Sonic Boom was supposed to be a rebirth for Sega's iconic mascot - a cross-media blitz that would earn the company millions and create a whole new legion of loyal fans. Sadly, it didn't quite turn out that way - while the TV series was - and still is - decent enough, the Wii U and 3DS games were a massive disappointment.
Former Sega of America producer Stephen Frost - who left the company last month after almost a decade of service - has been speaking to Sega Nerds about the project in order to get to the bottom of exactly why things went so wrong.
Frost asserts that Sonic Boom was always about hitting new fans, and that the series had to "reinvent itself" as its core fan-base was shrinking. He also reveals that the word from retailers was that the "old" Sonic was failing to do business commercially, so a fresh take on the character was required.
This is all well and good, but what's most worrying is that developer Big Red Button didn't seem to grasp what made Sonic so appealing in the first place - as Frost freely admits:
In focus tests, we heard all the time, people were sick of speed, Sonic was too fast, they wanted to slow down. Speed was shelved because we were under the impression people didn't want it. Speed is always a Sonic thing, we didn't focus on that.
Frost also admits that Sonic Boom suffered from bloat, with too much content crammed in:
The biggest mistake in Boom was adding too many features to it. It was too much to ask of any development team. I was tasked with creating an experience that appeals to an audience which doesn't play Sonic. If I could do it again, I would remove features and speed would be the main focus from the start.
Co-op play was a positive that Frost took from the title's development, and he feels that the future of the franchise lies in connecting players:
Solo Sonic games, I don't know how long that can last there isn't enough variety to sustain it. The future of Sonic games needs to be Co-Op, it worked really well in Sonic Boom, community and online play, that sustains it. In general, you need to do multiplayer and add online multiplayer aspects, that will sustain and keep the franchise alive.
What do you think about Frost's comments? Do you think he's being too harsh, or not harsh enough?