Former Sega CEO, Tom Kalinske, says he believe's Sonic the Hedgehog's struggles are temporary, and that the iconic hedgehog will once again capture its past success.
Back in the 90s, Sonic the Hedgehog was one of the most well-known and successful franchises in gaming. Unfortunately for Sega, that success was short lived, and the speedy blue mammal fell from grace, with the most recent Sonic the Hedgehog struggling to find much success.
In a recent interview, former Sega of America CEO, Tom Kalinske, has shared his perspective on Sonic’s struggles, and his belief that the franchise will once again find greatness. According to Kalinske, Sonic is simply going through the same high and low cycle that many other characters and franchises have experienced. Kalinske said:
I think there is some natural up and down for any character. We've certainly seen it with the Marvel characters over the years. We've seen it with Barbie. We've seen it with Star Wars. We've seen it with G.I. Joe and Hot Wheels. All of these brands have had their cycles. I think Sonic has had a downward cycle for a while, and it's time to have an upward cycle again for a while.
Kalinske’s optimism is palpable, and his vision for a Sonic that once again towers over its competitors is one many gamers would love to see. But there’s a massive challenge ahead of Sega in making such a dream come true. While the most recent Sonic games haven’t been as bad as 2006’s Sonic the Hedgehog, they haven’t done much to recapture the success the iconic hedgehog once enjoyed.
While it’s possible for Sonic achieve success on a large scale, Sega knows it will take more than just better game mechanics. Last summer, Sega games CEO, Haruki Satomi, admitted that Sega had betrayed fans and committed himself and the company to winning back gamer trust. Satomi said:
Sega in the 1990’s was known for its brand, but after that, we’ve lost trust, and we were left with nothing but reputation. For this reason, we’d like to win back the customers’ trust, and become a brand once again.
Satomi’s comments came shortly after Sonic Boom sold fewer than 500,000 copies across both the 3DS and Wii U in 2014. Sega hasn’t released any additional large-scale Sonic games since and it's easy to see why. Considering that, the hope is SEGA is using the extra time to revamp the Sonic franchise with fresh ideas and new innovations that will capitalize on current generation console capabilities and reignite gamers’ love for the series.
Sega does plan to release Sonic Mania next spring, which will offer gamers a 2D platformer experience reminiscent of 90s Sonic. Additionally, the developer is working on another new Sonic game that’s set to release holiday 2017 for all current-gen systems. Hopefully gamers will start to see the rise of Sonic the Hedgehog once more, and Kalinske’s vision will come to pass.
What do you think about Kalinske’s comments on Sonic the Hedgehog? Can the quick, blue coin collector recapture the place it once held in the industry?
Source: Game Informer