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Sega: "We've made too many Sonic games", attempts to erase crap back catalogue

Sega has released too many Sonic games. In particular, bad ones. It's not just us saying so, this is according to Jurgen Post, SVP of Sega Europe. But the good news is, there's a new internal policy to strive for quality in Sonic games. There's a novel idea. Looks like it's paying off, with Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 scoring 9/10 in our review and currently 'all in the green' on Metacritic. But, amazingly, Sega's going further and delisting the crap ones.

'Delisting' means it won't be restocking retailers with new copies, presumably with the likes of 2006 abomination Sonic The Hedgehog and possibly even the half-decent (literally) Sonic Unleashed, so you'll only be able to find those in the pre-owned section or on eBay. Worryingly, it seems they're delisting some great ones too, if Jurgen's statement is to be taken literally:

“We could make a lot of money on back-catalogue Sonic titles, but let’s keep the number of Sonic games available under control. Otherwise you can have cannibalisation. If there are ten Sonic games on the shelves, with people seeing Sonic Rush DS or Sonic Rush Adventure, this may not help our overall strategy.”

Yikes. Sonic Rush was most people's Sonic 4 until... well, Sonic 4. Still if Colors is going to be that good then bring it on. We have had the past five years to play this little lot:


Above: Too many Sonic games in the last five years? No idea what you're talking about.

The point of the exercise is to increase the value of the brand, which has arguably been diluted to the point of impotence over recent years. Sega's US vice president of sales and marketing, Alan Pritchard, said:

"If you look at all of the Sonic releases over the last four or five years, there's a real mixed bag out there. A Sonic game can sell if it's a 60-percent Metacritic game, that's not an issue. But is that really what the consumer wants? Is that what we should be doing as a publisher and a developer? We should be bringing much higher quality products to market to deliver a better experience for the consumer."

So from now on, we can expect nothing but 80+ metacritic averages for Sonic games. It's working for Sonic 4 Episode 1 (released today on PSN and tomorrow on XBLA in the UK) and looks likely for Sonic Colors on Wii. And with the rumour of a 20th Anniversary fan-pleasing remake on the cards, the future does look bright for the old hog.

Step one: Wipe the slate clean, start again from Sonic 4's excellent foundation.

Step three: Profit?

13 Oct, 2010

Sources: Official Nintendo MagazineMCV and CVG 

33 comments

  • ShaneCedt - October 14, 2010 4:24 a.m.

    I have no f*ckin idea why people are so ape-shit crazy about the new sonic game. What's the big deal? It's the same game you played back in the 90s.
  • QWERTYCommander - October 14, 2010 2:28 a.m.

    Good job, Sega. Now why did it take them this long to realize that?
  • Panties - October 14, 2010 2:17 a.m.

    Remember a while back when Sega laid off a bunch of employees? I was kinda hoping that it was Sonic Team.
  • SausageLozenge - October 14, 2010 1:51 a.m.

    They should have stopped after 2.
  • ThePigHostage - October 13, 2010 11:04 p.m.

    Sonic Rush was great. Rush Adventure was good too, but (as is customary with the Sonic series) there was a lot of unnecessary fluff added. Other than that though... Yeah, definitely wipe the slate clean. Sonic 4 is an excellent fresh start for the franchise. I just wish it were longer.
  • ThatGuyFromTV - October 13, 2010 11:01 p.m.

    Oh, and points for the brilliant South Park reference. Now I''m scared of those damn underpants gnomes again.
  • ThatGuyFromTV - October 13, 2010 10:59 p.m.

    Glad to see that Sega realized that fact. Sonic deserves more than being gaming's punching bag.
  • Shenlong4517 - October 13, 2010 10:48 p.m.

    As you said, the Rush games were pretty much our half-assed replacement for Soinc 4, even if the second Rush wasn't very good. But the rest I'm glad to see go- good call, Sega. Finally listening to us.
  • Dvsshark - October 13, 2010 9:59 p.m.

    LOL. This sounds like those domino pizza commercials,"you've been saying are product is crap for years, but now we're finally gonna do something about it". Will here is to step one.
  • Chaoscoolperson - October 13, 2010 8:54 p.m.

    YAY SEGA IS DOING SOMETHING GOOD FOR SONIC AGAIN! Maybe we'll actually start to care about him again. Can't wait for "good" sonic games again.
  • TDUBBS - October 13, 2010 8:37 p.m.

    Hows this going to work with the Mario&Sonic games? I doubt Nintendo would be down with this game plan.
  • ultimatepunchrod - October 13, 2010 8:17 p.m.

    this is kind of exciting. they may not mean every word theyre saying up there but its good to know that they realize that they are not doing the fans any kind of service with stuff like sonic '06
  • judgegrumble - October 13, 2010 7:41 p.m.

    i dont get all the hate on sonic rush, it was a really fun game
  • batmanboy11 - October 13, 2010 7:39 p.m.

    They won't be missed...
  • MJSHappy - October 13, 2010 7:38 p.m.

    I thought Chronicles and the rush games were actually pretty good.
  • taterboob - October 13, 2010 7:27 p.m.

    It's very encouraging to see the likes of Nintendo and Sega turning back from the brink of mediocrity and remembering that they have fans. Talk of a 20th anniversary Sonic celebration makes me feel very, very old. No time to worry about that, Sonic 4's out now!
  • BigWillis - October 13, 2010 6:57 p.m.

    Sonic Rush was good, also I'd imagine Chronicles isn't terrible. The tragedy is that Sonic 2006 could have actually been really good if it wasn't so rushed. It may have actually been really good, just definitely needed a lot more work and a different story. The basics were there though.
  • Ravenbom - October 13, 2010 6:01 p.m.

    Well, they need to trim the quantity, not the quality and Sonic Rush was amazing.
  • grappler51 - October 13, 2010 6 p.m.

    I like the idea of increasing the quality of the brand, but it also means they're getting rid of good Sonic games like Rush, which I liked a lot.
  • Spybreak8 - October 13, 2010 5:50 p.m.

    I heard Sonic Chronicles was good and well Bioware made it!?

Showing 1-20 of 33 comments

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