New Sonic Channel Art Shows What Blaze Does in Her Downtime

Ever wonder what Blaze the Cat gets up to when she isn’t searching for the sol emeralds or going on high seas adventures? Well, the Japanese Sonic 20th Twitter account and Sonic Channel gave us a look and it’s…paperwork and tea, apparently!

According to the tweet, in times of peace Blaze spends time at the castle of the “Sol Empire,” busying herself with public affairs, and sometimes relaxes with lukewarm tea prepared by the guards. Take a look at the Sonic Channel artwork and a twitter translation of the description below!

Indian summer with calm waves. Blaze is busy with public affairs at the castle of the Sol Empire. Peace continues in the empire, but Blaze's princess responsibilities have not disappeared. The lukewarm tea brewed by the guards is a moment of relaxation for her.★
Thank you for your work! [Channel staff]

This art is interesting for a few reasons. Aside from giving us a rare glimpse at Blaze’s world (a place we’ve only seen once in the games), it also seemingly confirms that the version of Blaze’s world from the IDW comics is canon to the games. This includes the Sol Empire, the castle, and koalas being a prolific species beyond the islands we see in Sonic Rush Adventure. Although, I am beginning to wonder about the absence of a certain rambunctious raccoon girl in this stuff.

Would you like to see more of Blaze and her world in future Sonic media? Let us know in the comments below!

Sega Sammy Closes Arcade, Sells Majority of Arcade Division, and Retires Employees Amid Financial Troubles

What once was a force in the Japanese arcade industry, Sega Entertainment, the arcade division of Sega Sammy has taken several drastic actions following significant losses. It’s been a whirlwind of unfortunate events, so consider this a summary of what has occurred:

The Akihabara Sega Arcade closed Spring through June in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions. In June, Sega hoped to give a boost to the ailing arcade industry with “Fog Gaming,” a process by which networked arcade cabinets can be used for cloud computing functions. Despite this, the Akihabara Sega Arcade permanently closed on August 30th.

A month after this closure, Sega Sammy Holdings proceeded to significantly reduce its stock, staff, and costs regarding Sega Entertainment, opting to sell the majority of the division to Genda Inc, a company specializing in arcade machine rentals. Sega Sammy will retain only 14.9% of their stock, and anticipates losing ¥20 billion following the sale by March. It is believed that this move equates to Sega Sammy leaving the industry of owning and operating arcades in Japan; however, Sega Games (the game development division) confirmed that surviving arcades can continue to use the Sega name.

As a consequence of the sale, Sega Sammy is offering voluntary retirement with “payment of extraordinary retirement allowances and reemployment support for applicants” to 650 full time employees, while management and executives across divisions will have a significant pay cut ranging from 10% to 30%.

Despite the slow decline of Japanese arcades over the last decade, Sega remained a strong and iconic presence throughout. Whether you’ve visited one of Sega’s arcades in person or through the Yakuza series, they stand as a reminder of Sega’s legacy across the history of gaming. Our sympathies go out to all those whose livelihoods are impacted by these events, and our hopes remain that Japanese arcades can weather these difficult times.

Sources: Sora News 24, Ars Technica, GameIndustry.biz, Anime News Network, Kotaku

Images from Google Maps

Read More...

SEGA Celebrates 60 Years With 60 Days of Discounts, Free Games, Competitions, and More!

SEGA’s 60 years old this year, in case you weren’t aware! SEGA’s been celebrating this with all sorts stuff, including their current Steam sale and Sonic 2 giveaway. But they aren’t stopping there: starting today, SEGA is running a 60 day long celebration. During this celebration, they will be:

  • Releasing four free retro-inspired mini games.
  • Discounting more of their games.
  • Running giveaways and Competitions
  • Putting out exclusive interviews

And “more” according to their tweet announcing this whole thing. As of today, SEGA is giving away free Steam copies of the Sonic Team classic NiGHTS into Dreams to anyone that signs up at their 60th anniversary website, here.

The website will provide free wallpapers, avatars and early notification of prize giveaways to anyone who signs up. If you want the free NiGHTS code, don’t dawdle, because they will only be provided for ”as long as codes last.”

The four free mini games, which will only be available for a limited time, include a prototype for a proposed new Golden Axe game made by the now-shuttered SEGA Australia, a Yakuza/Streets of Rage mash-up, a Fantasy Zone-inspired Endless Space game, and a retro tank battle take on SEGA’s Company of Heroes franchise. Click the links I embedded in each to go to their Steam pages. These games will be released daily starting October 15 and will only be available until October 19, 10 AM PST. So, again, if you want these don’t wait.

SEGA will surely be doing lots of Sonic and Sonic Team related things during this, so stay tuned for all that!

Sega 60th Sale Hits Steam (with Free Sonic 2!)

Following the Nintendo and retail sales, Sega’s big 60th anniversary sale has finally hit Steam, including all Steam Sonic titles, the Yakuza series, Total War, Persona 4 Golden, and more! It might be the best opportunity to grab a few games before this year’s Sonic Hacking Contest before it hits full swing the last week of October!

Continue reading Sega 60th Sale Hits Steam (with Free Sonic 2!)

SEGA Looking at Miniaturizing More Consoles

If a Game Gear that fits in the palm of your hand isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry, because it looks like more SEGA mini consoles are on the horizon! Yosuke Okunari, SEGA’s Classic Hardware Producer, talked to Famitsu about what could be next. While he wouldn’t name anything in particular, he said anything anyone has imagined (or not imagined) is being considered.

He also said that unlike the Game Gear Micros, which were made for the Japanese market, the next project should be global in scope. Though due to the size and expense of such a project, it likely won’t be available for at least two years, so don’t expect anything in 2021. He then went on to say that for the next project, they will be considering something like the Mega Drive Mini (so not like the Game Gear Micro or Astro City Mini), and any console from the SG-1000 to SEGA Dreamcast could be chosen.

So, what sort of mini console would you like to see? A Master System? A Saturn? Let us know in the comments below!

Via Siliconera & Sephazon on Twitter

Sega’s 60th Anniversary Sale hits Nintendo US eShop

The Genesis Mini and retail discounts may be over, but the deals have spilled out all over the Nintendo eShop for US players! For Sega’s 60th anniversary, they’ve reduced everything and I mean everything  (though actually I mean nearly everything) for the Switch and 3DS, including Atlus titles. The sale runs through Oct. 5, so you’ve got two weeks to fill up on 3D Classics and Shin Megami Tensai games.

Check them out on the eShop here, or see the entire list below:

Sonic games for Switch:

  • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – $39.99
  • SEGA AGES Sonic the Hedgehog – $5.99
  • SEGA AGES Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – $5.99
  • SEGA Genesis Classics – $14.99
  • Sonic Forces – $9.99
  • Sonic Mania – $9.99
  • Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD (Sure, yeah, Sonic’s in that game) – $23.99
  • Team Sonic Racing – $19.99

Sonic games for 3DS:

  • 3D Sonic the Hedgehog – $2.99
  • 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – $2.99
  • Sega 3D Classics Collection – $9.99
  • Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice – $9.99
  • Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal – $9.99
  • Sonic Generations – $9.99
  • Sonic Lost World – $9.99

Other Switch Games:

  • Catherine: Full Body
  • Citizens of Space
  • Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix
  • Puyo Puyo Tetris
  • Puyo Puyo Champions
  • Rock of Ages 2: Bigger & Boulder
  • SEGA AGES Alex Kidd in Miracle World
  • SEGA AGES Fantasy Zone
  • SEGA AGES G-LOC Air Battle
  • SEGA AGES Gain Ground
  • SEGA AGES Lighting Force: Quest for the Darkstar
  • SEGA AGES Ichidant-R
  • SEGA AGES Out Run
  • SEGA AGES Phantasy Star
  • SEGA AGES Puyo Puyo
  • SEGA AGES Puyo Puyo 2
  • SEGA AGES Shinobi
  • SEGA AGES Space Harrier
  • SEGA AGES Thunder Force AC
  • SEGA AGES Virtua Racing
  • SEGA AGES Wonder Boy: Monster Land
  • Shining Resonance Refrain
  • SolSeraph
  • Two Point Hospital
  • Valkyria Chronicles
  • Valkyria Chronicles 4

Other 3DS Games:

