Iconic character gets makeover for North American and European audiences

Sega hands Sonic reins to Western developers

Sega has lifted the curtain on a brand new look for iconic mascot Sonic the Hedgehog.

The makeover comes as the publisher reveals new cartoon Sonic Boom, which is also to receive an associated game (a prequel, no less) on Wii U and 3DS.

Interestingly, The Wii U version is being developed by US studio Big Red Button, marking the first time Sonic has been handed to a Western studio. San Francisco studio Sanzaru Games will handle the 3DS release of the title.

Veteran Sonic game Takashi Iizuka has told Polygon that while he’s overseeing the game’s production, development itself was farmed out west to try and increase Sonic’s brand appeal in Western markets.

"As part of completely thinking about the West, we wanted to make sure we had Western game developers and make it a part of Western television," he said. "We wanted to make sure it was developed best for Western audiences primarily; this was very important.

"Our previous series, Sonic X, was made in Japan and influenced by Japanese anime; the main audience it was made for was in Japan, although it came to the West as well. So Sonic Boom is something made specifically for the Western audience."

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