If you frequent around the Sonic community a fair bit, you’ll know that the reception of Sonic’s latest foray into marketing gimmicks didn’t exactly take well with the fans (though the TV show is worth your time for some good mindless fun.) With the release of sales figures from SEGA, we can now see how this new splinter brand performed, and the news is quite dreadful with the games pulling in over a combined 490,000.
Yes, both Shattered Crystal and Rise of Lyric combined could barely claw their way to over a half-million units, making them some of the worst performing Sonic games, possibly of all time. A hard metric to gauge given strange releases on Game Gear, NeoGeo Pocket Color, and even taco-shaped mobile the N-Gage, but easily the worst in modern times.
Of course, the lukewarm-to-negative reception of the Wii U and 3DS variants, as well as (now-patched) goofy levels of glitches certainly didn’t help the matter, drawing Rise of Lyric frequent contention with Sonic 2006 for the worst in the series.
Worse still is the figure is in the nebulous realm of units actually sold to customers or the total combined units sitting out on store shelves or boxes in the back. So the 490,000 figure may very well be a “best case” scenario.
Previously, Sonic Lost World sold 718,000 units combined, as a marker of the series trend on the Wii U and 3DS and were lukewarmly received. Prior to Lost World, Sonic Colors performed better at over two million units sold, but with the caveat that the Wii and DS had monstrous consumer bases by 2010.
The current downtrend for Sonic and the continued diminishing returns in quality are signs that maybe it’s time SEGA seriously considers putting the Sonic brand on hiatus for a few years (see Capcom with Mega Man… hopefully) or completely overhaul the creative process at Sonic Team (read: fire some people, even the studio head.) But, with the likes of Sonic Runners already on the horizon, it looks like regardless of reception, SEGA will run Sonic full speed right off the edge and into one of the series’ infamous bottomless pits.
Speak no ill of Sonic Pocket Adventure (the NeoGeo Pocket Color title); it was a weird mash-up of Sonic 2, Sonic 3, and Sonic Adventure, and was generally awesome.
From what I recall, pocket adventure was just a skinny port of sonic advance. Still, good description of the advance series.
Dimps ported Sonic Advance two years before they released the game? Goddamn.
Not entirely sure if Sonic should go on hiatus, but it shouldn’t be getting annual sequels like this. That just makes it very easy for crap like this to be rushed out rather than us getting games that have had enough time put into it.
Also, it would be nice to see Sonic Team make games other than Sonic and Puyo Puyo stuff.
Option C: SEGA doubles down on running this series into the ground and becomes openly hostile with the fanbase.
The cartoon is at the utter mercy of Cartoon Network who will old yeller anything in a heartbeat and won’t even acknowledge this publicly for months. If they cancel it there is no reason not to scuttle Boom, they invested so much into this making a multimedia franchise when ultimately it’s just the same characters with some clothes thrown on them or steroid injections. The only good thing it’s produced is laughs either from the funny animal cartoon, some of the designs changes and the hilariously terrible games.
Sega you really dodged a bullet here by not having this be a reboot you can easily sweep it under the rug, but this again begs the question why is nobody at Sega outside of Japan is talking about Runners, is it because it isn’t Boom?
Firing a certain someone at Sonic Team would be the best case scenario, put someone in charge who isn’t content with doing random gameplay experiments. Give them outlets to do work with gameplay concepts outside of Sonic so the series can be laser focused on getting something right and expanding on it.
Sonic has no valid comparison with Megaman. Megaman games tend to be decent while the newer Sonic games range from rarely good to just trash.
The only valid comparison is that both companies are clueless on what to do with their mascots.
I’d rather have a few people fired, and replaced because Sega is filled with awful, greedy decision makers.
Thank you, that bothered me so much.
I still say Sonic Boom (gamewise) wasn’t THAT bad, because I’ve seen far worse Sonic games, and that this bad rap it’s gotten is seriously over-exaggerated. I’d hate to see the rest of the actually pretty okay Sonic Boom franchise get canned over this one misstep. Like that’s really stopped Sonic before anyway (otherwise, Sonic 06 really should’ve been the end of the franchise, under this logic).
That said, Sonic Boom wasn’t all sunshine and daisies either, nor was Sonic Lost World before it, so I’m all for the idea of Sega doing something to step up their game in the future. Doing a little “reorganizing” among the staff does seem to be the most logical step to take.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Fans should just be hired by sega to make all future sonic games with however much time they need, as it seems only fans know how to make a sonic game nowadays.
Sonic will always live as long as fans are still allowed to make great games. The other day I was playing “Sonic Souls”. It is a really deep game.
Mega Man (any of them) hasn’t had a game in like at least half a decade has he? And I don’t think any have been announced either. I’m fine with a hiatus but good lord don’t hold Mega Man or Capcom as a model on how to do it unless you want Sonic Universe and Sonic Adventure 3 announced and then cancelled followed by a total shunning of the franchise.
I’ve said it before: I’d rather a franchise go quiet than see it continually run into the ground. That said, we’ve not seen what the Generations team has been up to, but I would hope that the lashes against Lost World and Boom will be enough to light a fire under their butts to make their title exceptional. One more major flop will probably be pretty disastrous for the brand.
Wasn’t Sonic Boom developed by some group uninvolved with Sonic Team? Or at least without them in the lead. I don’t know, I just don’t want the blame to be in the wrong place. Not that I’m exactly a fan of recent Sonic games but still.
I don’t think anyone at Sonic Team will be fired over Sonic Boom…
Does anyone knows how Sonic 4 ep 1 and ep 2 did well in sales?
“… or completely overhaul the creative process at Sonic Team (read: fire some people, even the studio head.) …”
For fucks sake, what relation has Sonic Team in this case? The current studio head is perfectly fine.
If anything, tell Sega to stop selling Sonic like a bitch to external studios.
Someone should have been more assertive in this case. You got a someone approving commissioning a then-upstart studio who was unproven trying to work on a major project, and they buckled under it. It’s like they were expecting to find the next Retro Studios.