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Sega: Sonic Boom is being made in the West to have fully Westernized branch of Sonic

Sonic Team's Sonic games will be the Japanese branch, inherently.

Polygon said:
Veteran Sonic game designer Takashi Iizuka is overseeing the production of Sonic Boom, but main development is entirely in Western hands due to Sega's desire for Sonic to be more appealing to Western audiences.

Speaking with Polygon, Iizuka said the decision to give developer Big Red Button creative control over Sonic Boom and have Sanzaru Games work on the 3DS title was part of Sega's overarching plan to make a completely Westernized branch of the Sonic franchise.

"As part of completely thinking about the West, we wanted to make sure we had Western game developers and make it a part of Western television," Iizuka said. "We wanted to make sure it was developed best for Western audiences primarily; this was very important.

"The whole thing started with the television series," he added. "Our previous series, Sonic X, was made in Japan and influenced by Japanese anime; the main audience it was made for was in Japan, although it came to the West as well. So Sonic Boom is something made specifically for the Western audience. For the TV series to be successful, we pretty much had to make it for that audience, and the games tie into that strategy."
Sega of America producer Stephen Frost told Polygon that keeping Sonic Boom in Western studios was important for the projects' "synergy." Frost said Sega picked Big Red Button because its team — led by Uncharted and Jak and Daxter veteran Bob Rafei — had experience with character-driven adventure games.

"One of the things is, if you think about it at a high level, all the key aspects of this new initiative for Sonic, whether it's the cartoon, the game or the toys, is centered on the Western side, and we wanted to be unified in that," he said. "It's very challenging to create an initiative like this where everything works in a nice synergy if you have a lot of people scattered around the world. Granted, we're doing our [animation] stuff in France, but really, the leads of each group are at Sega of America. And it was really important — I think this is where many other initiatives might fail — is that we really we see each other every day, we're talking to each other every day, and that was really important.
Source: http://www.polygon.com/2014/2/6/538...-over-to-western-studios-and-gave-him-a-scarf
 

Danny Dudekisser

I paid good money for this Dynex!
Oct 13, 2008
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I'd have more of a problem with this if the current team wasn't churning out pure garbage.
 

Kriken

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Dec 7, 2013
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led by Uncharted and Jak and Daxter veteran Bob Rafei

Quelle surprise

Also, based on the recent sales of Lost World, I'm not surprised they went with a more western studio
 

Riki

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Jun 13, 2013
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Quelle surprise

Also, based on the recent sales of Lost World, I'm not surprised they went with a more western studio

Well, this was in development longer than Lost World, so...

Still, this is a good idea. Hope it works out. I'm really excited about Boom.
 

The Albatross

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Apr 15, 2010
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Frankly I don't think it matters. The audience they'd have to attract with a newly designed sonic is already spoken for. There is no demand in the sub-12 year old audience for a new sonic franchise
 

AHA-Lambda

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Jul 19, 2011
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who the hell are Big Red Button anyway?

Strange to see them go in this direction though but at least they're trying to shake things up with Sonic.
 

Kriken

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Well, this was in development longer than Lost World, so...

Still, this is a good idea. Hope it works out. I'm really excited about Boom.

Oh right, I forgot it's been in development for 2 years, my bad
 

Phediuk

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Sep 10, 2013
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Honestly, it's about time. The American version of the Sonic canon was always more interesting anyway.
 

Poltergust

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Frankly I don't think it matters. The audience they'd have to attract with a newly designed sonic is already spoken for. There is no demand in the sub-12 year old audience for a new sonic franchise

Even with a TV show? That's something that's pretty much unique to Sonic currently.
 

Elixist

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I'm happy they have some new blood for the series and im hopeful that it'll be great, but we'll have to wait and see. i'll please be excited i guess.
 

Oriel

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I'm not sure this is the best approach TBH. Though I can't comment too much yet on any plot details but I would hope Sonic Boom starts from the beginning, a reboot so to speak and provides a comprehensive back story that has been sorely lacking in Sonic games. Maybe we'll see a return to Planet Möbius and none of this pseudo Earth garbage we have become used to.
 

Plinko

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Wow--the fact that former ND guys are doing this is piquing my interest.
 

Flowmoney

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Why do Japanese companies think that things need to be westernized?

If it sold in the first place , its because of the form that its currently in.

This mindset leads to the death of many series.
 

Narroo

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Jun 6, 2013
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Having a bunch of "Westerners" make a game does not actually mean it "Western Audiences" will like it. There are a ton of trash shows out there to prove it.

I think the idea of "Chasing the west" is silly. Also, it sounds like we're all cowboys.
 

Azure Phoenix

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Pretty sure that Sonic did well enough in the West in the 90s without having a total redesign to fit all the generic American marketing demands. Boom just smacks of design by committee, cynically created by suits to fit as many tick boxes as possible and be considered "cool" - it's Poochie the Dog all over again.
 
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Checking the developers website, they mention its been in development for 2 years? Hopefully its a good first entry for the studio. Man though, i really dislike those character redesigns.
 

jackissocool

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The devs are definitely worth trusting. Naughty Dog veterans and the creators of Sly 4 make for a talented pair of teams. I expect they'll surprise us here. But if this means that Sanzaru isn't working on Sly 5, I will be very disappointed.
 

