Poor or average Sonic The Hedgehog games can no longer be bought new at retail.
Sega has de-listed certain Sonic titles in order to ‘increase the value of the brand’ and avoid confusing the consumer.
The firm plans to launch three new Sonic games this Christmas – Sonic Colours and Sonic Free Riders at retail, plus the episodic Sonic 4 via XBLA, PSN and WiiWare.
“Any Sonic game with an average Metacritic has been de-listed,” explained Sega’s SVP of EMEA Jurgen Post.
“We have to do this and increase the value of the brand. This will be very important when more big Sonic releases arrive in the future.
“We could make a lot of money on back-catalogue Sonic titles, but let’s keep the number of Sonic games available under control. Otherwise you can have cannibalisation. If there are ten Sonic games on the shelves, with people seeing Sonic Rush DS or Sonic Rush Adventure, this may not help our overall strategy.”
Sonic’s fanbase ranges from young gamers to core fans who played the games back in the early ‘90s. Sega is targeting both audiences with its multiple titles this Christmas.
“Colours will play well to our younger Sonic fanbase, but should also appeal to the older fans once they realise there are no unwanted surprises,” added brand director David Corless.
“It’s the first console title for a while that’s clearly influenced by Sonic’s platform past but also keeps the series moving forward with new ideas and innovations that complement that legacy. Sonic 4 on the other hand is old school and primarily for those core fans who remember the originals. But there are also a number of younger gamers who’ve recently discovered the classics on the iPhone or XBLA, PSN and WiiWare so it’ll appeal to them as well.”