In a recent Q&A with investors, SEGA’s parent company SEGASammy gave more details on the Sonic series, with a special focus on the upcoming mainline game, Sonic Frontiers.
The Japanese conglomerate are targeting the upcoming game to go beyond the first year sales numbers of Sonic Forces, the previous mainline title, which has managed to reportedly sell over a million copies. In terms of lifetime sales, they aimed for a further increase in the numbers.
It was also reassured that Frontiers won’t have issues in regards to quality, even with it posing many challenges, as it is the first time ever the hedgehog has been placed in an open world environment.
We’d like for you to wait future announcement for the details, but this is the title with no compromise in terms of quality and that has taken on many new challenges.SEGASammy
To illustrate their dedication to quality control, the company said that Frontiers was originally intended to be released in 2021 to headline the 30th anniversary, but changed course to brush up the quality of the title. In order to ensure its worth, many game tests were done during the development phase, in which they have invited different people to playtest Frontiers.
We have been steadily conducting analysis to improve the quality of the title before release, such as introducing game testing based on external evaluations, and I have a feeling that it will become a good game and have high expectations for it.SEGASammy
SEGASammy commented on their changed video game pricing strategy. With Sonic Frontiers as an example, the company believed that it is important to maintain the suggested retail price for a long-term period (similar to Nintendo and others) by maintaining the value of the property at a high level, instead of lowering the price at an early stage to increase the initial number of unit sales.
Strengthening the Sonic property
The games will always be the main source of revenue, said SEGASammy, and the focus of the Sonic brand, with the plan that Sonic Frontiers will have a major global and multi-platform release.
As for Sonic’s first film, SEGASammy said that the number of fans have increased significantly due to the movie’s successs, and that it has been a way for parents that grew up with Sonic games to introduce the Sonic franchise to their kids. As a result, they believe “it is important to release high-quality games at this timing.” The sequel for the hit movie is expected to increase viewings of the previous movie via subscription and physical media, boosting overall revenue.
Sonic Prime, the upcoming WildBrain animation for Netflix, was also stated to be of very “low risk”, and a sure bet to do for the franchise. With it reportedly slated a Fall release, the company believed that the animation are one of the ways the brand can be strengthened on a global scale.
And while SEGASammy said that their series has been very profitable, with it reaching “tens of billions of yen on a retail sales price basis” in Western markets, it still has challenges to face in the Asian markets, including Japan, in which the Sonic series has been known for not performing to expectations. The company intends to focus their efforts in Japan over 2022 with the release of Sonic Frontiers, as was the case for Forces in mainland China in 2017.
For more details related to Sonic’s breakthrough year, keep your eyes open at Tails’ Channel.