In late 2014 there was nervous chatter around teases of a new title from the Sonic Team, and it was revealed to be a mobile title. It was a relatively bold move, as previous mobile titles featuring the Blue Blur (including ports) had been handled by other teams, but here was an effort tagged as coming from the series' core studio.
While Sonic Dash and its sequel have a camera angle behind our hero with swipe controls, Sonic Runners has 2D gameplay in which you tap to jump. It seems it's failed to meet SEGA's expectations, though, as the game is being shut down on 27th July.
NOTIFICATION OF CLOSURE OF SERVICE
Thank you for your continued support of SONIC RUNNERS.
Since launch, the Sonic Runners Team has done its best to provide our users with the most
enjoyable play experience possible. It is with great regret that we announce the closure of Sonic Runners, effective from the dates below.
We would like express out most sincere thanks to all our users for their patronage and support.
The Sonic Runners team hopes that you enjoyed the journey as much as we did.
5/27, 9AM (UTC): Red Star Ring sales end.
7/27, 9AM (UTC): Closure of service.
Any Red Star Rings purchased prior to 5/27, 9AM (UTC) will not be useable or redeemable after closure of service so please use all Red Star Rings by 7/27, 9AM (UTC).
Thank you for playing SONIC RUNNERS.
It's still possible to download the game - we have done so in order to try it out - but the shutdown in July will seemingly make it completely unplayable, as it's a game that requires a constant online connection. We'll see in good time whether SEGA issues an update to make it playable offline, albeit without the leaderboards and currency incentives that currently drive the experience.
It's proof that brand power alone isn't always enough to guarantee success, and is certain to be a chastening decision for Sonic Team, which has evidently struggled to make the transition to producing a lucrative smart device game.
Closures like this are a reminder for companies like Nintendo, too - if the gameplay and in-game economy balance isn't right, no amount of recognisable characters is enough to save the day.
[source sonicrunners.sega-net.com, via segabits.com]
Mo Sonic Mo Problems!
Wow, it didn't last terribly long. I felt it was OK, but ultimately I uninstalled.
I wonder if they're moving forward with that Sonic 3 Remastered pitch by the same guys behind Sonic 1, 2, and CD...
That move shows brand integrity. Consumers will expect future games to be better and seek them. I respect a company that pulls a game that's not up to par. This speaks volumes to their companies employees and will reassure that there is a standard. That's a really bold sign of change internally and externally. I find this very intriguing and I really look forward to future developments.
Aw. I liked that game.
I'm just thinking about the consumer side when these always online and micro transitional games goes to shut down, and I can only think one thing: It is terrible.
Don't know if this game was good, worth of some play or a flop, and I'm worried what those who spent money on this will grab after the game goes away. And this worry may apply to other games who follows the same profit logic.
It may be healthy for the brand and its marketing to shut down a game that doesn't contribute to expand it, although it may be horrible for those who spent money on such game. The profit is done for the company, even if it was less than expected and the consumer who spent money will take the damage for no longer being able to play it?
In the end I just think if the consumers who spent real cash are also worried about these questions.
Some games are built up to fit and some are striped down to fit.
Sonic like Mario belong on a proper games console.
Oh wait if this game had microtransactions then some poor soul will loose some money, I'll grab the game now to see how it plays.
Why don't more mobile games make it to where you don't constalty need to use data or wifi? Seems simple.At least a dulled down version or something.
Never played it nor pretty much any mobile game aside from Miitomo for a few hours before deleting it a day or two later. I may not be that old (I've grown up with the N64 and started finishing games on my own when GC rolled around) but I'd still rather take my 3DS with me on train rides and such instead of wasting valuable smartphone battery. The thing with Free-to-play games for me is just - it annoys me when I see a microtransaction popping up. I'd much rather pay five or ten bucks instead of having microtransactions that remind me that these companies just want my money. And I get that's a game's purpose for a company but just let me give you some money first and you let me play the game in peace without asking me for more money every few seconds. It'd be worse if I've already paid money for a game and there's still a large icon in main menu that advertises a game's season pass like in Battleborn. DLC is okay if it isn't on the frontlines of the main menu. Sometimes I even love DLC when it's handled like in Mario Kart 8 or Smash 4.
