- SEGA’s Second Division Manager, Osamu Ohashi, wants to surpass Mario by strengthening the Sonic IP.
- The division wants to balance domestic and international markets by focusing on regions where the hedgehog isn’t that popular.
- Ohashi wants to turn the knowledge that popularized Sonic around the world into a reproducible framework and use it to augment other characters.
In an interview on its official website, SEGA‘s Second Division Manager Osamu Ohashi, stated his goal to develop Sonic to the point where it surpasses Mario. Ohashi continued, saying that the IP was originally developed to compete against Nintendo’s iconic plumber and that hasn’t been achieved to date.
Note: The “bridge” in the image is a mistranslation of Osamu Ohashi’s name as “Ohashi” can refer to a “bridge” or a “pair of chopsticks” in Japanese.
According to Ohashi, the Second Division aims to catch up with Mario and go beyond due to their respect for the character. In line with these goals, the department has developed strategies with a clear vision to elevate the IP, allowing it to stand against one of gaming’s greatest icons.
I want people to play it all over the world, including Japan, like Mario, and I want the movie to be a bigger hit than Mario. I would like USJ to create a ‘Sonic Area’ as well. That’s our goal for those of us who love Sonic.”
Other insightful bits of information were provided in the interview as well. When asked about the popularity of the hedgehog overseas and the Division’s focus on a specific market, Ohashi said that the mission is to strike a balance. With over 95% of IP’s sales being overseas, one of the team’s most important efforts is to develop regions such as Japan where the character is not very popular. Achieving this balance would have the team taking a different approach, to innovate while preserving the traditional image.
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Despite the gap between the blue blur and Mario, the former is a famous and profitable IP. When asked about their goals as SEGA’s Second Division, Ohashi stated his desire to not only strengthen the hedgehog brand but also build a team that can mass-produce worldwide hit titles.
I would like to apply the know-how that has made Sonic a hit around the world into a reproducible framework and develop other characters into IPs that can be used around the world.”
Sonic Frontiers launched on November 8, 2022, for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PC, and last-gen consoles. Read our review of the game where we deemed it as an unpolished emerald.
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