Filed under: News | Gaming


Sonic: Makeover for new game, TV series

Feb 6 2014, 5:40pm CST | by

9 Updates
Sonic: Makeover for new game, TV series

YouTube Videos Comments

Full Story

Sonic: Makeover for new game, TV series

Sonic the Hedgehog and friends undergo makeover for new 'Sonic Boom' game, TV series

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The conference room inside Big Red Button Entertainment's offices would look unremarkable if it weren't for the vibrant panoramas of a cartoony, tree-filled world plastered next to portraits of colorful creatures and robots on the walls. At first glance, one of the critters looks like Sonic the Hedgehog — if he donned a brown scarf and sport tape around his appendages.

But it's not a blur. Or a shadow. That's indeed the intrepid new look of the iconic video game character who originally raced into gamers' hearts in 1991 as the star of the fast-paced side-scroller "Sonic the Hedgehog" before becoming the face of game maker Sega. The latest makeover of Sonic isn't simply about accessorizing the 22-year-old character with new gear.

It's part of a "Sonic" revolution.

Sonic and his three pals — tinkering fox Tails, brutish echidna Knuckles and hammer-wielding hedgehog Amy — are starring together in a new Nintendo 3DS and Wii U game, as well as a Cartoon Network series set for release later this year, called "Sonic Boom." The games and TV series will share the new style, voice actors, locales, storylines and more. The collaborative take on "Sonic" will extend to merchandising, too.

"We're looking at this more than just a video game," said Marcella Churchill, senior marketing director of Sega of America. "Yes, Sega is primarily a video game company, but Sonic is a very viable character for us. We're always looking for new ways to expand the franchise, and we knew we wanted to grow the appeal of Sonic and reach many different touch points."

Churchill expects innovations on both the game and TV show formats to draw new fans, not only gamers nostalgic for the ring-hording hedgehog. For example, the TV series will forgo old-school cartoon cheesiness to instead blend action and comedy together, while the game will feature more open-world exploration than in Sonic's previous interactive escapades.

With split-screen, four-player functionality, the game — the third in Sega's deal to exclusively release "Sonic" titles on Nintendo platforms — serves as a prequel to the cartoon, the first "Sonic" series to be computer animated. Both the game and the TV series, which is being created by OuiDO Productions, will deeper emphasize the characters' personalities and teamwork.

The focus on Sonic's crew inspired the developers, animators and everyone else working on "Sonic Boom" to make each hero distinct, in both form and function. In the case of Knuckles, that meant putting the once Sonic-sized sidekick through puberty — not steroids — in an effort to make the burly red echidna stand out from the pack, as well as pack a punch.

However, the creators are quick to note that the sportier, teenaged rendition of Sonic and his team doesn't erase the depictions from four previous TV series and more than 70 games. "Sonic Boom" is merely a new branch of the "Sonic" universe with sensibilities they hope will appeal to modern youngsters who expect their entertainment to cohesively cross screens.

"When you have a franchise with the depth and fan base of this one, you can have more than one incarnation existing side by side," said Evan Bailey, executive producer of the TV show. "Look at Batman or Mickey Mouse. There are many iconic characters with more than one rendition and none is the definitive take, so hopefully fans don't firebomb our houses."

Unintentionally, "Sonic Boom" has become the franchise's biggest multicultural effort to date, with game developers and executives in California working in tandem with TV executives based out of New York, as well as animators in France, on a new iteration of a blue hedgehog born in Japan. Initially, however, the biggest barrier in crafting this Sonic wasn't language.

"Before we first met, we we're thinking, 'Oh, boy. TV people," said Bob Rafei, CEO of Big Red Button. "They're gonna want to change everything. They're not going to understand games. To my surprise, Evan actually plays more games than I do. I don't know where he finds the time, but he understands the fundamental differences of mechanics and fiction."

Rafei, who previously worked on such landmark game franchises as "Crash Bandicoot" and "Jak and Daxter" at Naughty Dog, noted the most challenging aspect of taking on a "Sonic" game was illustrating the character's signature speed without sacrificing new gameplay elements. The other major issue? Figuring out just what the heck Sonic is allowed to wear.

"The clothing argument was a big one," said Rafei, leaning back in his chair in Big Red Button's conference room. "The most surreal moment in my life occurred when I was conveying with passion through a translator to the 'Sonic' team in Japan why Sonic needed to wear pants. Looking back at it, I'm glad they didn't go for it. Sonic wouldn't really be Sonic with pants on."




Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at .

