The Spin: Thank God for The Polls!

spin

Disclaimer: The views in this piece may not reflect the views of TSS or other writers on the staff team. The intention of The Spin is to promote debate and discussion of an issue or something that’s happening in the fandom or the world of Sonic.

So an interesting thing happened the other day which got a few people talking and I would suggest probably inspired one or two topics on our own forums as well as a few splinter groups to rally their own members if the fate of the future of the franchise was at risk.

What happened? TSSZ ran a poll about gameplay styles, and Adventure won.

adventurepoll

Now before some of the staff over at TSSZ read this and think ‘is he having a bash at us for doing a poll?’ Nope, polls are fun to do and a nice break from things, the issue is more of the reaction from it and how some people are trying to use it to say ‘this is what we want Sega, look at at the demand from fans!’ which is showing a huge sign of short sightedness at best, or at worst if you are actually aware or in tune with the wider fanbase, even to a small degree and not just the places you visit it’s arrogance.

According to some, the results of this poll is absolute proof that the Sonic fanbase wants an adventure style game, even though a whole 427 number of people voted for that option and if we actually look at the poll in detail, whilst it was the single most largest choice, over half of people don’t want that gameplay style.

So am I really writing about one poll result which is such an easy and open goal for critics of this article to turn around to say ‘well you’re just bitter’ or ‘your option didn’t win’. Excuse me whilst I laugh in your face, whoops sorry got a bit of spit on you there, I’ve not commented on the quality of either styles of gameplay, nor will this article do anything of the sort.

No, the reason for this is how so many are saying we should take this as proof of what fans want…. yet somehow avoiding this fact. Another Sonic fansite, also ran a poll at about the same time and duration as TSSZ’s had a completely different result.

Brazilian fansite Planeta Sonic, also ran a poll which was very similar to that of TSSZ’s in which the result was completely different. What won? See for yourself

pol1

In fact, nearly double of those who voted in TSSZ’s poll for the adventure game play, voted for boost. Even more significant is that unlike TSSZ’s poll the winner in this poll was the runaway winner, add up the number of votes in the other categories, they’re clearly in the minority.

More interesting is that they also had another couple of poll, the results of which show a clear trend, that fans do not want an adventure era game.

pol2

Look at the numbers, 821 of people said they preferred the boost, and in another poll 770 people preferred games from the Xbox 360/PS3 era of games… So why are some people saying ‘fans want an adventure era game?’ when we have another poll here clearly showing that fans don’t want that at all?

Why are we not saying “This is the direction that the fans want?”

We have all these fans who like this thing, and we have all these fans who like this thing? Lets pretend we live in that world where polls like this are paid attention to by Sega, which one do they take as being right… or legitimate, which are monitored and we can say without question it was one man one vote. Which one should they claim isn’t valid? Well… both and neither, the fact is, both are equally valid and both are equally easy to discredit.

Why? Well, for one thing, it’s very easy to take the troll approach and point at a poll and claim that they’re not real fans, but come off it, if you’re a regular of this site, you know about Summer of Sonic, you know about the Sonic Boom events, you know about all the various events and things fans have done and made.

For Brazilian sonic fans, they’re equally as passionate, hell here is a photo from the 2014 Rio Carnival in which thousands were dressed as Sonic!

massofsonic

You think this was a one off? Nope, here are a bunch of other people also dressed up as Sonic for the party.

So we can easily say that both sides of the language/region barrier are equally as passionate, but honestly, we can’t take these polls too seriously just from a numbers a numbers perspective.

Even if you take Sonic Boom’s combined Wii U & 3DS sales total, which were around 620K the total number of people who took part in these votes was around 1000 per site, and that is assuming some people didn’t cheat to vote multiple times, which lets be honest, we all know they did.

So that alone means you can’t take stuff like this too seriously or proclaim that Sega should ‘take these things seriously/listen to the fans’ because the number polled was so small compared to both game sales and number of active fans on on the websites which hosted them.

Imagine for a moment that we here at TSS ran a poll similar to both Planeta Sonic and TSSZ, we get 1000 total votes, the winner is ASRT game play by 49%. That’s impressive, but our total forum user-list is at 7000 at the time of writing, only 14% of total site members voted, and on the grand scale of things, total fans around the world? Probably looking at a figure below 10% at the most generous.

For one poll this cross section of people is far too small, add onto it you have a near equal number saying the exact opposite you can’t take it too seriously at all, you certainly can’t blame Sega or have a go at them for ignoring polls like this since to equally valid polls give two complete different and even results.

So we shouldn’t do these polls? Of course you can! They’re a fun break from things and good to see what your local user base wants, they’re fun for a small distraction, but that said, that’s all they are. They really shouldn’t be used in arguments or by campaigners too seriously try and rally support because it’s simply laughable. The response number is too small, it’s too open to abuse and a poll is nice, but a pitch/proposal which has had effort put into it is always better.

