Wednesday (Jun 23) marks the 30th anniversary of Sega’s speedy blue lovable rodent Sonic The Hedgehog.
It’s been three full decades since Sega unleashed Sonic, its answer to Nintendo’s super-popular mushroom-consuming plumber Mario. The first Sonic The Hedgehog game was released in North America on June 23, 1991, and it immediately became a hit with gamers.
For those who are old enough to remember, Sonic’s arrival helped Sega move over 15 million Sega Genesis units, giving them bragging rights in the so-called “console wars.” