SEGA Sammy’s most recent Investor Q&A had a few choice tidbits about Sonic Frontiers’ performance and the broad future of the series. Though the game didn’t get the critical response that was expected, SEGA feels that the game connected with players and significantly beat sales expectations.
"It's true that the Metacritic Score [for Sonic Frontiers] was slightly lower than we expected, but the user's score was very high," the company said (via translation courtesy of Twitter account Tails' Channel). "With that, we believe we have found a title that is widely accepted by a lot of people around the world."
Responding to a question concerning sales promotions of the game shortly after release, the publisher said that, while it "conducted intensive promotions around the November release", and held a temporary sale on Black Friday, it was still able to achieve significant unit sales without reducing perception of the game's quality. "The number of units sold greatly exceeded our original estimation... we will continue to sell over the long term based on sales strategies such as pricing, promotions and the development of further DLC."
As a consequence of this and the broader global financial situation, SEGA is expecting higher development costs for their major titles - which we imagine includes Sonic titles going forward. "We will strive to ensure solid quality in the development of major titles... however, development labour costs will rise... since it is necessary to take on these challenges for major titles, we are proceeding with a bigger budget, even from the basic research stage."
SEGA also announced via their Investor Relations portal that they will be increasing employee salaries by about 30% “to further stabilize employee income and create a more comfortable working environment, as well as to further strengthen its global competitiveness.” SEGA is one of many companies increasing salaries in Japan following Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s call to boost salaries across the board to combat rising costs.