Sonic Runners Shutting Down Next Month

It’s the end of Sonic Runners! In rather surprising news given the publisher’s exploration into the mobile space, SEGA has announced that the endless runner will be shutting down, only a year after it launched worldwide.

The Sonic Runners’ website states that the game’s servers will be shut down on July 27th at 9AM (UTC), seemingly worldwide. In the announcement, Sega thanks players for their support and hopes that the players enjoyed the journey as much as they did.

They also announced that before the date, that they will be ending Red Ring sales today on May 27th at 9AM (UTC). Any Red Rings bought prior will no longer be usable after the service closes on July 27th at 9AM (UTC) as well.

The game was launched initially back on February 25th, 2015 on iOS and Android phones in Japan and Canada, with a full worldwide launch later on July 25th, 2015. The game had a decent beginning during its initial release. However, things took a turn for the worse when the game fully launched worldwide.

SEGA has recently been a little bit downbeat on the game since its worldwide launch, noting its abject commercial failure during its last quarterly earnings call. It would seem that Sonic Runners was a somewhat wobbly experiment that didn’t quite make the cut.

How was your experience with Sonic Runners during its run? Any final thoughts in general? Let us know in the comments below.

Via the Sonic Runners website.

66 Comments

  1. I hated how the “pay to play” thing was so heavily forced, I barely got any of the characters!

  2. Tis a shame. Sega had something good going, then they messed it up. With a blunder like this under their belt, I fear for whatever anniversery game they have planned. If you were to ask me, this year it the franchise’s “make it or break it” point, and I hope there is no “break it”.

  3. As usual since Sonic boom, this is nothing but only bad news from SEGA, which seems not able to bring good Sonic games anymore since after GENERATIONS. We cannot expect good news from SEGA anymore. In any case it would take not so much to create a game like SA2 to make Sonic shine again..

    1. really? You’re acting like sega did nothing right after generations. Lost World was a fun game and the Sonic Boom TV show is a hit. You also seem to ignore that Shattered Crystal and the Sonic Boom comics did great (It’s cancellation was a decision by archie due to budget cuts, the Mega Man comics and another archie series also suffered from it) don’t act like sega hasn’t done anything right cause they have done good things with sonic. they way you wrote that comment sounded Really ignorant

      1. I would have to disagree. Sonic Lost World had the worst controls ever. The Wisps were much better in Colors than in Lost World. It was so bad that I never bothered to play the game again. I just hope they don’t make a game like Lost World again. The game had good graphics but bad gameplay mechanics. Also it was wrong for them to start a countdown like they do in Mario games. It was also bad when they decided not to let you get an extra life after collecting 100 rings which is now patched to where you can get an extra life after collecting 100 rings.

      2. Lost World was polarizing. I personally hated it.

        Got tired of Boom in every shape and form. The comic, the show, the games…. it got old really quick (and we all know how quick Sonic is).

        Even Generations was Fan-Service: The Game…. not exactly unique or ground-breaking. It was a more polished “Unleashed” without the knuckle-dragging Werehog gameplay (which is still better than Boom).

        Fans have the right to be disappointed with Sega and their treatment of Sonic lately. While Generations was a love-letter, it didn’t have the lasting appeal of SA1 & 2, Heroes or *gasp* even Sonic 06, which gave us Silver, Iblis, and a bunch of hilarious things to joke about for years to come.

        Sega owes Sonic fans a whole crap-load more than they’ve given this past ….nearly a decade. I’ve had an IMMENSE dropping-out with Sonic these past few years, and that’s coming from someone whose first game was Sonic 2 when it was BRAND-bloody new.

        To settle for what Sonic has become is akin to surrender.

