SEGA Financial Report: Sonic Mania “Most Popular Title Among New Sonic Titles Released In The Past 15 Years”

SEGA Financial Report: Sonic Mania “Most Popular Title Among New Sonic Titles Released In The Past 15 Years”

by December 3, 2017 33 comments

Things have quieted down in the world of Sonic, now that Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces has released. However, some new details have surfaced about Sonic Mania, suggesting that sales for the game were really good:

33 Comments so far

  1. DK Fan
    #1 DK Fan 3 December, 2017, 17:47

    Maybe Sega should let the fans that worked on Sonic Mania do a sequel.

    Reply this comment
    • Hifihedgehog
      Hifihedgehog 6 December, 2017, 00:50

      Quite frankly, it would be stupid not to. My only concern is a Sonic Mania 2 will be held to just as high of expectations as its predecessor but with a catch. This time around, it will not have the novelty of nostalgia to lean on. It will need to be a game that stands entirely on its own. It will need to offer entirely new levels and perhaps add in popular fan requests (e.g. the Sonic 3 & Knuckles special stages). In addition, graphically, I could see the 16-bit/32-bit pixel art getting a bit old. For that, they may need to go the Sonic 2 HD route. It could turn out to be appealing enough to stick to retro pixel art, but many would like an HD 2D side-scroller worth playing. It is highly worth considering, especially given the wide appeal of Sonic 2 HD.

      Reply this comment
      • ChaoticFox
        ChaoticFox 6 December, 2017, 11:53

        The pixel art will not get old. The pixel art is a HUGE part of the appeal.

        Simply being a good game won’t break sales records. Appealing to the audience is what lead to Maina’s runaway success.

        Sure, they could try the HD route, but it would take a LOT more time and money (something tells me they won’t get), and you’re still risking losing some of Mania’s original mass appeal.

        Reply this comment
        • Hifihedgehog
          Hifihedgehog 6 December, 2017, 21:45

          Pixel art aficionados make up a small portion of those who bought the game so retro nostalgia was only a sliver of the piece of the pie. In the 200+ member plus video game/eSports university club I belong to, many I have spoken with have voiced that they want the sequel to have upgraded graphics next time around. Some in the club (fans of the Adventure games in particular) did not even buy Mania since they think it is a souped up ROM hack. That said, I have showed many members there Sonic 2 HD and they have stated they would gladly pay for a Mania 2 with those HD graphics–I couldn’t agree more. As far as semantics are concerned, a truly good game is one that both is well-made and appeals to its audience. Now, a game may be considered good by critics but without appeal, it is commercially pointless. Besides, critics can often be a fickle and eccentric minority of the population who fail to relate with regular people and know what is actually good for most people to begin with.

        • ChaoticFox
          ChaoticFox 7 December, 2017, 10:12

          So… your argument that Mania’s retro aesthetic is NOT a major part of its success is essentially that some of your buddies – a portion of whom DIDN’T buy the game and therefore whose opinion on this matter is completely moot – would have liked to see some different graphics?

          I am sure there are those who would prefer more modernized graphics for a sequel. I am sure there are those who think Sonic 2 HD is cool and might be an improvement over the original. I am sure such a game might even sell well.

          But there is no way in HELL those people outnumber those who were attracted to Mania BECAUSE OF its blatant appeal to nostalgia. None. This was the primary source of Mania’s runaway success – full stop. No contest. This is the Sonic 4 nearly everyone wanted, and the proof is in the numbers.

          Mania did not become the best selling Sonic game in over a decade because it’s got half-decent level design or accurate physics. People CLEARLY wanted a real comeback for classic Sonic, which includes that classic look AND feel.

          This is why the actual Sonic 4 didn’t even make a splash, despite it’s “updated graphics”.

        • Hifihedgehog
          Hifihedgehog 7 December, 2017, 15:17

          “…some of your buddies…“

          No, this is a university-sponsored eSports and video game club consisting of upwards of 200 actively enrolled members. True, I also have my close club buddies, but I spoke with much more than just them over the course of these last several months. This was an active discussion I branched out over the entire club for input, not exclusively to my buddies.

          “But there is no way… those people outnumber those who were attracted to Mania BECAUSE OF its blatant appeal to nostalgia.”

          The appeal to nostalgia can easily be met if the game were to use the classic design in a true HD format, à la Sonic 2 HD, thereby appealing to both classic and modern gamers. Those in my university club who had purchased Sonic Mania expressed specifically that they would still purchase a Sonic Mania 2 if it were designed with Sonic 2 HD-style graphics—in fact, stating they would prefer it over the current 16-bit/32-bit level graphics. So we end up appealing to two demographics rather than just one and increasing sales across the board.

          “People CLEARLY wanted a real comeback for classic Sonic, which includes that classic look AND feel.”

          This look and feel can easily be attained and felt in HD. An HD updated look and feel that is still highly rooted in the classic designs and classic physics physics engine is working to much acclaim in Sonic 2 HD. In particular, the university club hosted a night where among the games showcased was Sonic 2 HD and the response to that game was overwhelmingly positive, both among happy Sonic Mania buyers and among gamers who were frigid or lukewarm towards Sonic Mania. Besides, the current trends among the newest most popular Sonic fan games, including the classic-inspired ones, in particula Sonic Ages and Sonic 2 HD which received the highest web traffic on YouTube, are moving towards an updated modern HD aesthetic.

          “This is why the actual Sonic 4 didn’t even make a splash, despite it’s ‘updated graphics’.”

          Sonic 4 did not do well not because of updated graphics, because it was poorly designed as a game in itself. The in-game physics, the cheesy synth music, the clunky level design, etc., were lackluster in quality irregardless of the modern art style they were going after. Read through the negative user and professional reviews online and you will hear numerous complaints about these things. For example, several fans I know on-and off-line of the Sonic Advance games (a modern 2D series in the franchise that also was incredibly popular) who had no problem with the modern sensibilities of Sonic 4 were not put off by the modern style, but by the general lack of refinement and passion. That is why many of them never brought themselves to buy Sonic 4.

          “But there is no way … those people outnumber those who were attracted to Mania BECAUSE OF its blatant appeal to nostalgia.”

          Not according to my fairly large sample size of the university club I have been an active volunteer of. From what we are seeing, HD graphics that maintains a retro-inspired game design in the vein of Sonic 2 HD would have a massive, wider reaching appeal among both classic and modern gamers alike.

        • Hifihedgehog
          Hifihedgehog 7 December, 2017, 15:21

          *”are moving towards an updated modern HD aesthetic.”

          should be…

          “are moving towards an updated classic HD aesthetic.”

  2. Ninetails2000
    #2 Ninetails2000 3 December, 2017, 18:08

    Well then, this is the end of 3D Sonic, isn’t it? Now that Mania’s done exceptionally well while Forces was meh, I’m sure SEGA is going to see no further value in 3D titles. Even if they don’t think so then I know sure as hell that those fans who think that Sonic Mania should be Sonic’s future will have all the fuel they need to ensure they get their way. On top of that, the videogame community outside of the fandom clearly think that Mania is the superior game thanks to decades of shitposting, so there’s that too. People will show their feedback with their wallets and Forces being yet another miss has pretty much doomed it to an early grave sales-wise.

    It was a good run. See you on the fangame side. I’m upset we never got another un-comprimised fully 3D title without using 2D gameplay or rehashed Classic concepts as a crutch after Unleashed, but I guess we 3D fans don’t deserve it. The past is the wave of the future now, so there’s no place for us aside from the “Lolcringekissinghumansdeviantartoc” pit we’ve been trapped within ever since 2006.

    Reply this comment
    • VeryGoodName
      VeryGoodName 3 December, 2017, 18:43

      I don’t think they’re going to stop making 3D Sonic games I think they’re just going to make more 2D Sonic games and hopefully that means we won’t be seeing Classic Sonic in 3D Sonic games because even though I like Classic Sonic I think he’s been in the Modern Sonic games long enough

      Reply this comment
    • jasonchrist
      jasonchrist 4 December, 2017, 05:51

      Don’t lose heart, as a Classic fan I remember the sheer frustration and despair around the Sonic 4 crisis, thinking what utter clueless knobheads Sega were and how the Classic revival I and many others longed for was probably never going to happen.

      3D Sonics saviour is out there somewhere, I’m sure of it.

      Reply this comment
    • Hero
      Hero 4 December, 2017, 18:45

      How did you get “the 3D Sonic games are over” out of “Sonic Mania is our best selling game yet”? That’s such a huge conclusion to jump to that I’m convinced you must have really buff legs. 3D Sonic is too much of a norm to give up at this stage. If SEGA is known for anything, it’s playing it safe with their cash cows, and 3D Sonic has still shown enough historical success to justify keeping it around, Unleashed through Generations has proven that. All that’s required is actually figuring out and understanding what made titles like those and Mania do so well and try and apply that to future games, whether they’re 2D or 3D. They don’t have to scrap a whole branch of it altogether, especially since it encompasses more than half of the series’ whole history.

      Reply this comment
      • SSJSonicXX14
        SSJSonicXX14 4 December, 2017, 19:42

        My reply to most your post would be: wanna bet? Beyond your attachment to it it is clearly expendable, 3D Sonic working is dependent on the broken mess that is Sonic Team, they could have made a legitimate Generations (the game where Sonic Team figured it out and proceeded to flush down the toilet) successor and they didn’t and frankly I don’t think they ever well from them unless a big shakeup happens that removes anyone responsible for Lost World and for passing on Generations 2 to instead to do the Frankenstein mess that is Forces, when Sega sought out 3rd party devs for 3D Sonic we got Boom so that’s not a good option either unless they find one that is interested in doing more than a bad PS2 style platformer.

        Reply this comment
        • Skai Cyan
          Skai Cyan 5 December, 2017, 10:59

          At this point, I don’t trust anyone at Sega or hired by Sega (Mania staff aside) to make a Sonic game, 2D or 3D. The only people I honestly trust are unfortunately all either owned by Nintendo or Nintendo themselves (again aside from the Mania staff), and that’s not something I would want because it would obviously leave out fans on other systems.

    • AManFromDeclan
      AManFromDeclan 7 December, 2017, 23:14

      At least let OTHER fans and developers make 3D titles. Good ones. Not their 2.5D section/boost-to-win BS or those giant open space 3D fan games where Sonic can barely jump.

      All 3D Sonic games should use Sonic Adventure 1 & 2 (Sonic’s stages) as their template. Even a glorified mod/hack will do.

      Reply this comment
  3. DTH1971
    #3 DTH1971 3 December, 2017, 20:06

    Nothing regarding in the financial report regarding Sonic Forces and/or Archie comics losing the rights to Sonic the Hedgehog comics with the rights moving to IDW effective April 2018

    Reply this comment
  4. Darkxza
    #4 Darkxza 4 December, 2017, 08:11

    Because QUALITY sales Sega.

    Reply this comment
  5. SoYummy69
    #5 SoYummy69 4 December, 2017, 16:16

    Ummm…..duh?

    It’s a great game. Sonic Team, this is what a good game looks like. Pretty cool, huh?

    Reply this comment
  6. Hero
    #6 Hero 4 December, 2017, 18:39

    Focus on your successes I suppose. Still, it’s really good to hear that Sonic Mania truly is the best received Sonic title in quite some time, it fits with the actual quality of the game too. Hopefully this will actually encourage Sonic Team to actually analyse and truly understand what went right with Mania and how they can take that and apply it to not only more 2D Sonic games, but towards future 3D Sonic games as well.

