A Thank You to the SEGA of America Community Team

SOACrewWith the current relocation of SEGA of America’s HQ, we have in the past few days said goodbye to many long-standing employees of SoA, including Kellie Parker and Julian Mehlfeld from the Community Team.

One of the most vivid memories I have in dealing with the SEGA social team was during a trip out to Los Angeles for E3 and the very first Sonic Boom event back in 2011. What struck us was the dedication of the team whom over the course of the week seemed indefatigable, not only working tirelessly manning the gargantuan stand in the main convention centre, but who tangentially assembled another monster event down the street. I’m sure tired didn’t begin to describe their state during that week, yet I don’t think I remember a moment they didn’t all have huge beaming smiles across their faces, or were laughing at the end of the day with a well-earned beverage. Kellie has written a parting post on the SEGA blog where she has stated “we laughed hard, and we worked harder” – I can’t think of anything more appropriate to describe what I saw during my brief insight into the team’s operation.

This is but one of countless examples of what the community team were involved in, and similarly, I’m sure everyone who has had any interaction with the SoA social and community team over the past decade will agree that the hallmark has, and likely always will be, a penchant for excellence, and a drive to go far beyond the call of duty. An inordinate amount of what is has now become the face of the Sonic the Hedgehog community, both online and in real life, is in part of wholly due to the fantastic team that has been at SoA.

I’d love to be able to write down the extensive résumé of the team’s accomplishments to date, but I’d fear it would fail to be a comprehensive summary of the entirety of great things they have managed. Instead, we at TSS would like to invite you all to share the stories you might have of any memories of your interactions with the social team in the comments below.

You can read Julian and Kellie‘s parting blog entries on the SEGA blog.

While we sadly bid farewell to some, we welcome back others!

TSS would like to welcome back to the SoA fold Aaron Webber, who will be taking up the social media and community reins once more for our favourite hedgehog! Many of you will remember Aaron from his previous roles at SEGA, and as host of the Sonic Boom fan event from 2011 to 2014.

We wish all the community and social team members the very best in the future, and that they will always be a very special part of the Sonic the Hedgehog community.

 

[UPDATE] Sonic 4 PS3 Dynamic Theme Coming To PlayStation Store

UPDATE: ArchangelUK of SEGA Europe and Sonic Wrecks has received European and Australian pricing and release date information from SCEE. The theme will be available Wednesday 19th January for free to PlayStation Plus members, and cost €1.99/£1.59/$AU3.45 for everyone else.
Source: Sonic Wrecks/UPDATE END

SEGA’s RubyEclipse has revealed that a Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 Dynamic Theme will soon be available on the PlayStation Store for PS3 owners thanks to a joint effort from SEGA and Sony. This theme is based on the game’s first stage Splash Hill Zone and features Sonic running and spin-dashing around, with an appearance from Dr. Eggman every now and then. Another cool feature is the ring sound effect we’ve all grown to know and love that will trigger when toggling around the XMB.

This Dynamic Theme will be a part of this coming Tuesday’s PlayStation Store update in the U.S. and will be released shortly after in Europe, so maybe Wednesday’s European PlayStation Store update, if we’re lucky? The theme will cost $2.99 in the U.S. and for a limited time will be available free to all PlayStation Plus members. No European prices were given.

If you missed the announcement, SEGA added exclusive Sonic 4 Avatar items to the Xbox Live Marketplace for Xbox 360 owners in December.

Source: SEGA of America Blog & Sonic City Blognik

Thanks to CobraRoll at the SSMB for the heads up!

Will you be downloading this theme? Let us know in the comments.

Project Needlemouse Challenge II Update

SEGA staffer Ruby Eclipse has made an update on the SEGA of America Blog regarding Project Needlemouse Challenge II. It appears the Sonic community has pulverised the requested 100 pieces of art as the current ammount of submissions now stands at over 350 entries so give yourselves a well deserved pat on the back.

In celebration of the effort that’s been put in RubyEclipse had this to say –

That makes all of us – including, hopefully, you guys – very happy. The challenge has been bested within 48 hours, and as a result next week is going to be the Week of the Hedgehog! The celebration will begin next Tuesday on Hedgehog Day, (step aside, groundhog!) with a special massive swag giveaway and concept art reveal, and will lead into our biggest announcement going live as we approach next weekend. Trust us when we say that February is going to be a very good month.

Now then – to celebrate your success, we’d like to offer you guys additional rewards for continuing to send in your concept art – and some very awesome concept art, at that! So,for every 50 pieces of Concept Art (past 100), we will give away one extra piece of Sonic Merchandise during our Hedgehog Day giveaway!

To close RubyEclipse wanted to put an end to a rumour about the project that’s been going around to no end until now –

Oh, and as another bonus, let’s go ahead and dispel away a little rumor that we’ve noticed in the comments:

Project Needlemouse is not an HD version of Sonic 1. These may be old badniks, but when we said all-new adventure, we meant it.

The SEGA staff have picked out a bunch of their favourite pieces of concept art sent in and posted them up on the Blog for all to see. Has your entry been posted up? Excited about Hedgehog Day? Let us know in the comments

Thanks to jeremycarrier over at the SSMB for the heads up!