Sega has spoken of the danger of over exposing Sonic The Hedgehog ahead of the release of Sonic 4 and Sonic Colours.
"Sonic, at the end of the day, is 20-years-old next year. Sonic is our crown jewel," said Alan Pritchard, Sega's US sales and marketing man. "We've probably been guilty of bringing too many Sonic games to market too quickly."
However, with four new Sonic games coming in the space of a month (Sonic 4, Sonic Free Riders plus Sonic Colours on Wii and DS) and another Sonic game planned for 2011 it doesn't look like the hog's workload is going to fall.
Yet, Pritchard believes that Sega should take inspiration from Nintendo's treatment of Mario. "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."
He says Sega is focusing on quality over quantity. "If you look at all of the Sonic releases over the last four or five years, there's a real mixed bag out there. A Sonic game can sell if it's a 60-percent Metacritic game, that's not an issue. But is that really what the consumer wants? Is that what we should be doing as a publisher and a developer? We should be bringing much higher quality products to market to deliver a better experience for the consumer."
Do you think there are too many Sonic games?