Sega announced today that Sonic Generations is the most pre-ordered Sonic game in their 20-year catalog history. The good news is lucky, considering lately they have been spreading their brand faster than their iconic blue hedgehog.
The company has had a rough history, having to leave the console wars in 2001 to focus on creating games for other systems, including their biggest rival, Nintendo. Since then there has been a steady stream of mediocre Sonic the Hedgehog games, aimed at modernizing the character, predominantly reinventing him into something absolutely atrocious. We won’t even go into the Werehog disaster. Sega’s ideas haven’t quite panned out and fans were losing faith.
Coinciding with Sonic the Hedgehog’s 20th Anniversary, the news about the early popularity of Sonic Generations seems to have given Sega renewed vigor amidst a gigantic marketing campaign or “celebration” lasting through October until the end of November.
Starting with a Six Flags Partnership, Sega will be creating stations nationwide so guests can experience Sonic Generations. A skateboarding event was held at Venice Beach, CA on the 22nd starring a collection of famous athletes i.e. Tony Hawk and some other skateboarders. The next event is being held on the 28th at the youth center Your UpRising in East Oakland, where Sega and a non-profit, KaBOOM!, have created a Sonic playground for kids.
The big one though is that Sonic the Hedgehog will be a balloon in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Sonic was the first video game character ever at this event in 1993, finally beating Mario at something. The balloon also broke an off-duty policeman’s shoulder when it crashed into a lamppost and came barreling at him. Unfortunately, he couldn’t outrun Sonic. Few can.
Sega and Sonic Team have recently taken a new approach with its flagship series by attempting to go back to its roots, which has seemed to garner positive responses from fans and critics. They’re even including the original Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog with Generations. Unlike their mascot however, Sega might want to slow down with their celebrating. There have been quite a few Sonic titles that showed potential and turned into huge disappointments. Fool me once, shame on Sega. Fool me seven times…
Sonic Generations will be released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on November 1st, 2011 and Nintendo 3DS November 22nd.