Sega is full steam ahead with the Sonic Generations
hype train, proudly boasting that the game has accumulated more pre-orders than any other Sonic game in the blue hedgehog's 20 year history. Damn, 20 years, do I feel old.
Anyway, I don't mean to rain on Sega's parade, but is this really surprising? I'm as big a Sonic fan as any other child of the 16-bit era but let's look at the facts. Pre-ordering wasn't really a huge thing until Gamestop started shoving it in our faces hardcore, and they only started doing that persistently around a decade ago. Around that time 10 years ago the Dreamcast, the last console where a Sonic game was really, really hyped and anticipated, was on its last legs. Then began the long decade of Sonic's downward spiral, up until the last year or so when Sega started putting serious effort into turning their mascot's reputation around.
So...yeah. There have been fantastic Sonic games in that 20 year history but most of them happened on the Genesis or Dreamcast, before pre-ordering really became a thing that tons of gamers did. Back when Sonic 2 hit the Genesis you didn't have Gamestop clerks relentlessly hocking pre-orders, at least not at the irritating frequency they do now, and Sonic games weren't good enough (or mainstream enough, in the case of the excellent but lower-key portable releases) to warrant record pre-purchases. I just hope this is a sign of things getting better for Sonic; much like Duke Nukem, I have a soft spot for the little blue guy and would genuinely like to see his games succeed again.
SEGA’S SONIC SPEEDS TO NEW HEIGHTS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
SEGA Puts Full Support Behind Sonic Generations With Multiple Large-Scale Marketing Initiatives; Game Breaks Franchise Pre-Order Record
SAN FRANCISCO (October 27, 2011) –SEGA® of America, Inc. today announced that Sonic Generations™ has exceeded all previous pre-order records from the 20-year Sonic catalog, making it the most anticipated title in Sonic the Hedgehog’s iconic history. The company also announced that, celebrating two decades of the iconic blue blur, SEGA has invested in a number of high-profile brand initiatives surrounding the anniversary and the game itself. Sonic Generations has already been extremely positively received by critics: Complex.com calls it “the perfect mix of old school and new school Sonic” while IGN determined that it is “the best of Sonic.”
“Sonic Generations is the ultimate title to cap off Sonic’s 20th anniversary and we have put our full support behind it with a number of truly amazing initiatives,” said Alan Pritchard, Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing at SEGA of America. “This year is a milestone for Sonic and we want to make sure this is the best title that Sonic fans, old and new, have been waiting for.”
The campaign began with the colossal 20th anniversary celebration for the game’s fans, Sonic Boom, which saw over 1,000 people singing Happy Birthday to Sonic and reunited the original development team of the game. The celebrations will continue with the following large-scale initiatives that will lead to the culmination of Sonic’s 20th anniversary year and the release of the upcoming videogame:
· Six Flags Partnership, throughout October: Nationwide theme park brand implementation with Sonic Generations game zones for hands-on experience and marketing messaging across the Six Flags Digital Networks.
· Sonic Generations of Skate, October 22: The nationally broadcast (November 25 on FOX Sports Net) professional skateboarding tournament featuring legendary skaters Steve Caballero, Tony Hawk, Pierre Luc Gagnon, Andy Macdonald, Mitchie Brusco and more, united skateboarders from multiple generations to compete in an event celebrating Sonic Generations and Sonic’s 20th Anniversary. (Venice Beach, CA)
· Custom Sonic Playground, October 28: SEGA and KaBOOM! have partnered to build a custom Sonic-themed playground for kids in East Oakland, CA at the Youth UpRising community center. (Oakland, CA)
· Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – November 24: Modern Sonic will be making his debut as a helium balloon in this year’s parade. In 1993, Classic Sonic was the first-ever video game character in the annual event. (New York, NY)
Sonic Generations will be released for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC digital download on November 1, 2011 nationwide. The game will be available for Nintendo 3DS™ on November 22, 2011.