Sonic Boom, for both the Wii U and 3DS, sold miserably. The series didn’t even sell 800,000 units which is awful considering that several Sonic games in the past have moved over 1 million units no problem. The issue with these games is that they were buggy and different, which doesn’t always resonate with a passionate fanbase. I enjoyed both games, but obviously I’m in the minority. So what does Sega need to do to get Sonic back on his feet? There are a few major things I think Sonic needs to be back in great shape, the first of which is to have games that are less buggy. Sega needs to learn to take their time (Take note of Arkham Knight and it’s delay to be a better game). Simply making sure a game doesn’t have a lot of glitches or bugs can make a major difference in how a game is perceived, and that’s as true for Sonic as any other game. Sonic Boom wasn’t all that bad when it came to the game itself it was just the bugs that made it an issue. Sonic needs a bug cleaning spray to be applied at each of his major next games. It won’t fix all of this woes but it’ll help significantly. But that’s not all he needs.
He also needs the mobile world. I have talked about this off and on in the past, to be sure, and that’s because it’s such a good point. Here’s why: Sonic the Hedgehog, as a series, has sold just over 140 million units in its lifetime. Do you know how many downloads on mobile platforms the series has seen? Just over 140 million. Sonic has been downloaded more than he has been bought, and that’s a huge deal. Sega has a strong mobile presence and I believe they need to focus more and more on Sonic there. Some of his best games in recent years, to me at least, are mobile games, so I hope Sega will do more. And remember: one of Sega’s other mobile games, which is completely free to play, netted over 72 million dollars for Sega. It’s free and it made them close to 100 million dollars. For comparison imagine a full $60 retail Sega game. Even if they sold 1 million units (which Boom did not do, remember that) they would still make less on that than they did on that one free to play mobile game. They would make over 12 million less in fact. Not every free to play game is going to rack in that kind of cash, of course, but it shows that Sega has made some good cash there and confirms that should be a major focus for them. Say each of those 140 million downloads connects to a person willing to spend 2 bucks, which is not much at all. That’s over 200 million for Sega, or over 100 million if each person spends a buck. That’s some real cash, and that should be a major focus for them and Sonic.
We also have the Nintendo focus. Sonic and Mario have been an incredible team in their games together, whether in the Olympics or in Smash Bros. The series (Olympic games) has sold several million units in total, with the first game selling over 13 million units as of 2014. That’s the best selling crossover game of all time. When Sonic and Mario join together good things happen, at least when it comes to cash value to both Nintendo and Sega. Now imagine for a moment a major platform game between the two companies. If it was a solid game you’d be a fool if you think it wouldn’t sell 10 million plus easily, and be a major boon for the Wii U. That would be incredible, and it’s something millions upon millions of gamers would go nuts for. I think it can stand up against anything Sony and Microsoft could put out there, just my thoughts. We have a Sonic amiibo, that interacts with different games, mostly Mario Kart 8 and Smash Bros. In Mario Kart 8 it’ll give your Mii the ability to race and look just like Sonic as you race! It’s not actually Sonic officially, but it’s close enough to be cool. Nintendo and Sega are nice to each other in this day and age, so I think more focus should definitely be put there. Start with a few Olympic games and some Smash appearances, and take it off from there! Remember too that Sonic Lost World has Nintendo DLC, from Yoshi and the Legend of Zelda, so it all could be a sign of what’s to come in the future. I hope it is.
Sonic does his best in the smartphone world and he has done very will with Nintendo in recent years. If Sega can make sure their games aren’t buggy, keep the mobile presence strong and fun, and can do as much as possible with Nintendo (have you see the 3DS themes based on old Sega consoles in Japan? Sega is giving Nintendo a ton lately) then they’ll be in great shape. That’s what I think! How about you? What do you think Sega needs to do for Sonic to be in good shape?