These are exciting times for Sega, celebrating the 25th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog and looking ahead with a renewed sense of purpose for the famous blue speedster. With the induction of Sonic into the Video Game Hall of Fame, Sega’s legacy is ensured—but how do you keep an iconic franchise relevant to new generations? Sega has been keeping it fresh on social media with Twitter takeovers and comedic content, but at the end of the day, it’s all about the video games.
During this year’s San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), Sega announced two games that cater to fans both new: Project Sonic 2017 and the old-school-styled Sonic Mania. This was no coincidence. “As fans saw at the SDCC party, we are focusing on various styles of games to ensure that all of our fans enjoy the same feelings they had when they started playing Sonic games no matter how long ago this may have been,” Ivo Gerscovich, chief brand officer for Sonic the Hedgehog and senior vice president for Sega of America, told [a]listdaily.
Sonic Boom, meanwhile, an animated show on Cartoon Network, has introduced the franchise to new generations. For a real nostalgia bomb, SDCC party-goers were invited to recreate a classic TV commercial moment. “[We surprised] the over 1,500 people at the [SDCC] party and spontaneously recorded the “SEEEGGAAAAA!!!!” audio cue using their voices,” Gerscovich added slyly. “Maybe there are interesting ways it can be used. Fans will have to stay tuned!”
Although Sonic has found a loving home on mobile with Sonic Dash, Sega’s latest projects are focused on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
“At this time,” Gerscovich explained, “our primary focus is delivering great experiences across those two console products. Seeing fans light up worldwide at our announcement has been a nice reward for the team’s hard work on Sonic Mania and the untitled project [Project Sonic 2017]. Yet we know we still have a lot of work ahead of us to deliver these exciting products. As for mobile, we always evaluate all platforms and mobile has been very successful for Sonic.”
Next-gen consoles aren’t the only place Sonic will be featured. Gerscovich added that the Sonic film development is going well, but they haven’t made any announcements regarding games based on the film or cross-promotional efforts. “Sega and the Sonic brand are on a good trajectory, and the steps the team has been taking are being well received by the fans.”
Sega’s fans are, in fact, at the heart of every Sega promotion, and the company is devoted to keeping them happy. “This 25th anniversary year is a very special one,” Gerscovich said. “The team has loved working on Sonic over the years and to be doing so 25 years later is a huge testament to the devotion of all the people who have worked on the games as well as the loyal fans.”