Despite the title screen in a little video you may have seen yesterday, Sonic Team is not the developer behind the forthcoming Sonic The Hedgehog 4. That honor falls to Japanese developer Dimps. Don’t know their name? Well, you certainly know some of their games.
Dimps co-developed last year’s awesome Street Fighter 4, a game so good it practically reignited the fighting genre all by itself. Dimps is also the studio behind the swell Sonic Rush games on DS. Their hands-on experience with the character really shows in the leaked Sonic 4 footage, which looked appropriately hi-def and totally retro in the best possible way.
Sega is enjoying something of a renaissance currently, fueled by their partnerships with third-parties. Platinum Games is certainly the prime-mover in this stable of developers. Their Bayonetta is a certified hit, with over a million games sold worldwide and numerous critical accolades. But Platinum is not alone. Sumo Digital handled development duties on the soon-to-be-released Sega And Sonic All Stars Racing. Obsidian Entertainment is the team crafting spy-em-up Alpha Protocol. And UK developer Rebellion is responsible for the just released (but apparently not so good) Alien Vs Predator.
The days of Sega’s gloriously idiosyncratic first party developers – AM2, Smilebit, Amusement Vision, and more – are fading into distant memory. That Sonic Team seems to be following suit is, frankly, a little sad. But I’ll be the first to say that I’m more excited about Sega’s games line-up now than I have been in years. Since the death of the Dreamcast, maybe. How about you? Does Dimps involvement in Sonic 4 make you less interested in the game, or do you feel – like I do – that Sega is finally on the rise again?
Sonic The Hedgehog 4 is due for WiiWare, Xbox Live Arcade, Playstation Network, and an as yet unannounced platform this summer.