I remember as a young child playing Sonic the Hedgehog on my Mega-Drive, it is certainly one of the fondest memories that I have from that period in my life and I’m sure you’ll agree with me that the Sonic franchise hasn’t gone anywhere except downhill over the years.
For a long time now Sonic has played second fiddle to his Nintendo counterpart, Mario. While Mario has been growing immensely in popularity over the years spawning a vast number of different titles, the Sonic games just haven’t had the nearly the same quality resulting in the demise of the franchise.
Industry Gamers recently got some answers from Sega of America VP of Marketing Sean Ratcliffe, here’s what he had to say:
“The quality is something that will be fixed over time. It’s not something where you wake up one morning and say, ‘You know what, we’re going to improve our quality on this franchise,’ and it magically happens. A lot of hard work goes into striving for quality. Interestingly, I think Sonic Unleashed was very well received by the kids. There was some talk about the werehog aspect, the slower pacing and more combat-oriented gameplay, but when we go out and test this stuff and sit down with the consumers, kids actually like that. I think older, die-hard Sega fans who grew up with the franchise and the first Sonic the Hedgehog associate Sonic more with 2-D side-scrolling super fast, and they liked the daytime gameplay, but when it came to the slower paced gameplay they were fairly critical of that, and that’s fine they have their opinions,
The point in terms of quality is that we’re constantly trying to improve the quality. When we were in Tokyo recently there was talk about several Sega properties and how we can best make sure we’re constantly pushing that quality bar on Sonic. … Yes, it’s always a challenge to raise that quality bar, but our competitors are trying to put the best product out there and we’re no different. Given that it takes a couple of years to make some of these games, it’s not surprising that we’re not going to see the effort that’s being put in over the past 12 months until another 6-12 months.