There was once a time when the promise of a new release in the Sonic The Hedgehog franchise would have gamers planted on the edge of their seats. While the fastest thing alive has starred in several releases lately, Sega’s poster-boy has definitely seen better days. With the next generation of consoles finally on the market, there’s no better time than now to stage a renaissance of the brand. Now all that’s needed is an announcement of a next-gen Sonic title.
According to a sign displayed by toy company Jazwares at the Nuremberg Toy Fair, a new title could be on its way. The sign lists the feisty hedgehog’s last two outings, Sonic: Lost World and Mario & Sonic at the Olymic Winter Games: Sochi 2014 (check out our review), in addition to what they call a “new 2015 title” that’s still to be announced. This upcoming Sonic The Hedgehog game is stated to be releasing on Wii U, PS4 and Xbox One, making it the Blue Blur’s first truly next-gen release.
It’s of little surprise that Sega will eventually bring their iconic hero to next-gen consoles, but what makes this potential reveal interesting is the fact that Nintendo signed a partnership with Sega in May that would give Nintendo exclusive publishing rights on their next three releases. If this is the case though, where is the third Nintendo-exclusive title? Lost World and Sochi 2014 make up the first two titles in the agreement, but there has yet to be news of a third exclusive.
Could it be possible that the partnership was quietly dropped in favor of releasing the third game cross-platform? While this is possible, it’s highly unlikely that companies of Nintendo and Sega’s stature would keep quiet about the loss of exclusivity rights at the tail end of an agreement. Either the platforms listed for this alleged 2015 release are incorrect, or gamers may be seeing a final Nintendo-exclusive Sonic title in the next year that will bridge the gap between these console generations.
Putting aside any cynicism gamers may have for Sonic’s outings in recent years, there still exists a hope that Sega will hit its mark and return the loveable speed demon to his previous glory. Next-gen consoles could very well hold the key to that. If not that though, a more permanent partnership between Nintendo and Sega may be in the cards.
Now that Nintendo is considering the option of mergers, this could be the perfect time for the two companies to band together and find a way to elevate their brands to the titan status they once held. While it’s hardly fair to say that either is struggling, they both have an incredible amount of room to grow and could very well find ways to benefit from each other’s brands.
[Update: In a statement to Eurogamer Sega has labeled the reports as "incorrect."]
Do you think a third Nintendo-exclusive Sonic The Hedgehog title will see a release before 2015? How would you feel about a more permanent Nintendo/Sega partnership?