News Article

Sega Has "No Plans" To Release Sonic Boom In Japan, Sonic Team Will Continue To Work On The Franchise

Posted by Damien McFerran

Sonic veteran Takashi Iizuka speaks out

Sonic Boom is the big news in the world of Nintendo at the moment, with Sega's new plan of attack covering TV, toys and games — the latter of which will be exclusive to Wii U and 3DS.

Thrusting its most prized possession into the hands of a western developers is risky, and Sega's move has had many fans asking where Sonic Team figure in all of this. It's already been confirmed that Sonic Team will be overseeing all aspects of development, but studio head Takashi Iizuka has spoken to Polygon to confirm that he and his team will continue to work on Sonic games in parallel with the likes of Big Red Button and Sanzaru Games, the developers of the Wii U and 3DS versions of Sonic Boom.

Interestingly, Iizuka has also revealed that Sonic Boom is going to be a strictly western affair — he has said that there are currently "no plans" to bring the TV show and games to Japan, which only serves to reinforce the stance that Sega is going all-out to appease the western market.

[via polygon.com]

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User Comments (75)

MAB

#1

MAB said:

I'm enjoying this SEGA love all over the main page lately ;)

rjejr

#3

rjejr said:

They're probably afraid westerners will do to Sonic what Emmerich did to Godzilla.

Doesn't look like the typical japanese kids show. No show, no game. Makes sense.

WingedSnagret

#4

WingedSnagret said:

Did, did I just hear that right? The west is getting a Sonic title while Japan is the one actually getting nothing for once?

I'm feeling a mixture of amazement, confusion, and satisfaction.

JeffreyG

#8

JeffreyG said:

I think it was a good idea to let western studios produce a Sonic game. It's a good way of trying out new formulas to see what works best for the series. And the game just looks beautiful!

Corleonis88

#11

Corleonis88 said:

I hope japan gets it at least as a download. So we can get the same treatment when it happens the other way around

Artwark

#12

Artwark said:

You know what? Maybe I was a bit harsh about this one earlier. I just wanted SEGA to make a great game that will help Nintendo with their Wii U problems so that explains why I'm upset about it.

meppi

#13

meppi said:

Don't worry Iizuka, we in the west have no intention of buying this outsourced game anyway! :)

LeasTwanteD

#14

LeasTwanteD said:

Their legs are clearly too long for the eastern market.
It would lead to nothing less than total destruction, if not worse.

MrGawain

#16

MrGawain said:

For the 'Western' market eh?

Interested to see how the Sweary, Angst ridden, Shoot you in the face Sonic is received by the fans.

meppi

#17

meppi said:

@Artwark
Well of course some people will pick it up, but I doubt it'll sell anywhere near as well as the other games.
Been a Sonic fan ever since the first one on the Mega Drive and I'm avoiding this abomination like the plague.

ScorpionMG

#20

ScorpionMG said:

This is actually interesting. Think about it, There will be a TV show, Toys for kids to buy, And The game for wii u and 3ds! Kids will go nuts over this, might even be a top seller at points if the game is good enough :o

Xilef

#21

Xilef said:

@WingedSnagret Sonic has always been way more popular in the west then in Japan. I think alot of his design and personality choices were made with the western market in focus.

Wolfgabe

#22

Wolfgabe said:

I can see why Sega is doing this. In Japan Sonic pales in comparison to Mario in terms of popularity. Sonic games have always done better in the west anyway

Caryslan

#23

Caryslan said:

Honestly, this makes sense. Sonic has never been big in Japan, and the main markets where the series sells are in the West. Why not let a Western Developer take a swing at the series? Its not like they could really do any worse than then Japanese developers.

Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations were good games, but they showed that Sonic was still far removed from his glory days. Maybe a shake up is what is needed to get the franchise back to its glory days.

I don't see the harm in this. Give the franchise to someone outside of Sonic team, and see how it does. Why is everyone thinking it being in the hands of a Western Developer means it wiill automatically be a horrible game? Its not like Sonic Team has been hitting it out of the park with Sonic games that are scoring 10s and 9s.

Sonic has been in some good games recently, but he's also been in some horrible ones. And even his good games are getting overshadowed by most other platformer

Maybe this is the spark the series needs.

Platypus101

#24

Platypus101 said:

@rjejr hey! That movie wasn't that ba..... Wait it's the one with Matthew Broderick? Naw, you're right. :P although the new one looks cool! :D

Knuckles

#26

Knuckles said:

People seem to forget that Metroid was outsourced to a small western studio. That studio made Metroid Prime.

