The Sonic the Hedgehog IP is on a growth trajectory following the success of Sonic Frontiers and the two Paramount movies, with SEGA Sammy announcing in its annual financial report that the franchise has moved 1.6 billion units as of March 2023.
That humungous figure covers both physical game sales and downloads of full game and free-to-play titles across console, PC and mobile. A report on GamesIndustry notes that this is a 7% increase on last year's performance, meaning that the Sonic franchise is enjoying a particularly positive consumer boost right now.
In a slide dedicated to the Sonic franchise early in the investor report, SEGA Sammy reveals that Sonic Frontiers, which released in November 2022, has racked up 3.2 million copies worldwide as of end of March 2023. In a corporate interview later in the same document, SEGA Sammy CEO Haruki Satomi calls the game's performance "one of the best games in the entire Sonic IP game series, winning over many new Sonic fans."
Elsewhere, the company also points to the two Paramount Sonic the Hedgehog movies as a key factor in the respectable increase in franchise sales;
Sonic, SEGA’s flagship IP, was introduced in 1991 as a high-speed action game in which players must run frenetically pace through stages of various ups, downs, and loops. Several hit games followed, continuing to attract fans around the world. The Sonic the Hedgehog movie, released in 2020, and its sequel, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, released in 2022, were each global blockbusters. This has helped to accelerate the growth of the Sonic IP.
You can read the full statement from SEGA Sammy CEO, Haruki Satomi, regarding the Sonic franchise below too.
The Sonic IP, which arose out of our games, has seen steady expansion into movies, anime, and other media. Sonic has now grown into a huge IP, the most successful example of our IP strategy. More than anything else, the secret behind this success lies in our continued pursuit of the sheer fun of the game where it got its start.
For the hugely popular Sonic Frontiers title, the development team tested the game over and over again, even postponing the release date, insisting on raising the quality of the game to the utmost limit. As a result, Sonic Frontiers has become one of the best games in the entire Sonic IP game series, winning over many new Sonic fans.
Success with Sonic IP has equipped the Group with a wealth of knowledge regarding IP development, which we plan to harness in actively pursuing measures to expand other excellent IPs on a global scale as well. SEGA has created many compelling IPs over its long history. To maximize their potential, we will further advance and pursue our IP strategy.
It has certainly been a very busy year for Sonic the Hedgehog, with various DLC updates for Sonic Frontiers being released alongside Sonic Superstars, the announcement of Sonic Dream Team, a symphonic world tour, various social marketing initiatives and even The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog all continuing to generate goodwill in the community - and importantly for SEGA Sammy, converting to sales.
Let us know what you think of this news in the comments section below, but I think the phrase we're looking for here is, "we eatin', fam".