With SEGA’s earnings report this morning we got some sales figures for a couple of their key titles released last year and as it turns out they are pulling in some decent numbers.
Their highest selling title reported was “Sonic Colors” which came in at 1.85 million units sold worldwide between the Wii and DS. An exact break down was not provided as to how much each version sold, but even if you figure a 50/50 split it’s a very respectable number.
Next on the list was “Vanquish” which pulled in a “reasonably encouraging” 820,000 units sold between the PS3 and Xbox 360. Not to shabby considering it’s a new IP.
The statements below come from a poster on 4chan’s video game boards who goes by Wentos the Travelling Salesman, who has correctly predicted / leaked info about Sonic games in the past and claimed to work for SEGA’s localization department in 2009. Take it with a grain of salt.
“Without giving anything away…this time, it’s not a sports game. It’s turning out quite well. I think some of you may be a little surprised.”
“…Wii/DS is a much more cost-effective pairing [for Sonic Colors], especially for an ‘experimental’ Sonic game like this where they needed the financial and developmental freedom to craft 50+ stages… The technology and design plan is all set up to do the port on Sonic Team’s end… Of course, they need strong sales to justify releasing it on the other two platforms (with enhancements, more money spent, etc) in the first place, so it’s all up to you guys.”
“We’ve probably been guilty of bringing too many Sonic games to market too quickly. Certainly if you look at Nintendo as a comparison, they have been a little bit more strategic with the way they bring their Mario titles to market. If you look at 2006 to 2008, there were a number of Sonic titles coming to market on various platforms with very little time in-between… If you look at all of the Sonic releases over the last four or five years, there’s a real mixed bag out there. There are some 70s; there are some 60s; there are some 50s. We are upping the bar in terms of internal focus, investment, resource; and we plan to target 80-percent-plus.” – Alan Pritchard – VP of sales and marketing for Sega US
Well nothing fixes the problem of putting out too many Sonic titles like putting out three more.
Full interview here.
“From a general game design perspective, in recent years we’ve been able to introduce Sonic to new fans, a lot of the Nintendo/Mario fans, and because of that, we’ve made changes to the design, and we’ve designed things in Sonic Colours that we think will really appeal to people who are unfamiliar with the Sonic brand and the Sonic gameplay. So from that perspective we hope that fans of Mario will really be able to enjoy playing as Sonic in Sonic Colours.” – Sonic Team’s Takashi Iizuka
I was in High School during the days of Nintendo vs SEGA and I’m proud to say that I fell into the Nintendo camp with the NES / SNES. During those console wars you were pretty much on one side or the other and very few ever crossed the line. Because of this I only played Sonic a handful of times and didn’t care for it.
I’ve tried over the years to play the newer Sonic games (and even have tried to go back and play some of the older ones) and there must be some part of my brain that is stuck back in the old days because I just don’t care for them at all. Maybe things will change with Sonic Colors, but I’m not going to hold my breath.
“Any Sonic game with an average Metacritic has been de-listed… We have to do this and increase the value of the brand. This will be very important when more big Sonic releases arrive in the future. We could make a lot of money on back-catalogue Sonic titles, but let’s keep the number of Sonic games available under control. Otherwise you can have cannibalisation. If there are ten Sonic games on the shelves, with people seeing Sonic Rush DS or Sonic Rush Adventure, this may not help our overall strategy.” – Sega’s SVP of EMEA Jurgen Post
I question how much money could be made off the back-catalogue Sonic titles, but this is still a good move. No need to keep all those Sonic games sitting around on the shelf.