        1. Cynical and critical. I could easily show off the qualities of every single thing you named.

          1. Look, everything mentioned here has its goods and bads, just like every other Sonic game. Some more than others, yes, but still. Why can’t the fans just accept we all have different opinions including our perceptions of what’s good and bad and just deal with it like normal people instead of constantly being at each others throats. This is exactly why I’m sick of the Sonic fanbase, the main bloody fanbase I belong to. Of course we can’t all like and dislike the same things, that’s what makes us human beings with minds of our own, doesn’t give us an excuse to argue about it at every opportunity.

            Oh and yes, I’m fully aware this sounds hypocritical of me after I’ve been known to argue at great length on here myself but at least I’m trying to stop doing that. Just express your own opinion and move along, that’s the best way.

  4. *sigh* Another depressing move by SEGA…
    I think it would’ve gotten more love if the game wasn’t as focused on the pay-to-play mechanic, as well as all of the luck-based crap on top of it.

    Not counting the themed characters (like Halloween Shadow & Christmas Sonic), I was only missing three… and with the last three being in that STUPID roulette, I can’t see myself getting all of them…

  5. 🙁

    Well, this is unexpected and at the same time quite sad. The game had such a good concept and a great initial launch, but updates (and typos. Lots of typos…) ruined it. Its a shame the game is being abandoned instead of improved.

  6. Good riddance, frankly. I thought the game was shit. I can only hope that SEGA learnt their lesson from releasing a poorly designed mess with such a focus on pay-to-win microtransactions. But it’s probably more logical to assume that such a lesson probably flew right over their heads. After all, if SEGA had learnt from their mistakes in the past, we wouldn’t have Rise of Lyric (or this game, come to think of it) in the first place.

    1. I agree.
      Strange thing is the age target which has dropped down from “all-age” to “kids” and the immense lack of playable characters, both since 06.
      Sonic deserves more, and if (we never know wot is up next) SEGA really wants to end him, it would be smart to give the world a last 3-games-saga: if they dont have ideas they can count on millions of fans ready to help!
      A Ray of light is MISADVENTURES of Tails Channel.

  7. It started off well, but I fell out of love with the game not long after the worldwide launch with all the changes, but most of all with the adverts that completely crashed my iPad losing my run and the items I’d selected for it.

    I would have been super happy to actually pay for the game outright to get rid of the adverts, but that wasn’t an option so I stopped playing out of sheer frustration at the crashes and never really tried it again after that.

  8. Really? Damn, I just got it and thought it was a lot of fun. Here’s hoping for a fully offline, pay-once-keep-forever version and a CD release of the soundtrack. ;-;

    1. This game was pretty fantastic up its initial release to July of last year. I’m sorry to say this, but you only experienced the half-baked part of Runners.

  9. People probably won’t even care since the month prior to that, they’ll finally be getting news on their 25th anniversary game.

  10. As a person who has never played F2P games in my life, I guess you cannot go back to play these games? If that is so, it’s no wonder there’s no nostalgia or replay value for games like these in the future. Sonic Runners has also thought me, how much of a B-class developer Sonic Team can be at times.

    1. It’s not specifically F2P games, but the current generation of such apps that are constantly connected to the internet in order to download updates and generate an (otherwise entirely optional) item store and social function. They usually check for an internet connection before loading in order to ensure that these features work. If a server can’t be located, the game will actually refuse to start until one can be.

      It’s annoying because many of these games largely consist of a solo campaign with little actual incorporation of the multiplayer. These games could be updated to work offline prior to the server closure, but there’s no incentive for doing so. Because they make money from the item store, once that’s shut down, it essentially becomes a dead weight for the company.

  11. I really loved this game, It’s sad to see it go after a short period of time. My hopes are that someone finds a way to get it backup again after it shutting down. Knowing people they probably will find a way.

    Back on the topic of this game. I enjoyed playing this alot. I enjoyed unlocking characters but the one thing I hated was the Red Ring prices. I would play it more if it wasn’t for that. I wanted to get more characters but I guess there’s no point now since it’s shutting down.

