In an effort to increase or protect the value of the Sonic brand, Sega has de-listed certain Sonic titles, meaning they can no longer be purchased new at retail. According to Jurgen Post, Sega’s SVP of EMEA, "any Sonic game with an average Metacritic has been de-listed." As explained by Post, such action was required to increase the value of the brand. And while Post explained Sega could make a lot of money on back-catalog Sonic titles, he also stated the number of titles available had to be kept under control, otherwise there could be cannibalization.
With three new Sonic games planned for release before the end of the year -- Sonic 4: Episode 1, Sonic Colors, and Sonic Free Riders -- I can kind of understand a view that wants these titles to be the focus for the brand, and for retailers not to showcase older Sonic games that may have been available for months or even years. And while I am not sure about Sonic Free Riders, Sonic 4: Episode 1 and Sonic Colors look to move the brand in the right direction towards quality, with the recently released Episode 1 even getting praise on the iPhone.
What I do find interesting, however, is the view that Sonic games with an "average" Metacritic will be the games being de-listed. And while I am not sure it was necessarily meant to do this, that comment alone opens up the can of worms that I think is wrong with game reviews and even grades in school -- inflation. While we all want the things we make to be the very best, all the time, not everything can be the best. In fact, only one thing can actually be the best. And that reminds me of a statement from a professor in law school, where he would say something to the effect that while we all wanted to be in the top 10%, only 10% would actually make it, and for the other 90% it was simply mathematically impossible. I think the simplicity and honesty in that statement is important and too often forgotten.
But hopefully for Sega and Sonic fans the world over, Sonic will return to form in his upcoming games. And for those fans looking to get a new copy of an older Sonic game, well you might not want to wait much longer before you make your purchase.
What do you Ranters think about Sega de-listing older Sonic games? Are you excited about Sonic 4: Episode 1, Sonic Colors, or Sonic Free Riders? Let us know in the comments below.