Source: AP


You Might Also Like


Sponsored Update

Update: 9

Keene-area residents say loud noise sounded like sonic boom

Source: WMUR New Hampshire

March Du Nain Rouge
Something rattled houses in the Keene area Wednesday, and despite official reports to the contrary, many residents are convinced it was a s ...
Source: WMUR New Hampshire   Full article at: WMUR New Hampshire 1 day ago, 5:41pm CDT


Update: 8

No sonic boom felt in New Hampshire, spokesman at Barnes International Guard Base in Westfield says


Sonic The Hedgehog - Thanksgiving Day Parade
The noise was not a sonic boom, an official with Barnes sa ...
Source:   Full article at: 2 days ago, 8:38pm CDT

More From the Web

Update: 7

Massachusetts Air Guard denies loud booming noise was sonic boom

Source: Stars and Stripes

Airline CEO's Convene In Washington For 13th Annual Aviation Summit
Supersonic flight is illegal, according to a 1973 regulation by the Federal Aviation Admi ...
Source: Stars and Stripes   Full article at: Stars and Stripes 2 days ago, 8:02pm CDT

Update: 5

Military jets cause sonic boom in Keene area

Source: WMUR New Hampshire

Sonic The Hedgehog - Thanksgiving Day Parade
Military jets flying over Keene caused a sonic boom that was heard over a wide area and shook buildings, m ...
Source: WMUR New Hampshire   Full article at: WMUR New Hampshire 2 days ago, 2:30pm CDT

Update: 4

RAF Lakenheath: ‘Sonic boom’ heard over Norfolk homes could have been caused by F-15 jet

Source: Evening Star

A F-15 fighter jet launches anti-missile
An American fighter jet from a Suffolk airbase may be behind the loud bang that caused homes to tremble across part of Norfolk yeste ...
Source: Evening Star   Full article at: Evening Star 3 days ago, 12:08pm CDT

Update: 3

2012 Mystery Rumblings Caused by Sonic Boom: Navy

Source: NBC San Diego

People walk past an electric quotation b
 A mysterious boom that sent worried reverberations across San Diego County almost exactly two years ago was caused by a military aircraft, U.S. Navy officials told the Los Angeles Times. On Wednesday, Navy Cmdr. Kevin Stephens said in the summer of 2012, an aircraft flew faster than the speed of sound, causing a sonic boom so powerful that “pretty much all of San Diego felt it,” the Times reported. The explanation come ...
Source: NBC San Diego   Full article at: NBC San Diego Apr 10 2014, 3:20pm CDT

Update: 2

Loud Boom Heard Across Orange County ‘Sonic-Related’

Source: CBS Los Angeles

Bundeswehr Holds Alpine Adventure Camp 2014
SANTA ANA ( — A loud boom heard across Orange County Wednesday that was initially believed to be an earthquake was “sonic-related,” officials said. “We reached out to Caltech, and they said it’s not seismic; it’s sonic-related,” said Vicki Osborn, an assistant emergency manager in the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Ian Gregor of the Federal Aviation Administration said the sonic boom would had to have come from military aircraft. Officials at Camp Pendleton ...
Source: CBS Los Angeles   Full article at: CBS Los Angeles Apr 9 2014, 7:45pm CDT

Update: 1

Source of Widely Felt Sonic Boom Probed

Source: NBC Los Angeles

Bundeswehr Holds Alpine Adventure Camp 2014
Officials were working Wednesday to figure out the source of a strong jolt felt across Southern California. People reported shaking from Huntington Beach in Orange County to Long Beach in Los Angeles County after 1 p.m. No damages were reported. Download the FREE NBCLA News app Caltech officials reported the jolt was sonic in nature, not seismic. They were looking into the source of the jolt. Marine Sgt.Christopher Dun ...
Source: NBC Los Angeles   Full article at: NBC Los Angeles Apr 9 2014, 4:17pm CDT

Shopping Deals


<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Associated Press</a>
The Associated Press (AP) is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers.




blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Blue Angels Commander Relieved of Duty
Blue Angels Commander Relieved of Duty
A Blue Angels commander was recently relieved of duty due to certain misconduct charges which had piled up against him.
Dyson Vacuums to Make Robot Vacuums
Dyson Vacuums to Make Robot Vacuums
Dyson vacuums are to acquire robotic tendencies by making robot vacuums, thanks to the plans put into place by the company founder Sir James Dyson.
Kepler-186f is the first earth-size planet discovered by NASA
Kepler-186f is the first earth-size planet discovered by NASA
Kepler-186f is more like a cousin than a twin to our Earth.
Nike exiting the wearables market, says report
Nike exiting the wearables market, says report
Nike could be making the right decision here.

The Hottest Photos of Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013