SEGA West CEO Sees Chances Ahead For Sonic to “arc out to do different things”

Following comments on Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 a few days ago, VG247 has posted up their full interview with SEGA West CEO Mike Hayes, and it features a couple more pieces of discussion about Sonic. When asked what his standout moment for the company is, Hayes expresses his pride for SEGA and Nintendo’s bringing together of both of their mascots for the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series.

“In my time at Sega, I’d come back to Chronicles, but I have to say Mario and Sonic simply because of many things,” said Hayes when asked for a standout moment.

“For me personally, doing that deal with Nintendo when we were such adversaries and bringing the two greatest icons together, for me, is a real sense of pride. Then the fact that its sold 20 million units so far on the two that we’ve released mean people like it, which is great.

That’s not the only standout moment for Hayes, though. The SEGA West boss also talks about his fondness for Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, which he admires because it does something different with the Sonic the Hedgehog brand.

“But in terms of imagination, I actually thought what we did with Chronicles was pretty good, which was actually trying to do something with Sonic that wasn’t just about speed and getting from A to B as effectively as possible. And that, I thought, was a pretty good game. Sold reasonably well, didn’t break any record, but I enjoyed that because it was different.

With Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood in mind, Hayes thinks there are more chances ahead to arc Sonic out to do other things.

“And that gives us kind of a clue about mainly the future of Sonic. There are chances for him to sort of arc out to do different things, maybe.”

Hayes ends the interview by noting the success of Sonic Colours in sales, ratings and popularity.

I like [2010 Wii and DS title] Colours a lot because I think that’s the best main platform standalone Sonic that we’ve done in many years. And it was hugely popular and it did extremely well based in America and Europe. I just think that was an excellent game, I think [Team Sonic producer Takashi] Iizuka did a good job on that and it rated pretty well. But for me, from my time at Sega, I’d probably say M&S and Chronicles.”

Source: VG247

Would you like to see the Sonic the Hedgehog series explore other genres? If so, which ones? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Sonic 4: Episode 1 Sells Over 1 Million, Ep 2 Info On The Way “very soon”

In a recent interview with VG247, SEGA West CEO Mike Hayes revealed that digital download title Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 has sold over one million units across all platforms since its release in October last year.

“It did very well and it continues to do well,” Hayes told us in a phone interview this afternoon.

“Particularly when it gets a little shot in the arm with some promotion or some price activity, sales are quite phenomenal. Its downloaded clearly over a million units, so its sold particularly well and continues to sell.”

Hayes also told the website to expect information on Episode 2 “very soon”, but wouldn’t clarify how soon. Instead Mr.Hayes just said “look out for that one.”

Source: VG247 (via GoNintendo)

Thanks to SSMB member Emeraio at the SSMB for the heads up!

SEGA Explains New Strategy For Sonic

SEGA West CEO Mike Hayes has made it clear in an interview with IGN that the company doesn’t want to make any more bad Sonic games. From here on out Hayes says that SEGA will be listening to what the fans want in future titles and feels this strategy will bring the Sonic series back up to the quality standard it once had.

“It’s all part of a general strategy with Sonic where we are passionate about getting Sonic back up to the quality levels we’ve had historically,” Hayes explained. “We’ve gone through a major segmentation analysis of Sonic and where it would appeal to the different fans.”

Hayes explains that SEGA are targeting different audiences for different platforms. The company is going after the younger audience with titles on Wii & DS, while catering for the more devoted Sonic & SEGA fans with other brands.

“On the Wii and Nintendo DS, we’re driving those brands to the younger audience,” he said. “We have our Mario and Sonic brands that are very mass-market. Then we have our brands where we will focus on our SEGA and Sonic loyalists and we made the decision there to listen to what their feedback is.”

“We delayed the launch of Sonic 4 to make sure we got that as right as we could and we’re still listening because as we progress the series we want to make sure we get that right.”

Hayes then reveals that development on Sonic titles will take a different approach depending on the age group a game is targeted at.

“Where I think we provide Sonic for a younger audience, there we have to take innovation ourselves and try and understand and work out what will be the best game for a more 8 to 12 year old audience,” he said. “For the core fans, we definitely want to hear what they have to say about Sonic.”

“It’s just such a vital brand for us, and the most important thing is to get relevant quality, and that’s what we’re going to spend a lot of time and money doing over the next three or more years to get right.”

Source: IGN

Thanks to Mr.Isklue at the SSMB for the heads-up!

What do you think of SEGA’s new development and marketing strategies for the Sonic the Hedgehog brand? Speak out in the comments.

[UPDATE: Pt 2]CVG Interview SEGA’s Mike Hayes

UPDATE: CVG have just posted up part 2 of their interview, though nothing Sonic is included but it’s still a good read. Check it out here. /UPDATE END

CVG have posted up part 1 of an interview they’ve had recently with SEGA’s head of the western territory Mike Hayes. The interview discusses SEGA’s game plans for 2010 covering all IP’s including Sonic the Hedgehog where questions about Sonic 4 arise. Mike Hayes reveals the following game plan he holds for Sonic in 3 franchises, Sonic, Mario & Sonic and the All-Stars. Mike Hayes informs that Sonic 4 is being made for the ‘legacy’ fans which should make people who fall under that category happy to hear as long as the final product is what they hoped for. The question about episodes as seen in many interviews pops up again to which Hayes responds with a number of reasons such as low costs which means it is a better option to test how this kind of game is received.

You can check out the Sonic related section of the interview below:

Talking of classic Sega IP, we’ve seen the new Sonic game…
Doesn’t it look great?

For a 2D fan – yes, it does. What was the thinking behind its creation? Bizarrely, it’s a next-gen, old-school title…
The thing with Sonic you need to understand is that there are different parts of the Sonic family. This is how we’re building the whole strategy. In one corner you’ve got Mario & Sonic franchise, in the next you’ve got Sonic The Hedgehog. Then you’ve got the All-Stars – that’s pretty much everybody. Then you’ve got something we haven’t seen for a while, which is like Sonic Heroes, multiplay-type game.

Those are the four areas we want to develop. Interestingly, each of those is going to have different audiences. With the Sonic The Hedgehog brand, we have a lot of people who are legacy fans in a way. And that’s where the new game came from: Wouldn’t you like to play in the style of your old Genesis or Megadrive but in the beauty of re-enhanced high definition? It doesn’t mean we won’t tap into the All-Star games, or we won’t take Sonic in other directions in future.

Why make it episodic rather than a standalone New Super Mario Bros-style release?
Kind of a mixture of reasons. A lot of it is the whole digital entertainment part. We like everybody else are trying to learn how best to deliver entertainment in the future to consumers. This was a relatively low cost part of Sonic. We wanted to see how it was received via that delivery.

For something like Sonic 4, the consumer will often be quite core. They play a lot of multiplayer, a lot of downloads off XBLA and PSN. We’re feeling our way if we’re perfectly honest, but it seems to make sense.

We’ll keep an eye out for part 2 of the interview and let you know if anything Sonic is discussed.

Full interview at CVG

Sega looking to acquire another company?

Now that the Activision Blizzard emergence is over Mike Hayes president of Sega Europe has told MCV their company could be next to acquire another company.

With Mario and Sonic reaching the Chart track number 1 spot Sega have obviously benefited from deals with another company, so can they bring in a similar result again if they acquire a company?

Here are Mike Hayes quotes from the article:

“The growth challenge is never over,” said Hayes. “Therefore like most other publishers we are always on the look-out for new signings – product or company.” Continue reading Sega looking to acquire another company?