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SEGA wants Sonic to surpass Mario “because we respect Mario”

Back in the early 90s Sonic and Mario competed at a level which we have not seen since, with the Blue Blur managing to amass just as much societal awareness as Nintendo’s mascot Italian plumber. Unfortunately, in the decades since, Sonic’s relevance has fallen to the wayside somewhat – especially compared to the juggernaut that is Mario. According to SEGA, the publisher hopes to one day surpass Mario “because we respect Mario.”

From the publisher’s Japanese recruitment page, SEGA published an interview with Division 2 – the department in charge of Sonic the Hedgehog. Speaking to General Manager Osamu Ohashi, the developer responded to the question “How will you develop Sonic in the future?” in a rather bold and ambitious manner, saying (as translated by ResetEra user ‘Dooble’):

“Simply put, I want to surpass Mario. Sonic is a game that was originally developed to compete with Mario, and it still hasn't achieved that goal. Our goal is to catch up and surpass Mario because we respect Mario.”

Ohashi continued, “I want people to play it all over the world, including Japan, like Mario, and I want the movie to be a bigger hit than Mario. I would like USJ [Universal Studios Japan] to create a ‘Sonic Area’ as well. That's our goal for those of us who love Sonic.”

In the past few years we have seen Sonic the Hedgehog come back in a rather massive way, releasing multiple successful films; a new TV show; original 2D and 3D Sonic games as well as the recently-announced Apple Arcade exclusive Sonic Dream Team.

While it will take a great deal more than that to overtake Super Mario, Sonic does appear to have found his mojo once again – and so now is perhaps the best time for SEGA to attempt such an ambitious goal. Best of luck to them.

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KitGuru says: What do you think of Sonic in 2023? Could he ever regain his 90s era level of fame? What would Sonic need to do to overtake Mario in the long run? Let us know down below.

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