News Article

Sega Strikes Poor Sonic Games from Catalogue to "Increase Brand Value"

Posted by James Newton

Below-average games no longer sold

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.

[via mcvuk.com]

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User Comments (52)

sykotek

#4

sykotek said:

SEGA plan of action (2010-2012):
Step I: Make space by removing older, mediocre, reduced priced, value Sonic software currently flooding store shelves
Step II: Release newer and quite possibly still mediocre (hope for the best), fully priced Sonic releases to fill space made by removing garbage.
Step III: When shelves are full again, repeat Step I and II until people stop buying Sonic games and we are faced with going out of business.
Step IV: Adopt Domino's Pizza's self-depreciating ad campaign and hope for the best, repeat Step I if we survive.

moosa

#5

moosa said:

So Sega's owning up to their reputation of quantity over quality with the Sonic franchise, is that what I'm reading?

OverlordMao

#6

OverlordMao said:

@sykotek Lol, that had me laughing for a bit.

Hmm, wouldn't that turn these crappy games into collector's items? Oh well, as long as Sonic 06 doesn't exist anymore.

HipsterDashie

#8

HipsterDashie said:

Perhaps I need to buy Sonic and the Black Knight on my next trip to GameStation then. It's officially collectible now!

YoshiSage

#11

YoshiSage said:

Smart move. I get a little nauseous every time I see Sonic 06 or Sonic and the Black Knight still on the shelves.

GamesX99

#12

GamesX99 said:

Bring back the Chaos! that was your mistake SEGA! Bring back those horribly cute pets like in sonic adventure battle 2!

WaLzgiStaff

#14

WaLzgi said:

Now they need to make good Sonic games for this move to have a point to it

MeloMan

#16

MeloMan said:

Better than nothing. If you guys at SEGA cared about Sonic's rep, he should've never been whored out liked he's been in the first place. I'm still reserved, but we shall see where the future of Sonic goes after Sonic 4 and Sonic Colors indeed...

Yamishi

#17

Yamishi said:

As GamesX99 said, Chao (plural: Chao) were horribly addictive. I spent the most time with them in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle.

Objection

#18

Objection said:

Above-average Sonic games? That's not likely to happen and even then, the brand has largely killed itself in the last 10 years so most won't trust the name to have another go. I wonder if SEGA genuinely made this decision or were already done with reprinting and used it for this publicity stunt.

HappyHappy

#19

HappyHappy said:

Smart move, but then that means they only have Sonic 1, 2, 3, Sonic Adventrue 1, 2, the Sonic Rush games, and Sonic Unleashed.

Pod

#20

Pod said:

The only really terrible sonic games the past couple years have been Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 and Sonic and the Dark Brotherhood.

Black Knight was at least playable and pretty good looking.

kevohki

#21

kevohki said:

Why is everyone forgetting about the Advance series? Those games were far better than any other Sonic game in the past 10 years.

The_Fox

#22

The_Fox said:

This isn't going to make gamers forget that Sonic has been horrible for years, Sega.

Kid_A

#23

Kid_A said:

I hope that doesn't include Sonic and the Secret Rings--I thought that was an incredibly fun game. Never understood all the hate. Other than that, though, I think this is a good idea.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#24

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

I'd be interested to know which one's they are scrapping. I actually have reasonably enjoyed all the Sonic Wii games I have played but totally understand the frustrations with Heroes, Riders, Secret Rings, Unleashed and Black Knight. And the Shadow game? Eek!

I would've thought Secret rings was above average though!

Would agree with no. 19's opost I guess if you add the Advance games to that list

James

#25

James said:

I find it most interesting that Sega is using Metacritic as a determining factor in which games it should manufacture and distribute, a sign of how important that single site has become in our industry.

FonistofCruxis

#26

FonistofCruxis said:

Why are the sonic advance games being forgotten? I also think that sonic chronicles and sonic heroes are great games too.

ECM

#27

ECM said:

In other words: "we're not selling enough copies of those games anymore to justify further print runs, but, hey!, we can spin this into PR gold!"

ArmoredGoomba

#31

ArmoredGoomba said:

I liked Secret Rings and Shadow the Hedgehog. And Sonic Rush was great. Haven't played Black Knight.

EdEN

#34

EdEN said:

Black Knight was not that bad. Not as bad as Werewolf Sonic at least.

ueI

#35

ueI said:

I would like to know which games are "below average". Their method is stupid, since average quality games can score as high as 74 on metacritic, which means people actually found them to be enjoyable.

Punny

#36

Punny said:

I'm sorry Sega, but gamers will still remember the hedgehog's not-so-glorious days.

