Sonic's career has more ups-and-downs than a Dr Robotnik theme park, and nobody's more aware and more hurt by this than Sega itself. In fact, the company's so upset by the hedgehog's past transgressions that it's removing his less enjoyable adventures from its back catalogue.
Sega's senior vice president of EMEA territories, Jurgen Post, said in an interview with MCV that it's important to keep Sonic's reputation high:
Any Sonic game with an average Metacritic has been de-listed. We have to do this and increase the value of the brand. This will be very important when more big Sonic releases arrive in the future.
We could make a lot of money on back-catalogue Sonic titles, but let’s keep the number of Sonic games available under control. Otherwise you can have cannibalisation. If there are ten Sonic games on the shelves, with people seeing Sonic Rush DS or Sonic Rush Adventure, this may not help our overall strategy.
This means Sega will only be making above-average Sonic games from its back catalogue available to retailers through reprints, hopefully preventing consumers from picking up one of the less enjoyable Sonic titles.
Of course, the cynical of you will say it would be better not to develop below-average Sonic games in the first place, and hopefully Sega is one step ahead of you, with Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I out from Monday and Sonic Colours arriving in November.