  12. The game had some very good stuff implemented bad like characters and companions from across Sonic history, better characterization of the characters and even some good dialogues (mostly coming from events), whatever Sega do next hope they have learned something from this experience, like the fact that fans DO want more playable characters other than Sonic in a main game.

    1. The music was the best part of the game, I liked this soundtrack much more than the ones from Colors and Lost World though that’s just me, I like rock Sonic music more.

  13. It’s a shame that probably no effort will be made to preserve the game in an offline state for the ages, but at least we got a soundtrack release and (as far as I’m aware) no new tunes were made for it following Volume 2 (that would’ve been unlikely to ever get official release due to there not being enough to make a Volume 3 worthwhile etc).

    I tried it and didn’t care for it though I have to say, so no tears shed here. Just can’t get into endless runners, don’t find the “play until you lose” model satisfying for the platformer genre whatsoever.

  14. I thought it would have lasted longer then a year. But they forced pay to play. So it’s understandable.

  15. This is not surprising from an un-optimised game that slow down the game each ads with multiple crashes per hour…

  16. Well this is sad for all the players out there first sonic 4 and now this. Man I guess SEGA has made up there minds about this sort things even the lack of sales they have. 🙁

    And my moment of sonic runners is that you can play as classic that I really enjoy. 😀

  17. Am I the only one who finds it silly how they always say mobile games don’t matter anymore but when it’s sonic it counts and if a mobile game fails, he fails… kinda bs if you ask me. As for Runners itself, it’s a shame that it has to go so soon. But for what it was, it was ok. The only bad part was the Roulette really. Aw well, Sega will make up for it with Fire & Ice and the Anniversary game, We’ll just see what comes next.

    1. Well, you have to remember that when the game was launched, it was hyped as Sonic Team’s first big foray into the world of mobile gaming. For many players, tons of lag occurs in the game and the microtransactions seem to get worse with each update. Thus, you have a fair amount of fans who are worried that Sonic Team’s bungling with Runners is reflective of the quality of work it is going to put out for the 25th anniversary title. If Hardlight or some other company developed this game instead, the game wouldn’t get nearly this much hate because it would not be seen as potential foreshadowing of the quality of the anniversary game.

      1. you have no idea how SEGA go though all this trouble just to get sonic in there mobile markets. back in 2010 one of there markets has dropped down to third quarter.

  18. Don’t bet on a SatAM game with Jaleel White as Sonic, and Kath Soucie as Princess Sally, and Jim Cummings as Dr. Robotnik. That’s just too much money, and would guarantee a T Rating, something Shadow the Hedgehog could’ve had if E10+ weren’t invented.

    At least the space occupied by Sonic Runners on my tablet can be used towards future updates of existing apps that I already have on my tablet, like Kingdom Hearts: Unchained X[chi} and Disney Crossy Road.

  19. It was desperate fucking times for Sonic fans if you were playing this. What a mess of a game. Mobile games suck at the best of times but this was just a blatant cash grab. If you could just pay £3 or so for this game Angry Birds style then find, this would have been fun enough. But it was a mess. Glad they’re finally putting shit like this to bed.

  20. I think that Sonic Runners was a really awesome game and I’m really sad that is getting shut down I mean I didn’t get a chance unlock my Classic Sonic yet but Sega thank you for creating this game I really loved it and I still do and I will always be a Sonic fan and I will never stop being so they can keep making great games Sega I really enjoyed the adventure and the storyline it’s too bad it’s getting shut down though I really love the game

  21. I couldnt play it. it never worked on any of android devices. so this does not affect me.

  22. Now that this game is terminal and you can’t buy stuff anymore Sega should just give all the characters away to all players, it would be a nice anniversary gift.

    1. Since the app requires the internet connection to even start, that would be pointless. There’d be no way to actually use them.

