Well, it worked for the first Sonic the Hedgehog movie. Will it help Sonic Frontiers?
The weekend after Sonic Frontiers got its first gameplay reveal, the hashtag #DelaySonicFrontiers was trending on social media. Much like the social media backlash that followed the reveal of Sonic’s original design for the 2020 live-action film, fans are pleading en masse for Sega and Sonic Team to go back to the drawing board.
Following a seven-minute gameplay video for Sonic Frontiers (via IGN) fans registered their meh-at-best reactions, calling out an empty-feeling open world that doesn’t communicate Sonic’s speed as well as the linear levels of his 3D platforming era. Puzzles were rote and bland, and a supplementary seven-minute combat trailer did little to excite viewers, either.
Polygon commenter AirPower summarized the withering consensus of most Sonic fans over the weekend: “Great to see the guy who made those Mario in Unreal Engine demos getting work.”
Soon came the pleas to pump the brakes. Some were conciliatory:
Sega, from your fans that love this series dearly, please #DelaySonicFrontiers.
We don’t need to play the game this year. Please, focus on making this game the best it can be.
Instead of doing this practice that nearly killed the franchise.
— Collin LW (@CLWenter) June 2, 2022
Others were more direct, and open about their intentions:
Sonic Frontiers looks ass man
If we can bully a Company into fixing a Shitty movie
We can Bully Sega into fixing their shitty ass game #DelaySonicFrontiers
— Dual-Space (@Upop_the_gamer) June 1, 2022
And others made the case that fan pressure to reconsider the “Ugly Sonic” revealed in early 2019 not only saved that movie, it turned it into a rare critical and commercial success for a video game adaption. Sonic the Hedgehog had the best opening weekend of any video game film, got a sequel that premiered back in April, and is due for a third film plus a Knuckles spinoff on Paramount Plus.
Sonic Frontiers, the 30-year-old franchise’s first open-world title, was first revealed with a pre-rendered cinematic trailer during The Game Awards 2021 in December. The game is expected in the holiday quarter of 2022 and will launch on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.