    And no, this does not automatically herald the end of the 3D era. If anything it just means we’ll probably get more games like Mania between every other big 3D title every few years. And like I said, hopefully some of the creativity and quality that went into Mania can also be applied to 3D titles. Maybe Whitehead, Stealth, Headcanon, etc. can even be called upon to contribute towards future 3D Sonic titles in some way.

    What we SHOULD take out of this is that it is now confirmed that both SEGA and Sonic Team have recognized Sonic Mania’s success, rightfully so, and that it is very likely they will try to figure out what made it work and how they could apply that to future Sonic titles going forward.

    Reply this comment
    • AManFromDeclan
      AManFromDeclan 7 December, 2017, 23:19

      Mania was mainly successful because of Genesis nostalgia. It should in no way bar Modern Sonic from existence. If they truly want to apply things that work in future titles going forward, they should stop looking at games from a different era, and start looking at all the things that actually WORKED in Sonic Adventure 1 & 2.

      Reply this comment
  7. SSJSonicXX14
    #7 SSJSonicXX14 4 December, 2017, 19:31

    Reminder that Iizuka tired to say that Mania was for a niche audience, reminder that Sonic Team needs to be cleaned out in 2018.

    Reply this comment
    • DTH1971
      DTH1971 4 December, 2017, 21:13

      Maybe Sega America can control Sonic Team and make things better…

      Reply this comment
    • Ryborg
      Ryborg 4 December, 2017, 21:37

      The sooner Sonic Team gets disbanded, the better.

      How many more years are we gonna let them screw stuff up? Sure, things like Sonic 06 get their pass because of development troubles but what about the other mediocre to failure titles that they’ve shat out over the years?

      Shitty Werehog
      Shitty mostly 2d in 3d games
      Shitty gunplay
      Shitty Classic Sonic x 3
      Shitty Parkour
      And now shitty Avatar

      When are people gonna realize that the problems in Sonic games are the Sonic Team’s fault? Iizuka tried to ruin mania by getting them to remix old levels (think of the new levels we could have had instead) and tying it to forces (VR phantom ruby bullshit). Think of how much BETTER it would have been without that garbage holding it back.

      Lastly, FUCK Sonic 4.

      Reply this comment
      • ack...
        ack... 5 December, 2017, 03:48

        I prefer they are redirected to work on something else like a new jet set radio or nights, not lose their jobs. Also rename them sega team, whitehead’s group is the current sonic team now to me.

        Reply this comment
        • Hifihedgehog
          Hifihedgehog 5 December, 2017, 19:45

          “not lose their jobs.”

          ^This. Many of these veteran developers of gave us Sonic Adventure 1 (which was produced in only a 10-month development cycle!), Sonic Adventure 2, and Sonic Generations, great games for their respective eras. Sonic Team’s members may not be great creators anymore—much like Michael Jordan is no longer the top in NBA. But only they experienced first-hand what they did and they should certainly be kept onboard as consultants for the next generation of Sonic Team. Only Sonic Team can recount to the new guard what they did that worked when they did things right. They might not fully understand what they did or be able to replicate it themselves, but coaches (Sonic Team) and players (Team Whitehead or Sonic Team: Next-Gen) each have different strengths which, when meshed together, could pull off the synergy the franchise desperately needs in 2D—but most importantly—and in 3D!

        • AManFromDeclan
          AManFromDeclan 7 December, 2017, 23:27

          Not until they start working on Sonic Adventure. So far, they’ve only focused on one era. A true Sonic Team would focus on BOTH.

          One for nostalgic fun (Mania/Genesis), and the other that restores Sonic & co. as a major household name (Adventure).

          And that’s just the main series games. Think of all the possibilities of spin-offs that could work again.

    • jasonchrist
      jasonchrist 5 December, 2017, 23:55

      Iizuka is a cunt for many reasons, but the way he treated Sonic Mania like it was just the appetiser before the main course (i.e. Forces) is one of the bigger reasons.

