It’s time for SEGA to let Sonic die

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SonicBoom

Sonic Boom is the latest series of games featuring the spiny blue mammal we loved in our youths. Launched alongside an animated TV series, the games haven’t done quite as well as Sega would have liked. In fact, they’re the worst-selling Sonic games in history.

According to the crumbling former giant’s latest round of financial reports, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric for the Wii U and Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for the 3DS have sold-through just 490,000 copies. That’s both games combined, worldwide.

You could easily say that it’s down to the Wii U’s low install base, but you’d be wrong. Don’t forget, there are tens of millions of 3DS’ in consumers’ hands. Besides that, the last Sonic game, the awful Lost Worlds sold through over 700 000 units.

Before that, the somewhat decent Sonic Generations sold through 1,850 000 copies. Previous to that, the really, really good Sonic & All-Star Racing Transformed sold 1,360,000 copies worldwide. The original Sonic game sold over 15 million copies.

This sort of poor performance in the retail console sector is one of the reasons SEGA seems to be largely pulling out of the business – to focus instead on the PC and mobile gaming sector – and will be offering voluntary retirement to employees as they downscale.

“Voluntary retirement will be solicited in the aforementioned businesses to be withdrawn or consolidated and downsized,” a statement read, “while at the same time personnel will be repositioned in Digital Games and growth areas of Group mainly as development personnel, in order to establish a structure which can constantly generate profits. The purpose of these measures is to improve the business efficiency of the Group.”

Strangely, despite Sonic’s dwindling performance, they’re keeping him alive –and Sonic merchandising and branding is one of the areas they’ll still be focusing on.

And honestly, it’s time to stop. Give up.  Let Sonic die.

Last Updated: February 13, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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