So with that in mind, here’s a poll!

36 Comments

    1. Of course we’re divided, we’ve had for the best part of 10 maybe 15 years of so many diverse gameplay styles. Over time you build up fans of one, vs fans of another, vs fans of another.

      So many factors will go into which part of the fanbase thinks X is the best over Y. Looking at these two polls, something else is clearly going on here otherwise there wouldn’t be such a discrepancy.

          1. I have my fingers crossed for that! Though I wouldn’t mind that much if it were another Boost kind of game either, perhaps it could even be a Boost kind of game which replaces the 2D sections with broader and more complex 3D sections ala Sonic Adventure, that way fans of both styles would get what they want!

      1. Awhile back I heard a rumor that the reason Sega started production on a game starring Shadow the Hedgehog so quickly after his debut in SA2 was that they ran a poll asking who was everyone’s favorite Sonic character and Shadow won 1st with Sonic coming in 2nd. I’m wondering if this was actually a thing or some fake story people use to justify using data from small community polls like this TSSZ one or Planeta Sonic’s to fuel their personal campaign for Sega to use their Sonic iteration of choice.

  1. Which ever one keeps the game a decent size and lets me play as whoever I want is what’ll choose. I’ve gotten to the point to where I realize that they’re not going to stop dividing the fanbase until it collapses under it’s own weight of several thousand different people having their own interpretation of Sonic and who he should be so fuck it. Whichever one gives me that is all I care about.

  2. Even if one is to argue that something like the Parkour System is generally considered the minority, I should also point out how some of these gameplay styles have had less time to develop than others. I mean, if we were to only have the first game with these gameplay styles introduced compared, how much more divided would the fanbase be on them? Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Adventure, Sonic Rush, and Sonic Lost World My point is that even if these were to prove something, it still isn’t as reliable, as some games will handle a formula better than others. There’s a significant difference between how Sonic Adventure 2 handled the formula and how Sonic Adventure did. And if you want to count Sonic Heroes, go ahead. At this point, the definition of “Adventure gameplay” has kind of remained less clear.

    Personally, I’d like a mix of all three of those 3D styles for the next game. Perhaps with only Sonic having the ability to boost while the rest of the cast gets something else. They’d need to probably nerf the boost to keep Sonic from killing himself in levels dedicated to fit the entire roster, but still. I love the idea of parkour, I love the concepts that remained consistent in the Adventure Era, and I love boosting.

  3. you know i dont mind for SEGA working on the 25th anniversary game as a adventure style but the classic sonic games was ok but i want them to combine the adventure style with the sonic generations style at this point so maybe we can have a better good decent sonic game in the 3D elements combine together but i know fans are a little salty about sonic boom still but this is a little strange from there situation. :/

  4. I just want a great game. I don’t care what play style it is as long as it works and is fun. The last great game we had was a racing spin off.

      1. Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed came out after all of those, save for Lost World. And the quality of that one is debatable.

      2. None of those are great games to me. Generations is good. Colors I’ve yet to play in full but from what I’ve played it was also just good. Lost World is meh. I revisit the werehog more than the Sonic stages.

  5. “According to some, the results of this poll is absolute proof that the Sonic fanbase wants an adventure style game”

    Who said that the ENTIRE fanbase wanted Adventure gameplay? I have yet to see anyone make such a claim, most people are fully aware of how fractured this fanbase is to include the entire fanbase in their claims.

    1. That’s the exact same thing I was asking myself when reading this entire article, and I was one of the most active users on the original thread back in http://tssznews.org

      This feels more like the intent of a warning call to the fanbase saying “Sonic Adventure won a popularity poll but don’t panic! It’s not what we all want so these results are meaningless!”

  6. “Lets pretend we live in that world where polls like this are paid attention to by Sega, which one do they take as being right… or legitimate, which are monitored and we can say without question it was one man one vote. Which one should they claim isn’t valid?”

    Well, erm…if I can be cynically realistic here:

    SEGA would most likely go with what ever claims come from the region most likely to have solid guaranteed sales based on past numbers and expected revenue.

    So I cannot explain the sales for the U.S. (but with the critics against him, I doubt it’s above average) and even though the UK is Sonic Central, I’m not certain about their sales too. So if somehow, based on these numbers, Brazil stands to be the best country to sell Sonic to, well if I was SEGA, I would cater the next game to their needs and the needs of anyone who agree with them.

    Would it alienate fans of different game styles? Yes.
    Would it really matter to SEGA if their game still sells and does ok numbers? NOPE.

  7. I remember that poll. I submitted my choice and forgot about it until I later heard my friends complain about how SA3/TrueSonicSpirit were parading around the damn poll as proof that Adventure is good. Not that Adventure is popular. mind you. Good. Seriously.

