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Sonic X Shadow Generations' "Dark Beginnings" Animation Gets Additional Content as PlayStation Exclusive


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"Dark Beginnings," an animated feature to be released in promotion of Sonic X Shadow Generations, looks to be getting an extended version exclusive to PlayStation owners. And in the tradition of SEGA's recent promotional DLC offerings, it's just one step more complicated than it really ought to be.

To start with what we can say for absolute certain, there will be some manner of animation content for Sonic X Shadow Generations' prologue that will be exclusive to the PlayStation 4 and 5 versions of the game. This is confirmed on the game's English pre-order information page as "Bonus PlayStation®-Exclusive Prologue Animations."

"Animations." Plural. Not our words, the page's.

We contacted SEGA PR for further clarification. They directed us back to the pre-order information page where we originally got the information from.

Additionally, a translation of a product information page on SEGA's Japanese website has come to light that has its own stance on the animation's exclusivity. Per Sonic City's translation:

Quote

PS4® / PS5® Sonic × Shadow Generations (both physical and digital editions) will include a limited-time bonus: the extended version of the prologue animation, to be released in the future.

*Plans are underway for DLC distribution. (Details on viewing methods will be announced at a later date.)

In a subsequent tweet, Sonic City interpreted this as a "timed exclusive." It's unclear if this means it will be available for other platforms at a later time, or if it will be posted to video platforms later, or if it just goes away after this "limited time."

As stated above, the English pre-order page doesn't mention any details on the animated feature being a future release (a notable inconsistency, but with benefit of the doubt, it could potentially be related to regional dubbing). A quick machine translation reinforces both the limited time nature of the extended animation and its future release as DLC, but also retains the vagueness of what the limitations on this release are.

Across recent releases, SEGA has maintained complex DLC strategies, from Sonic Origin's confusing DLC grid to Sonic Superstars' regional and restaurant-exclusive skins. Even with Sonic X Shadow Generations, the Digital Deluxe includes a Terios skin that will not be available at launch.

For the time being, the only certain thing is, whatever this extended animation will be, whenever it will be, everyone will probably just post it to YouTube immediately.

Sonic News Tips Credit:
Shiny Gems
Original Post Content:
Well, I think this is going to be a bummer. This animation apparently won’t last long on Sony consoles. I do wonder why this is the case? Maybe there is a good reason for this?

So, any thoughts?

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This is somehow more confusing than infuriating. Why is the fucking promo animation an exclusive bonus? I mean at least it isn’t actual gameplay as this shit will be online within an hour of release but still, what’s the thinking here?

Exclusivity deals are so fucking dumb man

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14 minutes ago, Strickerx5 said:

This is somehow more confusing than infuriating. Why is the fucking promo animation an exclusive bonus? I mean at least it is t actual gameplay as this shit will be online within an hour of release but still, what’s the thinking here?

Exclusivity deals are so fucking dumb man

Presumably Sony seem to be relatively interested in this game. It got revealed in a PS presentation and lots of info about it has come from PS blogs. But it's not like there's anything worthwhile that's a PS exclusive. They're just getting early access to an extended version of a bonus animation. It's the most nothing burger exclusivity deal that I've ever seen. You have to wonder what the point even is. Imagine trying to explain this to a parent who's buying the game for their child.

Sony have had on-and-off interest in Sonic games over the years. Nothing major has ever come off it, fortunately. Let's hope that this is as bad as it gets. Dream Team being exclusive Apple Arcade and Mania Mobile being exclusive to Netflix are both pretty ugly deals. 

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I'm starting to think that SEGA is in love with exclusivity deals. So stupid.:absolutely:

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I mean, the logic is foolproof....if you absolutely ignore the presence of YouTube, let alone, the internet as a whole.

That said, yeah, this exclusivity deal feels rather scummy, if not pointless.

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At least it isn't an epic games exclusive.

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Me: Hey, Sega! Your promotional shorts are really cool, but they have the potential to turn further profit! If you expand on the shorts that exist as a promotional tool, you could create longer, standalone animation that could be offered for purchase on their own, expanding into an untapped market for Sonic products! The promotional shorts can promote the games of course, but they'll also serve as double promotion for the standalone animation!

Sega: I hear ya! We've got a new Shadow short we're super proud of that we'll be highlighting at Anime Expo! We'll have the voice actors there, it'll be great!

Me: Awesome! That's a good first step!

Sega: Yeah! We'll monetize the short by making it exclusive to the game rather than upload it online ourselves! That way if people want to see the short, they'll have to purchase the game!

Me: ...rather than making the animation a product to itself, you're going to take the promotional content for the product and bundle it with the product itself?

Sega: Yeah! But it'll be a timed exclusive to one version of the product first, so consumers of other versions will either have to double dip on a product we're already creating separate exclusives for in both the physical and digital versions of the game, or they may wait to buy the product until the exclusivity has ended and they can enjoy the promotional content on their preferred version!

Me: ...

TLDR: This is a very dumb move for a game that seems to be surrounded by dumb moves. At least locking Terios and the diary to separate purchases makes sense from a money grubbing perspective. Who thought it was a good idea to lock part of the promotional material onto a system specific version of the game? Like, how do you still have a job after you come up with that one? And no, I don't mean lock the short from consumers. Like Blue Blood said, the short will get uploaded to youtube by fans. But Sega won't make the same ad revenue from that the way they would if the short was on their official channel. Even if they eventually put up the short after the exclusivity window ends, that will be after the game launches and after the immediate hype around the game has diminished. They'll have missed their chance at relevancy to reach a maximum audience both to watch the short and to promote the game. If the short is available online at launch... what exactly is Sony paying exclusivity for?