GamerOZO

#27

GamerOZO said:

Yes! Finally, something us westerners get without the Japanese! Mind you, @Knuckles you are totally right! Also, Luigi's Mansion 2 was developed in the west, look how that turned out! :)

Knuckles

#28

Knuckles said:

@GamerOZO I was going to say LM2 as well, but I don't know how much influence Nintendo had since Next Level games are technically 2nd Party, and I think Retro was 3rd when they made Prime.

AJWolfTill

#29

AJWolfTill said:

@Knuckles Boom! Great point. Besides I don't really think the Sonic Franchise has so much integrity due to it's inconsistant history that this could do any real damage.

TwilightV

#30

TwilightV said:

Nothing against the series, but i've always viewed situations like this to be somewhat insulting to our intelligence. It's like they think we're incapable of understanding what makes certain aspects of games so appealing to Eastern audiences (WE'RE NOT).

DarkAngel_17

#31

DarkAngel_17 said:

Can't wait for this game, but "No plans" to release in Japan? C'mon how many copies are they aiming to sell if they're skipping Japanese market? It's well known that good exclusives sell systems. Avoiding Japan will not help Nintendo at all.

MuchoMochi

#32

MuchoMochi said:

@meppi Why exactly are you so keen to avoid this? I'm a Sonic fan to a lesser extent and can honestly say after all the ways they have spoiled this franchise with lackluster games and truly odd concepts, this is the best thing they can do. Sonic Team has always been criticized by Sonic's fans to do something better, give them what they want, and when new things are tried they usually fail because they try to hold on to old things about sonic while pushing forward. They have a new look, new true 3D platforming style gameplay, I am definitely interested.

You hardly know enough about the game, to call it an "abomination is quite dramatic and honestly childish. Things change, and change can be good.

dadajo

#33

dadajo said:

Now I am a little scared this will be nothing more than a show tie in game. Hopefully it will just end up being a regular Sonic game, but if it is only getting a Western release and only being released because of the show of the same name is what makes me worried they will put in minimal effort.

Jayvir

#34

Jayvir said:

How much do you want to bet that if this ends up selling well, SEGA will change its tone?

meppi

#35

meppi said:

@MuchoMochi
Yeah whatever.
Sega outsourcing the series to an unproven western developer is more than enough to have doubts about this will turn out. They have tried this in the past with the series and it never turned out very good. Neither does it turn out well for other series/developers: look at how Golden Axe, Bionic Commando, Lost Planet 3, etc have turned out.
Not to mention the way they are "redesigning" the characters alone makes my abomination comment pretty darn relevant.

unrandomsam

#36

unrandomsam said:

@meppi The first Bionic Commando Rearmed was absolutely brilliant. (The 3D one they should have never done same with its sequel but the first one is great). It is significantly better than say Ducktales Remastered or Double Dragon Neon anyway.

unrandomsam

#38

unrandomsam said:

@Dark-Link73 I can imagine them making anything better than the first party Nintendo ones just because of them not wasting half the game with something it is impossible to fail at.

meppi

#39

meppi said:

@unrandomsam
Oh no, I don't mean the Re-armed games, certainly not the first one.
But the fully 3D Bionic Commando game which was quite bad.

tabris95

#41

tabris95 said:

So this isn't being released in Japan? Can we assume that this is not the third and final exclusive game in Sega's deal with Nintendo? I mean, if it doesn't even launch in Japan that's kind of only two and a half exclusives lol. I also wonder if Sonic fans in Japan are just as troublesome for the series as the western fans are.

Kaze_Memaryu

#42

Kaze_Memaryu said:

Am I the only on who thinks this decision is bad? It might be smart for the company, since japan doesn't like Sonic anymore, but it's still a terrible decision!
By polarizing the west, games of japanese origins lose their style. Instead of trying to make something that will be received well in both western and eastern lands, they decide to be lazy.
I will not support these kinds of decisions. Japan-exclusive games remain as such because many of the companies behind them lack the funds for localizing it, but willingly deciding to not release a game in a region for no proper reason is pathetic.

unrandomsam

#43

unrandomsam said:

@Kaze_Memaryu Yeah but Square Enix certainly could have released the 2 Dragon Quest games here (And not on iOS/Android only). The best Sega stuff is the Jap only Arcade stuff from what I have experienced. (Operation G.H.O.S.T - puts console FPS's to shame in how smooth it is / Border Break).

seronja

#44

seronja said:

i think that's a wrong move... this too should be sold in japan, to push some more wii u software sales there

FilmerNgameR

#46

FilmerNgameR said:

Am I the only one who thinks it would be awesome if Blaze, Shadow, and Silver are playable using the hedgehog engine in a new Sonic game.cough*Sonic Adventure 3*cough cough

R_Champ

#51

R_Champ said:

@MuchoMochi

Change can also be bad, but I agree there is no reason to be TOO pessimistic at this point. The only thing that looks like an abomination so far is Knuckles on Roids. The rest looks very promising. I haven't snagged a Sonic game since Sonic Adventure on Dreamcast and this has caught my interest. Tails looks friggin' sweeeeet.