But to finally get back to the topic at hand, I feel sorry for those who invested in this game and probably won't be able to play it once it's shut down. That's just another problem for games like these - it doesn't give you anything in return for actually investing in a game like this.
Hey Sega, KIREEK here.
Remember Phantasy Star Online? The best MMARPG ever created? Time to re-release it on the 3DS with improved graphics and P2P connectivity. No need to thank/pay me.
The Black Hound
At this point the Sonic brand is tarnished. Every time I see a Sonic game, I run away from it as fast as possible. Sonic just needs to die.
Good, now shut down every mobile game and focus on games for handhelds and consoles.
No one is waiting for mobile games. Barf.
Too many load screens, too many F2P shenanigans, not enough substance.
The Sonic Remastered titles remain the only worthwhile mobile Sonic games.
Awww man! That's my favorite app game... Sonic Dash is okay, but I found Runners to be much more fun. Why can't they get rid of one of the Dash games (since there's two now), and keep Runners? Oh well... Thanks for the heads up though so I can use my Red Star Rings.
Poor Sonic. Everytime I see news about him, I wonder how Sega is making the poor hedgehog suffer now. Sonic team proved already that they can't handle making a good game.
Sega is a complete joke.
They don't seem to be able to do anything right regarding their own IP.
@KIREEK I remember when the Wii U was announced and there was "leaked" launch titles. sitting top of that list was Phantasy Star Online HD and was listed as a enhanced version of the GC game featuring free online, online quests available to split screen play, and fresh content with a new level cap. I was one sad panda when the list was debunked.
Then we got PSO2 and I was an clinically depressed sad panda
@Luna_110 They can. The problem is that SEGA was known to make yearly releases. But now it looks like things may start to get better for Sonic.....i hope.
See....this is what worries me about FE. If that mobile game doesn't meet expectations, its gonna shut down. Thankfully, Miitomo is doing good so its better than nothing I suppose.
Well, Runners wasn't that bad, but there were some things wrong with it. The story mode felt repetitive at times, and I also didn't like the way they made it nearly impossible to unlock new characters on that Roulette. It's a shame its gotta be shut down.
@LucasOne Maybe so but again, it did what Nintendo expected it to do so I say its a safe move.
And just when the Android version got really good...
Sonic Runners is a great mobile game. Great soundtrack, lots of meaningful, strategic customization, and gosh, the competitive modes make it addictive. And your experience isn't diminished at all if you don't pay for anything; I'm able to earn enough Rings and Red Star Rings to use all the bonuses to boost my score and get pretty high scores on the leaderboards, and still have enough to unlock characters and/or Buddies once in a while. It's a shame it's shutting down; it's much more fun and deep than Sonic Dash was.
The Smash 3DS-esque art style blending outlines and 3D models looks fine as far as that screenshot is concerned. I don't know jack about Sonic Runners, but I'd totally buy an endless runner reimagining of Sonic on 3DS. In fact, with enough characters and settings, an all-star, offline version of SR would totally fill in the 3DS quota for Sonic's 25th Anniversary.
Damn, I just got my own smartphone and was excited that I'd be able to play this along with the Kingdom Hearts F2P game and Miitomo.
I mean yeah, there's the "Dash" games, but I've played both Dash and Runners on other's phones, and I found Runners to be a lot more fun, with (IMO) a great soundtrack to boot. It was also the first game to prove that Boom Sonic wasn't completely replacing Modern Sonic, and that Boom was a spinoff (that should have just stayed as a cartoon, honestly).
I guess I can still play it while it's up.
As long as they make an offline patch, I'm with this.
rip the best sonic game since sonic colors DS (a high bar i know)
After all that work to get Tikal.
Why is this news on this site?
