Sonic’s Newest Awful Adventure Raises the Question.
Sonic Forces, released on November 7, is SEGA‘s 90th Sonic game to date, or very close to it. And it’s… not very good. For the last decade or so Sonic games have been… not very good. Even with the success of Generations and Colors, Sonic Team’s creations have been met with merited skepticism at release.
Am I hyped for Sonic Forces? I'm waiting for reviews to decide if I'm getting it or not. "Skeptical" is the best way to describe it. pic.twitter.com/KBgceswfXH
— Miraculous Maku (@RedMakuzawa) August 24, 2017
Sonic the Hedgehog has been featured in 19 games since 2010, and six of them have sold over one million copies, according to FANDOM. Of those six, two were with Mario and other SEGA characters, and one was a free mobile phone game. So for the sake of argument, let’s not count those. That leaves three games over a million.
Three out of 19? Damn, for a world-famous IP, that’s awful.
For a little perspective, every Mario game made since 2010 has sold over two million copies, according to FANDOM. Shoot, every mainline Mario game ever made has cracked a million. The same can be said for every Halo, Call of Duty, and Assassin’s Creed game.
Hopefully with this bit of sales information you understand why Sonic Team probably feels the need to release a groundbreaking Sonic game with every release.
— SEGA (@SEGA) November 7, 2017
Especially since Sonic Forces came out so shortly after Super Mario Odyssey. Super Mario Odyssey is cemented as the fastest-selling Mario game ever, selling over two million copies in four days, according to Nintendo. Sonic Forces is cemented as another disappointing Sonic game, selling just over 10,000 copies in one week between the Nintendo Switch and PS4, according to siliconera.com and segabits.com.
This brings us back to our original question: should SEGA stop making Sonic games?
In my opinion? Maybe. It’s hard to ignore these numbers. But for some reason, there’s still a core fan base that stands by Sonic. Sonic games aren’t completely unplayable; they’re just not memorable. Not in a good way at least.
From a business standpoint? Yes, the idea will probably be tossed around at SEGA sooner rather than later. How many times can a company release a game with a triple-A character, only to have it struggle in both sales and reviews? Apparently 16 times in seven years isn’t enough.
At Sonic Forces’ release, SEGA’s stock sat at $3.1860 per share. After the game was out for a few weeks, the stock went down to ~$3.07. Whether or not Sonic is responsible for the stock fall is uncertain, but he isn’t helping. And don’t get me wrong, SEGA is still worth a ton of money as a company – nearly $4.5 billion – thanks to its rich success in the arcade industry.
It is the most prolific arcade producer, according to Guinness World Records, with over 530 games on 23 different arcade system boards since 1981. Nearly 80 SEGA franchises are currently playable in arcades, so don’t presume that SEGA is going anywhere.
Are Sonic the Hedgehog’s days numbered? Current sales figures peg it as a franchise on its way out of home console production, but it could still live on in arcades, on our phones, and on television.
I hope I’ve shown you the right facts, figures, and opinions to give you the full scoop on Sonic and his future. If there are still any die-hard Sonic fans out there, then it’s up to them to keep the Blue Blur alive. Other than that, nobody else seems to care anymore.
There are no talks right now of Sonic throwing in the towel, but it never hurts to have some food for thought.