  23. It was SO FUN, but then they crashed it so hard with all of the stupid roulette wheel and worst of the worst examples of pay to play in-app purchases ever, and then it got to the point where they were trying to make sure you weren’t even playing for that long. The main campaign didn’t get anything new or interesting added to it, the special events rarely ever gave you what you were looking for, and they kept changing things up so often it’s hard to really pick up and play the thing when you haven’t been on for over a month and they already added like a bajillion spikeballs to make sure you don’t even last 5 minutes. It started out as a really fun game with a promising start but somehow whoever Sega had manage the development and maintenance has no idea how good mobile phone games work and this has unfortunately become one of the evilest examples of what a bad mobile pay to play game is like. Next time Sega tries to dive into the mobile phone market for Sonic, they better just let an already established studio like Hardlight take care of it, they’ve already shown they at least know how to make two really fun, addictive, and fair mobile Sonic running games.

  24. (sigh) I’m gonna have some fond memories of this game, I wish the game would last forever since the only characters I haven’t got yet are Tikal, Mephiles and Sonic the Warehog

  25. That’s a shame, I only just got a phone that can play it… Kinda unfair for people like myself who never really got a chance to play it…

  26. Oh wow. This is pretty sudden and unfortunate news. Rest in peace, Sonic Runners.

  27. I really liked this game. Recent updates past 2.0.1 started to make a lot of buddies useless due to effects being disabled, but other than that, I thought this game was a fantastic mobile game. I hope they make it offline rather than shut down entirely. I just got every Roulette character and I would love to continue playing them.

    Seriously, SEGA and Sonic Team, make this game offline and make one final update so that EVERY Buddy works properly. And each one is possible to get offline too.

  28. I think Sonic Runners is a good Sonic game from last year of roulette in summer it updated was decent & after mouths updated it got worst comparing to Sonic Boom Rise Of Lyric for Nintendo Wii U updates of this game got worst to but different added more glitches in this! Wow I don’t believe in my eyes but think god Sonic Runners is shutting down all the devices, we had it!

  29. Better concentrate on fullgame P2Ps like GENERATIONS, with:
    -same hraphics and models (Hedgehog Engine)
    -more playable characters
    -storyline
    -strong environment variety
    -internet connection needed only for occasional updates

    Do you guys agree?

    1. I agree aside from the internet part. I actually think it’s about time the Sonic franchise got its own online multiplayer game (that isn’t the Sonic the Fighters remaster or ASRT). Maybe have it like a Sonic version of Little Big Planet with or without the level building, in other words, a online co-op 2.5D sidescrolling platformer of some kind but also have it fully playable offline so people with no internet can still fully enjoy it.

  30. The best I could ever get was a 3-Star ESP Silver. Maybe after the selling of the Red Star Rings closes, I should just uninstall the game, just to get it over with. Maybe even anticipate Freedom Planet 2’s Gameplay Trailer, and the Milla Story Mode and Torque Update for the Wii U Version. Because now, I think Freedom Planet has a lot more going in there than Sonic ever did.

  31. I’m never paying to play ever again. All my money is gone, and now the characters I paid hundreds of dollars for are gone too. I’ve learned my lesson, never give SEGA your money hoping that they will do something cool with it in the future. They will just run after they get it.

    1. Sad but true Story.. i feel u bro :_(
      Still, some questions persists: y doesnt (or didnt) SEGA talk with fans for suggestions? And y dont they put the game in offline mode? Is something missing in the Sonic Team? Y does dash 2 still resists?? But mostly, for over a decade since 06, Y IS SONIC FOR KIDS INSTEAD OF ALL AGES??

  32. I never got to play it because it required more RAM than my phone had. After a while, I lost interest in playing it at all.

  33. Well I first got Sonic Runners back when it first released. It was fun at first, but I thought there were way too many episodes. And the updates kind of ruined it too. I deleted it from my ipad because it got boring. I couldn’t advance because the points kept getting bigger. So yeah it sucks that Sega’s shutting it down. The music was pretty awesome tho. Other than that I thought it was good mobile game that got ruined by updates and the pay to play feature. Farewell Sonic Runners, forever

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