The core gameplay was good for a mobile game, but I ultimately stopped playing it because of the requirement to be constantly online, and because of all the reminders to buy stuff. In my opinion, the Rayman games are probably the best runners you'll find on mobile, and that's largely because they're simple, they don't require internet to be playable, and they don't stop the action to ask you to buy something between every level. They get out of the way and let you play. Like an actual video game.
I guess you could say that it went out "fast"
i don't get it...wasn't this a good game?
Wow, given some of the dreadful Sonic games SEGA releases for consoles these days, how bad does a Sonic game have to be to get cancelled or removed?!
Sonic Team need to base their next Sonic game on Generations or Colours or just not bother.
Ha this is why digital games sucks, it never last.
@unovachamp90 It is, but compared with Sega's other mobile apps (mostly in Japan), it doesn't make enough money (especially in Japan). So basically, despite being a good game, and well-received in the West, it hasn't made the splash in Japan that Sega was hoping for, so they're freeing up servers for mobile games that are making more money.
Didn't even know this existed.
@pickpickles Yeah, same.
"It's proof that brand power alone isn't always enough to guarantee success"
Some would argue that Sonic has negative brand power at this point.
@remlapgamer Sega? Integrity? I don't think that word is in their dictionary after withholding review copies of Aliens: Cononial Marines AND Sonic Boom to try and get some sales in before the games were exposed as garbage by the media.
The truth is that the game isn't being shut down out of integrity, it's because it's not making the money they expected it to. Simple as that.
I'm hardly surprised either. The game is yet another boring, randomly generated endless runner, albeit a rather pretty one. That coupled with a very poor translation to English and more micro transactions than $5 hooker, it's hardly a shock that it flopped.
It looked like a ripoff of fun run. Which was weird cause fun run was a ripoff of sonic and mario kart.
@Link41x your right better have nlife make another spin-off "segalife" or "soniclife" /s
sonic is ON nintendo systems plus Nintendo just went mobile themselfs I think this fits.
And to think SEGA recently announced that they're focusing more on mobile....
Required internet sounds terrible, especially for a game like Sonic.
"but the shutdown in July will seemingly make it completely unplayable"
Screw any company that does this.
Always online, Microtransactions and games getting deleted forever once they're no longer popular and don't warrant the companies costs for being always online...
Imagine if your favourite game of all time only released recently was mobile and always online and then got rendered unplayable, deleted forever. But I guess that's the state of affairs for a device that everyone owns and that games on it are just incidental rather than the intended purpose of the device or the reason the device was purchased.
@Yasume "No one is waiting for mobile games." If only that were true. I agree wholeheartedly with you but the unfortunate reality is as long as free-to-play junkware exists with microtransactions and IAPs, you will have people who empty their wallets and credit cards into these soulless apps knowing they'll get nothing in return. Vicious cycle.
I can't download this game on my tablet so this news does not really matter to me
That's a shame, I basically was waiting for an offline mode before trying this out since I hate games that require a connection as I cannot play them on my subway commute each day
I have actually played several hours of this game. My goal was to come into the highest division in the Story mode, which I managed to do (S++). That combined with a win streak of 50+ days in the Timed mode made me resign from this game as the challenge were gone.
That said, I still played it every now and then to fill up some time, and I feel kind of sad to see them ditch this game instead of giving it another chance at gaining more income. But then again, who ever paid for this game aside from that $1 to remove ads?
Another reason why mobile gaming is not for me: The games can be taken away from you at any point by the developer.
gee now if they could only make a decent fricken sonic game that isn't "sonic boom"-ing problems.
As unfortunate as it is, I think Nintendo would follow this step in maybe-not-so-far future. Mobile isn't the future for traditional game company, any mobile games featured their iconic character will always felt like a step down from their console game. And these games could break developers priority and harm their console game development, lose-lose situation. I hope I'm wrong though.
Its so sad. I played it til late last night. Just got back into the swing of it. Got shadow and a bunch of red rings. Then I log on today. Not longer available. I hope they bring it back. How i was playing it was perfect. You finish a episode and you got rewarded with rings and red rings ,etc.
Sega make it like that if you do return it to the app store. Please do so.
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