  • 3D After Burner II
  • 3D Altered Beast
  • 3D Ecco the Dolphin
  • 3D Fantasy Zone
  • 3D Fantasy Zone II
  • 3D Galaxy Force II
  • 3D Gunstar Heroes
  • 3D Out Run
  • 3D Shinobi III: Master of the Ninja Master
  • 3D Space Harrier
  • 3D Streets of Rage
  • 3D Streets of Rage 2
  • 3D Super Hang-On
  • 3D Thunger Blade
  • 7th Dragon III Code: VFD
  • The Alliance Alive
  • Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars
  • Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan
  • Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth
  • Etrian Odyssey Nexus
  • Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl
  • Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight
  • Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX
  • The Legend of Legacy
  • Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
  • Personal Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth
  • Radient Historia: Perfect Chronology
  • Rhythm Thief & The Emperor’s Treasure
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux
  • Stella Glow

Source: US Nintendo eShop via Wario64

Sega has a 60th Anniversary sale at major retailers

Sega is having a big sale on some of their top games and products this weekend at major retailers such as Target, Amazon, and Best Buy. The sale includes the Sega Genesis Mini ($49.99), the Yakuza Collection ($39.99), Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz HD ($29.99), and Team Sonic Racing ($29.99).

The sale is only going on this weekend (9/18-9/20), so if you want to nab any of these deals, you better hurry.

Huge “First Wave” of Sonic 30th Anniversary Merchandise Announced, Coming in December

Although the 2020 hasn’t been… great… so far, SEGA is intent on making the most of the rest of the year, with the announcement that a large number of new Sonic branded merchandise is heading to stores from December to celebrate the blue blur’s 30th anniversary. It’s going to be a Sonical Christmas!
Continue reading Huge “First Wave” of Sonic 30th Anniversary Merchandise Announced, Coming in December

Tokyo Joypolis Celebrates Sonic Colours’ 10th Anniversary With Crossover Halloween Event

This Autumn, the Colours will feel so right spooky and creepy at SEGA’s Tokyo Joypolis amusement park. With Wii classic ‘Sonic Colours’ originally releasing on 11 November 2010 (in PAL territories), Joypolis is throwing a special event to both celebrate both the game’s 10-year anniversary and Halloween. Continue reading Tokyo Joypolis Celebrates Sonic Colours’ 10th Anniversary With Crossover Halloween Event

Get Some Rare In-Game Sonic Item Cards For Pre-Ordering The Launch Edition Of Puyo Puyo Tetris 2

A reveal of Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 was probably not what you were expecting today, but it’s here. And a pre-order bonus that includes in-game Sonic item cards was probably even more of a surprise to you. Not only are both real, but you only have a few months to wait before the game releases.

Continue reading Get Some Rare In-Game Sonic Item Cards For Pre-Ordering The Launch Edition Of Puyo Puyo Tetris 2

SEGA Celebrates NiGHTS into Dreams Anniversary With Weird Concept Character Art

Did you know it has been 24 years since the US release of SEGA Saturn classic NiGHTS into Dreams…? Well, SEGA certainly remembered, as their retro revival channel ‘SEGA Forever’ published a celebratory video all about the game. The company also included some long lost concept artwork that feels a bit more ‘nightmare’ than ‘dream’. Continue reading SEGA Celebrates NiGHTS into Dreams Anniversary With Weird Concept Character Art

August’s Sonic 2020 Livestream Promises New Merchandise and Compilation Album

Even though we still haven’t heard much in the way of #Sonic2020 announcements, SEGA’s Japanese Sonic team has managed to keep its ‘Sonic Station Live’ shows ticking. The next broadcast is scheduled for August 28th. We should expect some new goods and music-based merchandise, at the very least. Continue reading August’s Sonic 2020 Livestream Promises New Merchandise and Compilation Album

Sonic 2’s Hidden Palace Zone Rediscovered in Cancelled Mega Drive Prototype ‘Astropede’

Former SEGA Technical Institute artist Craig Stitt has revealed that assets from Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s long lost Hidden Palace Zone were re-used in a prototype Mega Drive/Genesis game that was pitched to SEGA of America in the 1990s. Continue reading Sonic 2’s Hidden Palace Zone Rediscovered in Cancelled Mega Drive Prototype ‘Astropede’

Giant Japanese Sonic Statue Beautifully Restored By Owner’s Bereaved Family

Remember the (now solved) mystery of the Japanese Sonic the Hedgehog statue in the woods? Well, when we last saw it, the 2-metre tall piece was in a huge state of disrepair – but this week, the family of the man who owned it has given it a wonderful restoration that brings it back to its former glory. Continue reading Giant Japanese Sonic Statue Beautifully Restored By Owner’s Bereaved Family

Aaron Webber Is SEGA of Japan’s New Director Of Strategy, Studio & Community Relations

Aaron Webber, also known as RubyEclipse, has received a promotion! Two months after announcing his departure from the Sonic public relations team, he’s announced his new position within the ranks of the company: SEGA of Japan’s Director Of Strategy, Studio & Community Relations.