Edited by GentlemanX
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As mentioned in the article version, the official page says "Animations" instead of "Animation."

I want to say this is weird, but this is also the company that misspelled the the Monkey Ball protagonist's name as "AiA" in an official marketing email last month.

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I dunno, I think this might be pretty smart on SEGA's part. If Sony's pumping money to get the marketing partnership on the game and is asking SEGA to offer a little extra in return (which I'm speculating about obviously but it's the only scenario that makes sense to me), I can't think of anything more troll-worthy than some... video clips?

SEGA: Oh sure sure dude, we've got a really cool exclusive you can have. Here!

Sony: Amazing, I -- this is a just bunch of mp4s.

SEGA: [flashbangs, jumps out of window] DREAMCAST FOREVER BITCHES, YEE HAW!

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1 minute ago, Dreadknux said:

I dunno, I think this might be pretty smart on SEGA's part. If Sony's pumping money to get the marketing partnership on the game and is asking SEGA to offer a little extra in return (which I'm speculating about obviously but it's the only scenario that makes sense to me), I can't think of anything more troll-worthy than some... video clips?

SEGA: Oh sure sure dude, we've got a really cool exclusive you can have. Here!

Sony: Amazing, I -- this is a just bunch of mp4s.

SEGA: [flashbangs, jumps out of window] DREAMCAST FOREVER BITCHES, YEE HAW!

*Falls 20 feet onto concrete and breaks both legs*

GREEMCRRST FRARVERRRR!!!

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I just dont understand why. Honestly. Its redundant with youtube. Game dlc  maybe...but this? Axis of incompetence stuff

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Sonic The Hedgehog Idk GIF by Mashed 
 First we got Dream Team on Apple Arcade and now this… 

Edited by Venomous
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Wow. Why is Sega getting dumb. First exclusive games, and now this?! What are they doing?! Just let the fans watch this awesome shadow anime short!! Also, if this short is uploaded by fans on YouTube, make sure the quality is good. 

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Sega collecting the bag from Sony for something that'll be up on YouTube when the game breaks street date a week before release.

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For what it's worth, at least it's just an animated prologue's extended scenes that's being exclusive to one platform, as opposed to an entire game (Dream Team, cough cough). Thanks to YouTube, fans who can't or simply don't want to buy the PS versions will still get to watch it. If you're a completionist though who wants to be able to enjoy ALL of the game and all the content it has to offer as a full experience but don't want to buy from Sony for whatever reason, it really does suck. If Sega keeps pulling these exclusivity deals with their games and content, some of which have been very hard to access for some fans due to various factors, they're going to start turning off a fanbase that has already had shaky confidence in the company for years now.

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As disheartening as it was, Sakurai ditched super cool Subspace Emissary-level cutscenes in Smash games after Brawl for a reason. It seems somebody doesn't get the picture he painted.

Edited by SupahBerry
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I'm tired of confusing pre order bonuses, digital deluxe editions, and exclusivity crap. With Origins and now this it's just genuinely irritating and confusing to buy sonic games. Really hope we can stop this with the next release but Sega has been getting extremely greedy as of late (Monkey ball banana mania had a bunch of paid day one dlc for example).

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Sony got scammed how much do we think they paid for that. 

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Hey, if Sega are gonna do what they've done for years and make bizarre decisions as usual, might as well let Sony foot the bill. I ain't preordering any game ever again, even ones that are a part of my favourite franchises. So I don't care either way.

I do know that Square Enix had been making exclusives for Sony for a while and finally noticed they were losing money so are abandoning that from now on.

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Good job Sega giving us something fun too like on.

Sad Jimmy Fallon GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Edited by Aroon
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On one hand, I'm glad that the prologue animations are actually being included in the games they're made for. It was really annoying that you needed to stop by YouTube to get the whole stories for Sonic Superstars and Sonic Frontiers. On the other hand, I don't get why they had to make it exclusive to ONE platform.

 

To quote 2005's Shadow the Hedgehog, "one step forward, two steps back."

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These free animated prologues aren't required viewings...they honestly don't even feel necessary.

So having to "stop by" Youtube isn't even a real ask...

It would be more annoying if you had to actually "do" anything to access this side material.

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6 hours ago, StaticMania said:

These free animated prologues aren't required viewings...they honestly don't even feel necessary.

So having to "stop by" Youtube isn't even a real ask...

It would be more annoying if you had to actually "do" anything to access this side material.

I get what you mean, but if I'm being honest, that's part of why I want them in the games so bad. The animations not taking much to view just makes me question why they aren't included in the first place. They should be easy additions that give the people playing the games more to enjoy and give a bit more story. To me, they seem like obvious things to include in the games, so it just confuses me as to why Sonic Team doesn't add them.

 

However, I do understand that it's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. It's more of a pet peeve of mine than anything.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/20/2024 at 4:14 PM, Venomous said:

Sonic The Hedgehog Idk GIF by Mashed 
 First we got Dream Team on Apple Arcade and now this… 

At least Apple Arcade games have a chance of making it onto console.

Also…

"Can an animated feature get post-release DLC?"

Surely you’ve heard of Street Fighter x Tekken, right?

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