UPDATE: Webber Defends Sonic Lost World’s Extra Lives Pre-Order Bonusby Tristan Oliver October 3, 2013
Paying for Lives “will never be a thing in a Sonic game”–Except it Already Is
Though we’ve taken Kotaku to task for some of their past Sonic coverage that appeared biased against the franchise, the site’s editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo did take Sega to task in an article published today pertaining to the much criticized pre-order bonus of 25 extra lives for Sonic Lost World.
Aaron Webber, known to most in the community as RubyEclipse, addressed the mechanics of the DLC, as well as the underlying question of whether extra lives could end up becoming a paid commodity in this or future major Sonic titles.
“I think there was some question about whether you can buy more lives in-game. That’s a no….That will never be a thing in a Sonic game,” Webber explained. “The game is not built to be so difficult that you would ever need to purchase extra lives. We would never want to put a consumer in a position where they would have to go out and buy extra lives. Sonic games have never been about that, never will be about that.”
The problem with Webber’s words is that Sega already has a Sonic game where purchasing lives and power-ups are encouraged: Sonic Dash on iOS. The heart of financial transactions involve red rings and regular rings, which in turn can go toward power-ups, extra characters, and in-game revivals. There is even an option in Dash to purchase a free revival every turn for $1.99. Though one can argue semantics, revivals essentially act as lives in the mobile game.
UPDATE: In the comments to Kotaku’s article, Webber explaining that he only meant core Sonic games would fall under the philosophy:
I should specify *core*. But it’s worth noting that even in Sonic Dash, which is a free endless-runner style game, you can earn and unlock almost everything simply by playing it. (Including the ability to keep going if you fail.) Real money isn’t required, but as with almost all free mobile games, you can purchase items if you want to.
When it comes to core console games, like Sonic Colors, Generations, and Lost World, you’re not ever going to see us charging you money to buy extra lives. The games are built to be enjoyed by all audiences, young and old.
Webber also talks about Lost World‘s difficulty and how those extra lives could aid a player in taking some risks in-game at the link cited above.