EvisceratorX

#38

EvisceratorX said:

Well guys, I guess we won't be seeing any sonic games on the shelves until sonic colors comes out. You've already ruined the brand, sega, there's no way you can bring it back up.

YoshiSage

#39

YoshiSage said:

Wow. I've got a lot to say about what you guys had to say. Let's go down the list.

@1: You forget the DC title and the Advance titles.
@2 and 4: Lol :D
@6: Are you implying that Sonic has always been terrible?
@14: True, true.
@18: You forget the Advance and DS titles.
@19: You forget the Advance titles.
@20: "Playable" does not mean "good." The best of the three that you mentioned was Dark Brotherhood, and even then, I still traded it back because it's essentially not fit to be called a Sonic game. Black Knight sucked.
@23: Because an awkward soundtrack, blandish graphics, a frustrating camera, frustrating gameplay, frustrating controls, and frustrating everything is so much fun, amirite?
@30: Completely untrue. You forget the Advance and DS titles. And Unleashed.
@34: :|
@35: :|
@38: Because... well, I don't know why. My best guess is that they were trying to cater to ten-year-olds... and we all know that little kids have the worst tastes known to humans (and not just in video games). Sorry, but it's an almost proven fact.
@39: And for the umpteenth time... You forget Advance titles, DS titles, Adventure titles, and Unleashed. :|

BulbasaurusRex

#40

BulbasaurusRex said:

@23 Secret Rings has some good points, certainly better than quite a few others, but the controls are pretty bad. Having to charge your jumps while sliding forward is just stupid, the motion-controlled homing attack registers too inconsistently, and trying to switch rails when grinding sends you in the wrong direction most of the time. On top of that, the whole on-rails continuous movement system just does not work well for Sonic, as you lose even more jumping accuracy, it's extremely hard to backtrack when you miss something important, and the high speed action often gets broken up by crashing into walls (where you then need to waste even more time by charging a jump to move on).

KyubiStewie

#41

KyubiStewie said:

Smart move, now if only they can release a Sonic Advance Collection and reprint the Sonic Rush games. Also, try not to screw up Sonic Adventure 2 when porting it to PSN/XBLA.

TheNewestBooM

#42

TheNewestBooM said:

so... that means we should all start buying those crappy games since theyll never be released again and wait a couple years to hock them on ebay to 'collectors'!

BRILLIANT!

ueI

#43

ueI said:

Even if Sonic Adventure/Advance are good, Sega won't sell them because they are old and out of print.

Ren

#47

Ren said:

so does this mean they're discontinuing the entire line of Sonic crap until further notice? Good move.
Ok, the dreamcast thing was pretty fun.

mastersworddude

#49

mastersworddude said:

I’m not quite sure what Sega thinks this will do exactly. It just looks as thought they’re trying to cover up everything and ignore it all which, protip, doesn’t work. Ever.
It’s not even going to save money, what are they going to do with the copies they pull back? Burn them? Sure, they could stop producing them but pulling it all back seems like a stupid move.

Yes, 06 was a rather poor game, it had glitches and those damn loading screens, it was a poor example of a Sonic game in several respects. However, some people loved it for varying reasons.
Unleashed? That was almost a step back on track after 06, sure some people might not have liked the werehog but some people did and the Sonic stages were pretty decent.
Black Knight and Secret Rings, they were little side games and there was visible improvement between them. They were simply shorter games which you could pick up and wave around with timing.
I know that Chronicles was seen as a bad game by many but, really, I found that one hilarious. If only for the fact that Shadow sounded, looked?, as though he was throwing a tantrum half the time.
As for Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games? I liked that one over the first one. Why? Because I didn’t have the bruise my arm trying to get the events done with.
And why the heck is the Second Riders going when it was an improvement?

Me thinks that they’re not listening to the audience, and don’t really care about the people they’re aiming for, and are just trying to please reviewers. You know what? I frankly couldn’t care less about what a reviewer says or what score a game gets. I buy a game because it looks appealing, not because it got a high rank from some guy with nothing better to do.
Besides, by this point there are a number of reviewers who will simply score every Sonic game low unless you’re mashing your right button and scrolling to the side.

Stupid move.

RionaaM

#51

RionaaM said:

Seems everybody's forgetting about Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic CD when talking about GOOD Sonic games.

But hey, at least Sega reckons the latest games were little less than horrible.

PSICOffee

#52

PSICOffee said:

Soo all those extra copies of Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure and the Wii games are now officially out of print huh and wont be seen on the shelves much longer... Now they are collectible then!!!! :D

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