Kaze_Memaryu

#52

Kaze_Memaryu said:

@unrandomsam Okay, that one has no reason, and I guess there are quite a few others out there, but arcades are a different case.

But that's no reason to do it the other way around: the point still is that SEGA basically betrays their (still) most profitable market, which is japan, through said Arcade games. Japan doesn't take such things well, especially if Sonic Boom will be a huge success. And in addition to that, action-oriented co-op platformers are obviously scarce on the WiiU, so it would be an interesting alternative to Super Mario 3D World. This alternative wouldn't go unnoticed in japan, either.

unrandomsam

#53

unrandomsam said:

@Kaze_Memaryu Western targeted though it will more than likely be no good. (That means make it monotonous and really easy sacrifice everything for graphics don't care about anything else). Maybe the Sonic Team one leaked on the other slide is going to properly target Japan (Which will more than likely make it better if it does 100%).

Dauntless

#55

Dauntless said:

My expectations for this game just dropped. No Japan means no confidence. The game will probably be considered a toy for the cartoon commercials (tv series) that will air.

UnseatingKDawg

#56

UnseatingKDawg said:

This surprises me that Japan isn't getting this. Doesn't change my opinion on the game though - it looks pretty good on the Wii U.

UnseatingKDawg

#57

UnseatingKDawg said:

@FilmerNgameR: No you ain't. I was ecstatic when I managed to find the Shadow and Blaze mods for Sonic Generations. I'd be really happy if they made a new game with them playable.

FilmerNgameR

#58

FilmerNgameR said:

@UnseatingKDawg Yeah I saw a bunch of good mods with those characters that made me hope for that Sonic Team can take note of those mods to make their next Sonic game like that besides its been a long time since Shadow, Silver, and Blaze were playable in a Sonic game. Hopefully the next multi platform Sonic game can use those characters properly.

Mommar

#60

Mommar said:

"Thrusting its most prized possession into the hands of a western developers is risky"

Considering Sega's track record on flops with Sonic who cares if another company winds up with another one?

UnseatingKDawg

#62

UnseatingKDawg said:

@FilmerNgameR: Yeah, here's hoping.

Personally, I'd like it set up like Sonic and the Black Knight when it comes to character selection. Make Sonic playable, and the other characters optional, as opposed to required. Then everyone's happy.

ReigningSemtex

#63

ReigningSemtex said:

Hmm if anything this makes me worry its going to be rubbish (i hope not).
Sega don't want to tarnish sonics 'good' name on their shores further?

xj0462

#64

xj0462 said:

rather ironic considering sonic is a japanese made franchise, you would think that this show would be released there first

Pod

#65

Pod said:

Seems a little harsh to not release it back home.

Maybe they're assuming the homegrown gamers won't take to the different look and gameplay style.

FilmerNgameR

#68

FilmerNgameR said:

@UnseatingKDawg Yeah then so we don't have to play the same level with different characters like Sonic Heroes, just unlocking them and playing them in Sonic's stages would be great, they also can have better advantages like Knuckles' wall climbing, Tails' flying and tornado, Silver's phycotelekinesis, etc.

JimLad

#70

JimLad said:

I don't think Japan would accept the new character designs anyway, they've stripped all the cute out of them.

ianolivia

#72

ianolivia said:

ha, the twits that release their games only in japan to taunt the american ARE FINALLY GETTING TAUNTED BACK! HA!

DarkKirby

#74

DarkKirby said:

It's a shame because Sonic Team has been screwing up the Sonic franchise for years (I would argue Sonic Heroes was the last 3D Sonic game that was decent, and Sonic Adventure 2 the last one that was good) and this looks like the breath of fresh air the Sonic series needs, but Sonic Team has too much pride to admit it. Don't want the precious Japanese audience seeing how badly Sonic Team doesn't know what they're doing with Sonic. That's my opinion of Sonic's team opinion of the Japanese audeince by the way, not my opinion of the Japanese people, Sega has released almost no non Sonic games outside of Japan in recent memory.

Where the freak is the Phantasy Star Online 2 western localization you promised Sega?

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