Continue reading Aaron Webber Is SEGA of Japan’s New Director Of Strategy, Studio & Community Relations

Get Ready! Phantasy Star Online 2’s Getting An Expansion in 2021 Called “New Genesis”

SEGA fans may not be hearing much game news about a certain blue hedgehog, but they are getting a big Phantasy Star Online 2 expansion that is coming in 2021 to celebrate the franchise’s 20th anniversary. It’s called “New Genesis”!

Continue reading Get Ready! Phantasy Star Online 2’s Getting An Expansion in 2021 Called “New Genesis”

Sonic Team Will “Take Good Care” of 2D and 3D Sonic In The Future

If you were the least bit worried about Modern Sonic being tossed aside for Classic Sonic or vice versa, you can lay those fears to rest. According to Sonic Team leader Takashi Iizuka, neither are going anywhere, and both will be “taken care of.”

Continue reading Sonic Team Will “Take Good Care” of 2D and 3D Sonic In The Future

Tangle now available in Sonic Dash UPDATE: Now With Gameplay Footage

While Tangle and Whisper will be coming to Sonic Forces: Mobile very soon, Tangle herself is available in Sonic Dash today! This lightfooted lemur is the first playable Sonic character taken from the comics and not from the games themselves (Sally and the Freedom Fighters had a non-playable cameo in Sonic Spinball). Tangle is playable by unlocking 500 Tangle tokens in an event going on all this week. Shouldn’t take players too long to unlock her as a good player can nab 20+ tokens per game easy.

The event only lasts a week, so make sure you get in some time on Sonic Dash soon!

UPDATE: Check out footage of Tangle in action below:

Aaron Webber’s Leaving The Sonic PR Team For A New Position Within SEGA

Aaron Webber, also known in the Sonic community as RubyEclipse, has been the head of the Sonic public relations team for five years. As of today, however, that is changing. Webber has made a statement announcing that he is moving on to a new position within the ranks of SEGA.

Continue reading Aaron Webber’s Leaving The Sonic PR Team For A New Position Within SEGA

Sonic Birthday Lobby Returns to Phantasy Star Online 2; Beat Up Sonic Enemies For Rare Loot

In what appears to be an annual tradition, SEGA is once again celebrating Sonic’s birthday in its massive online RPG, Phantasy Star Online 2. Starting today, players can log in to find the ‘Sonic Lobby’, which will greet you with an adoring monument of the blue blur and offer special Sonic-themed items for a limited time. Continue reading Sonic Birthday Lobby Returns to Phantasy Star Online 2; Beat Up Sonic Enemies For Rare Loot

Game Gear Micro Full Details: Sonic Games, Colours, Bundles, Pricing and More!

Fresh details have been revealed on SEGA’s teeny tiny handheld remake, the Game Gear Micro – including four versions of the “micro”-console each sporting a different colour, and the inclusion of two Sonic the Hedgehog GG games within a couple of the models. Continue reading Game Gear Micro Full Details: Sonic Games, Colours, Bundles, Pricing and More!

Happy 60th Anniversary, SEGA!

Sixty years ago on June 3 1960, Nihon Goraku Bussan, a distributor of Rock-Ola jukeboxes, was established. The company was one of two created as a successor to Service Games, Japan, and was run by American salesman Richard Stewart. Service Games itself was established by Stewart as a distribution arm for the company he was a salesman for, Service Games, Hawaii, which was a company that specialized in selling coin operated amusement devices on US military bases. Nihon Goraku Bussan would acquire Service Games, Japan’s other successor, Nihon Kikai Seizo, four years later, before merging with Rosen Enterprises in 1965 and formerly becoming SEGA Enterprises. Continue reading Happy 60th Anniversary, SEGA!

SEGA Unveils the Absolutely Adorable Game Gear Micro

Have you ever wanted a SEGA Game Gear that could actually fit in your pocket? Well good news, because SEGA did you one better with their newest mini console, the SEGA Game Gear Micro, which is so small you could (probably) swallow it, or at least fit comfortable in the palm of your hand. Continue reading SEGA Unveils the Absolutely Adorable Game Gear Micro

SEGA Has BIG News Coming Up, Here’s What We Know… and Don’t.