      Reply this comment
      • Hifihedgehog
        Hifihedgehog 6 December, 2017, 00:34

        That is quite the heartless and crude thing to say about a fellow human being. Imagine someone saying those same things about you in your late adult life when you are no longer at the peak of your professional career. This kind of dialogue is the opposite kind of problem, that of vitriol and bitterness, which has no place here in our happy, bustling online fan community, so settle down. Iizuka is deeply fond of and avid about the franchise, especially since he, as a director, helped create the legendary game Sonic Adventure in just 10 months flat. Now, after nearly two decades of arduous work, he and his colleagues probably just sincerely think Sonic Forces was fantastic. Truthfully, I think they do not know better and are out of great ideas at this point in their careers. They just need to pass the torch to fresh young minds who are just dying to explore the unknown–people who are not quite unlike who Iizuka and his colleagues once were over a decade ago.

        Reply this comment
        • Kid Kaos
          Kid Kaos 6 December, 2017, 22:05

          My problem with Iizuka is that he’s EXTEMELY misguided and out of touch, I don’t want him to lose his job or anything but he needs to step down from being the head of Sonic Team and director of the franchise.

        • Hifihedgehog
          Hifihedgehog 7 December, 2017, 05:03

          @Kid Kaos: I totally agree. He and the rest of the Sonic Team vets who can’t seem to get their act together should he relegated to consulation roles, far removed from the action. They just can’t recapture the magic they once had.

      • AManFromDeclan
        AManFromDeclan 7 December, 2017, 23:32

        I’m sorry, but Mania IS an appetizer. They just put in less effort and botched the main course.

        Either way, no matter how good a game it is, it should not eclipse the current Sonic in value.That’s like having Steamboat Willie Mickey far more popular than Beige Face/Modern/Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey. Or Pizza Pie Pac-Man far more popular than Pac-Man World Pac-Man.

        Reply this comment
  8. Hifihedgehog
    #8 Hifihedgehog 5 December, 2017, 19:59

    Understandably, no one likes feeling like they are not what they once was and being relegated to a back burner desk job, far removed from the frontline action they yearned in their younger glory days. But somehow they need to pass on to the new blood the torch, much like they did when they were bright new faces in the game development industry so the franchise can endure in the next generation with a bright future ahead of it. Much like Sonic, Star Wars hit a low point where it could not nail the magic tof its earlier successes, but now it has been passed to a new generation of film makers and actors and is seeing renewed success and interest of epic proportions. Similarly, Sonic Team has to see that the hope lies in the next new generation of developers, to give them their blessing and their encouragement to take the helm and guide the ship to port from this point onward.

    Reply this comment
  9. Ryborg
    #9 Ryborg 5 December, 2017, 20:40

    To clarify, disbanding Sonic Team doesn’t have to equate with firing everyone. The members could just get moved into other Sega divisions as has happened before with AM2 and the like.

    That said though, from a corporate standpoint, how valuable are employees that have been failing for a decade now? The new hirers may get a pass but the older folk have an unfortunate track record.

    It’s not as though anyone respects Sonic Team anymore…There’s a good reason for that.

    Reply this comment
  10. Keeper of Swag
    #10 Keeper of Swag 5 December, 2017, 21:58

    Honestly, I kind of hope this is the end of the 3D Sonic era for now. Emphasis on FOR NOW. I think Sega should get Christian Whitehead and co. To work on Mania Sequels, definetly. I want another 2D Sonic era. This is coming from a teen who was practically raised on Colors (My favorite game of all time) and Generations. After Lost World, Boom, and Forces, I’m just kind of done with this current 3D era. I have now played SA DX, SA 2, and Heroes, and I think those titles’ level design, and gameplay usually worked extremely well fundamentally (Few stages aside, *Cough* Heroes *cough*). I feel like at this point, stick to 2D for a while, wait for Sonic Team to get their act together (though I can 100% guarantee they never will), and maybe experiment with the adventure formula again or maybe, mAYBE the boost formula again, but with wide non-linear (FORCES TAKE NOTES YOU PIECE OF MEDIOCRE GARBAGE) level design and not leaning on nostalgia as a crutch. But yea…

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