EmCeeGramr

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As for the blue hedgehog's new scarf — it's not incorrect to say it was pulled straight from the closet of Nathan Drake.

"We were exploring different outfits and we went through a lot of iterations and the scarf was something I've used in the past and it works for me and it works for the character," he said. "Really, the history of that comes from the old western days, with John Wayne, and as a kid watching a lot of those westerns, that really stuck with me. And you see the use of the afghan in a lot of action movies because of the soldiers and what's happened with more association with the Middle East. So that DNA made its way into what makes a character action hero nowadays."

They gave him a scarf because Drake has a scarf.
 

Beth Cyra

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Why do Japanese companies think that things need to be westernized?

If it sold in the first place , its because of the form that its currently in.

This mindset leads to the death of many series.
Sonic and lot of its popularity are tied directly into the stuff done to make it western. The hugely successful Sonic cartoon is apart of this, so this isn't a Bomberman Zero like scenario.
 

TheBaronOfNA

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Having a bunch of "Westerners" make a game does not actually mean it "Western Audiences" will like it. There are a ton of trash shows out there to prove it.

I think the idea of "Chasing the west" is silly. Also, it sounds like we're all cowboys.

Sonic was designed having westerners in mind.
 

Riki

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They gave him a scarf because Drake has a scarf.

Link wears it better.
 

_Ryo_

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Wait, if they are segregating sonic studios, will Eastern developed Sonic games have a chance of not being localized?
 

Drago

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The devs are definitely worth trusting. Naughty Dog veterans and the creators of Sly 4 make for a talented pair of teams. I expect they'll surprise us here. But if this means that Sanzaru isn't working on Sly 5, I will be very disappointed.
Agreed, I have high hopes for this. I think it looks great already bar the new character designs.

Also, Sanzaru is confirmed to be making something for PS4 (they were on the official PS4 developers list at E3 iirc) and there's a Sly Cooper movie for 2016... I wouldn't be worried about Sly 5. :)
 

Ridley327

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Wait, if they are segregating sonic studios, will Eastern developed Sonic games have a chance of not being localized?

Not a chance. Sonic is Sega's Mario, and he's still big with kids. If anything, this move ensures the stability of the series, especially if the show takes off.
 

Dusk Golem

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How many studios does SEGA have close relationships with now? In the last two years they've acquired Relic, Atlus, have close ties with Nintendo, and now seem to be picking up for usage on the Sonic series Big Red button, which is mainly ex-Naughty Dog staff to my knowledge.
 

jackissocool

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Agreed, I have high hopes for this. I think it looks great already bar the new character designs.

Also, Sanzaru is confirmed to be making something for PS4 (they were on the official PS4 developers list at E3 iirc) and there's a Sly Cooper movie for 2016... I wouldn't be worried about Sly 5. :)

I still expect them to but that doesn't mean I can't be a little worried till we've got some more solid confirmation.
 

NTom64

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Oct 3, 2007
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Wait, if they are segregating sonic studios, will Eastern developed Sonic games have a chance of not being localized?

Nah, they'll all come over to the West. Europe fucking loves Sonic, so does America. Japan is usually pretty lukewarm when it comes to the series as a whole.
 

Zeyphersan

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Sonic's problem wasn't that he "wasn't developed for western audiences," it was "they made mostly crap games."

(Sonic Colors and Generations notwithstanding).

Crap games are truly region-free.
 

Nerokis

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Frankly I don't think it matters. The audience they'd have to attract with a newly designed sonic is already spoken for. There is no demand in the sub-12 year old audience for a new sonic franchise

That's the point, I'd say. The Sonic brand still has significant strength, but this is an effort to rejuvenate it for a new generation. I can see the show accomplishing that with the Cartoon Network platform. It's interesting to see such a big Sonic title licensed out from the Sonic Team, too - the new focus (exploration, narrative, and combat vs. speed) combined with solid execution could bring in both old fans and new, I'm sure. I don't understand not bringing it to Japan, though, where both the Wii U and the 3DS are at their best.
 

_Ryo_

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Not a chance. Sonic is Sega's Mario, and he's still big with kids. If anything, this move ensures the stability of the series, especially if the show takes off.

Nah, they'll all come over to the West. Europe fucking loves Sonic, so does America. Japan is usually pretty lukewarm when it comes to the series as a whole.

Well, if they're separate studios then they can afford to be much more western influenced... they might develop a really crazy sonic game... I dunno. I'm curious though.
 

J@hranimo

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Sep 11, 2009
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A whole branch dedicated to Westernized Sonic games?

I couldn't have predicted this even if I tried! So....wow, I guess I'm mildly interested to see how this goes.
 

Brazil

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Frankly I don't think it matters. The audience they'd have to attract with a newly designed sonic is already spoken for. There is no demand in the sub-12 year old audience for a new sonic franchise

You're pulling this out of nowhere. How can you possibly say that when kids nowadays probably don't even freaking know Sonic? They'll meet the characters when the show is out, and then they'll go and buy the game.