We currently live in a world where E3 is cancelled. Well, everything is kind of cancelled. But that doesn’t mean the hype train hasn’t left the station! Rumours have been circulating about SEGA’s next project, and according to some reputable sources, it’s going to be a big one.

Continue reading SEGA Has BIG News Coming Up, Here’s What We Know… and Don’t.

Happy Birthday Sonic! Sonic Channel’s June Artwork Features Blue Blur

How is it nearly June already? Have we really been quarantining for two months solid?? Well, June is always the happiest month for us at Sonic Stadium because it happens to be the birthday of SEGA’s fast-running mascot! And today, SEGA has revealed its latest artwork for the month of June, featuring Sonic himself. Continue reading Happy Birthday Sonic! Sonic Channel’s June Artwork Features Blue Blur

Takashi Iizuka to be Featured in Next Week’s Sonic 2020 Stream

So far, SEGA Japan’s Sonic 2020 streams have been rather uneventful, mostly focusing on merchandise for the Japanese market. While that probably won’t be changing with next week’s episode, it will be the first to feature Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka. Continue reading Takashi Iizuka to be Featured in Next Week’s Sonic 2020 Stream

Sonic Official Livestreams Returning This Thursday

If you enjoy the Sonic Official livestreams you’re in luck, because they are returning on Thursday! Sonic the Hedgehog Social Media Manager Katie Chrzanowski has put out the call for fan art to be featured on the stream, which you can submit here.

Chrzanowski confirmed that the streams will be done virtually until it’s safe for them to return to the office. As usual, you will be able to watch the stream on the official Sonic YouTube channel.

Sonic Says “Stay Home” in New Billboard

SEGA Brand Manager Nathan Shabazi has shared a new Sonic billboard. The billboard promotes the #StayHomePlayHome hashtag, which has been utilized by organizations and companies to encourage people to remain indoors during the pandemic. Check it out below:

In his tweet Shabazi thanked Liquid Advertising for getting these up, although it’s not exactly clear where these are going up at the moment.

via Twitter

Sonic Chief Brand Officer: Exciting News Coming For Sonic’s 30th Anniversary

As you might be aware, it’s Sonic’s 30th anniversary next year. Just in case you were worried that SEGA might forget about that fact, and have absolutely nothing planned, fear not! SEGA America’s Chief Brand Officer for Sonic, Ivo Gerscovich, has teased that they have some ‘exciting’ things to share soon. Continue reading Sonic Chief Brand Officer: Exciting News Coming For Sonic’s 30th Anniversary

SEGA Releasing Limited Edition 60th Anniversary Stamps and Pin Sets via Japan Post

Finally, the worlds of stamp collecting and SEGA collide! To commemorate the House of Sonic’s 60th anniversary, Japan Post will be selling a limited edition set of postage stamps and pins that are designed around SEGA’s legendary console history. Continue reading SEGA Releasing Limited Edition 60th Anniversary Stamps and Pin Sets via Japan Post

Randomly, SEGA Has a Booth in VRChat’s ‘Virtual Market 4’ Exhibition

It’s probably a sign of the times, what with E3 2020 and Gamescom 2020’s physical expos both being cancelled, but SEGA Japan is going to be attending a virtual games event later this month. In VRChat. No, we don’t really know why, either. Continue reading Randomly, SEGA Has a Booth in VRChat’s ‘Virtual Market 4’ Exhibition

Zoom Like Sonic With These Official Video Conferencing Backgrounds

To all of you who are working from home during this coronavirus pandemic global lockdown – SEGA Japan wants you to know that it understands you. One of the big cultural shifts of the last few months, as countries experience house-bound isolations, is the rise in adoption of video conferencing apps like Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Many of these allow you to call using custom backgrounds. You can see where this is going. Continue reading Zoom Like Sonic With These Official Video Conferencing Backgrounds

SEGA’s New Human Super Hero Has A SEGA Saturn-Themed Backstory

You might be aware of this already, but 2020 marks SEGA’s 60th anniversary – and the company has gone to great lengths to celebrate, including building an awesome-looking microsite covering its long history. SEGA recently revealed a new ‘hero’ called ‘Sega Shirou’, a new ‘mascot’ to promote the publisher in adverts – and a new video has included a truly random twist on the character’s backstory. Continue reading SEGA’s New Human Super Hero Has A SEGA Saturn-Themed Backstory