    Yet again, SA3 isn’t exactly known for its tactful and succinct use of evidence. More or less it uses only the evidence that fits what they want for Sonic along with strawmen of post-2010 games, Sega, Sonic Team, their perceived enemies, etc. to support their arguments.

    I mean, c’mon, its a localized popularity contest with random people on the internet. The very definition of an unreliable source of information. Its really not important in the long run.

    1. Hey man, I agree with you about the “evil ways” of the SA3 facebook page but I hope you don’t judge every fan that wants a Sonic Adventure 3 game based solely on the actions of 2 or 3 admins of that facebook page.

      1. Oh nah! Heck, one of my best friends on here wants an SA3 really badly. And he’s nice and reasonable about it, so why not? The Sonic fanbase isn’t nor should be a hivemind. 😛

        I always do my best to judge games neutrally. Even though I personally think an SA3 is a really bad idea, should Sonic Team ever try to make one, I’d still look at it based on its own merits and problems. After all, what if Sonic Team proves me wrong? If I pre-judged the game as bad just for being SA3, I’d end up missing out on a great title, and even worse, act like the very True Sonic Spirit types I like to criticize.

        1. Completely agreed with you! Its obvious that there will be different tastes about the kind of gameplay Sonic has (hell, it happens as well with other franchises like Mario, Zelda, Castlevania, Devil May Cry, etc.), though the fans should learn to be more respectful about other styles, even I once bashed a Sonic game style just for defending my favorite style from someone who insulted it, though I try to play it cool nowdays and to retckon the better aspects from every game and style instead of focusing on their flaws and weaknesses.

          1. Yeah, the Sonic fanbase is quite diverse. I’m cool with opinions provided that they’re reasonable and respectful and I’m glad to hear that you’re the same way. 🙂

    2. Instead of making it look like your opinion is widely known fact, you can as well back it up or even visit the page and participate in discussion outside of your comfort zone.

      1. Dunno if you’re responding to me or if this is a leftover from a conversation with a user who has since been banned.

        If it is about me, well, I actually do have quite a bit to back up what I’m saying from personal experience. I have actually gone on SA3 a few times, but every experience has been negative. The people there will belittle you for having a different opinion, and there’s a lot of stuff going on over there that I do not approve of. Like allowing a few users to compile a list of “enemies of the True Sonic Spirit” (of which a friend of mine was actually included on) and making a post specifically just to slander Aaron Webber and trivialize his work. Plus I’ve had a few of their members talk to me, and they’ve always tried to embarrass me while saying some really stupid stuff and making a general ass of themselves. So yeah, you’re right in saying that a discussion there would be out of my comfort zone, but contrary to what you imply, that is not be a good thing in the slightest.

  8. I think the boost gameplay was the most polished and well used out of all the gameplay styles. It emphasized speed, while also gave good platforming.

  9. when fans of the adventure era always complain about there not being a sa3, i think there is more to it than just being “excatly like the old games” to me if they had a good mixture of both boost/modern and sa1/sa2 gameplay and story then it would make for a great game, and i think people would love it, the issues so many had with colours was the whisps and the bad humor, really the gameplay it’self wasn’t an issue.

    It’s pretty simple what sega can do to grab a large audience of the sonic fanbase, and even new veiwers, if you look at sa2, it had gripping story and characters which dragged kids, adults and everyone into the game as, it was apealing to everyone, many people say that it was trying too hard to be dark and edgy, but dispite plotholes, that was the reason people latched onto sa1 and sa2 was the enfisis of the characters (backstory) and general story, there was more deeper story than any sonic game before, people who love sonic characters, they want to see more of them, more of their backstory, more in depth concepts, edgy or not.

    sega have been going in the opposite direction, because they don’t know how to write storys if their life depended on it, and now it’s all so simple with no character development or anything, and people wonder why it’s going down hill, people loved the boost games because they have great gameplay, same for heroes too dispite the glitches it was challenging and fun. if you merged both generations gameplay/unleashed daytime levels, and the plot and character development seen in games like sa1 and sa2. thats it. simple as that, if the game was excueted wel,l and there was no plotholes and they got someone who can write amazing stories like amy henning, then i think people would love it, and really sega need to put more brainpower into thinking about a good game, what makes a good game and what has made and makes sonic, “sonic” as really thats all that needs establishing now as i feel like with boom they just lost sonic and what made him who he was all together.

  10. Hmm, I’d say its a regional thing going on here or better yet, a difference in opinion between fan site visitors.

    Personally, I wouldn’t mind a mix honestly, a few more playable characters like in SA/SA2, some nice boost sections but not the entire game devoted to it and maybe a story that isn’t going “Oh yeah, this is what the game is all about.”

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