either, I’ve seen the youtube videos, read the articles, read all the ‘nobody asked for this game’ comments, I get why Sega is being quiet, I get why they’re not promoting this thing.
The problem is that it’s not doing Sega or Sanzaru any favours at all with the eventual reception, nor is it going to do the sales of the product and favours, if anything it’s going to harm them further.
Here is the issue I have with Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice right now, Sega have said some things, Sanzaru Games have said things, then there is this old gem from the Tumblr account.
Yes it’s funny, yes it’s great work by the social media, yes it’s going to get people talking, yes it’s a great distraction from the bad news of last year. Hell so far it’s one of the most popular images ever on the TSS Twitter account, it’s a great use of social media.
So why are you not backing this up? I get it’s a ‘joke’, I get that it’s keeping in line with social media, especially for a videogame outlet, but whilst I can laugh at the joke, I would really like to see some kind of validity for this.
Sonic Boom Fire & Ice has not had the following.
- A second trailer.
- A second batch of screenshots.
- An E3 build/demo.
- A Gamescom Build/Demo
- A Tokyo GameShow build/Demo (Not yet announced, but this was always unlikely).
- Any preview events.
But despite all this, it’s believed to be out around mid October – mid November (I think), this is barely 2 months away.
How is THIS the first bit of news about a game since the announcement?
So here is my question, what is wrong with Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice? Why are you not showing it if there’s nothing wrong with it?
Yes, that is a loaded question, it’s deliberate, because if you tell me or hint ‘it’s a good/better game’ I want to see something that supports that, as I would anything I had an interest in. So why the silence? I can only assume it’s because of a lack of confidence in the product, otherwise why show it.
I know, it’s a negative stance to take, but what reason have you given me that it’ll be anything other?
Ok, so real even handed talk for a moment, in reality, here is my thoughts on Sonic Boom Fire & Ice.
- Do I believe this game will be a masterpiece? Probably not.
- Do I believe this game will be the worst thing every released? Don’t be stupid, of course not.
- Do I think this game will be somewhere between an ok and an average game? Odds are, yeah most likely.
- Do I know for sure that this game will be that? No.
- Why not? Because so far there has been nothing released to base any conclusions on.
What happens when people don’t get information about stuff? They panic, they assume the worst, very rarely do we assume the best, especially with games, especially with ones which have had a poor outing of late.
Can you blame us for doing this? Give me one reason why I should expect great things on a sequel to a game which at best was average and at worst was poor? What, because of a Tumblr tag? Because in one interview they said “Oh there will be less exploration” yet in the announcement press release they say that there will be “exploration” in the game?
Sorry, I don’t do this, I don’t play this ‘well it’s too early to judge’ game any more, you want my money, you want my support for this product, give me a reason to support it. Give me a reason not to assume the worst?
Frankly, odds are the game is somewhere around the ‘average/alright’ mark. Yet I don’t know that for sure, because there has been nothing to support that. All I have to go on is the engine & design of the previous game and the competency of the studio behind it, but that’s not judging the game, that’s judging an assumption, it’s a guess, I can’t do that, I need to see the game running, I need to know about it.
This wall of silence is doing nothing for me, I don’t care how good the game is, if you don’t show it, I will not buy it, if I do not have confidence in a product, I will not spend my money on it. So give me a reason to have confidence in it? Which isn’t ‘trust me, I’m a hedgehog.’
“Pay no attention to that game behind that curtain! Come back tomorrow!”
Sorry, but I want to look behind that curtain, I want to have an idea as to what the game is like, I want to have some idea as to what we’re getting. Sega, it’s time to show off your game, regardless as to how good or bad it is, we need to know it’s actually at least playable, because right now we don’t even know that.
Look just let the staff of the main Sonic sites come in for a preview day and let us post our thoughts on it, right now, there it feels like there is no confidence at all in the product, if you’re not giving us the impression you have confidence in it, how do you expect us the customer to have any?
The fans who buy stuff all the time regardless of quality are always going to buy/be sales, the problem right now is everybody else who is on the fence or firmly in the ‘I need more information before I buy’ won’t part ways with their money unless you give them some indication as to what they’ll expect.
Nobody has any idea as to what the game will be like, so why would they buy it? Come on, show us something, keeping silent won’t improve sales, if anything it’s going to hurt them more, look at Platinum Games, they make great stuff, yet barely ever get decent promotion, sure enough the sales suffer. I can easily list tons more here but why waste time.
Why should I list more games which have suffered through lack of information? There is a more obvious way to prove this…
That being, all the screenshots used in this article are not from Fire & Ice, but from Shattered Crystal, however I doubt many fans would have noticed that had I not pointed it out due to the lack of information. If you did notice it, well done, here is a cookie. You are a Sonic fan, should we be surprised by that? If you didn’t notice it, then don’t you think there’s a problem with brand awareness? Or in this case, game/product awareness?
What about you lot? Say Fire & Ice came out tomorrow would you actually buy it? Forget about all the Boom Baggage for just one moment, just imagine it’s a ‘Sonic game’ which got announced, had one trailer, some screens and nothing else, would you…. wait no scrap that… Imagine there was a game you knew nothing about, would you seriously drop around £34.99 on it? Or would you want some information on it first, answers in the comments.
Next Time on ‘The Spin’:
Unless something happens which prompts me to vent/write about something, just for fun, not saying the winner will be chosen but… might influence what I do, what would you like me to talk about in the next instalment of ‘The Spin?’ Go here and vote: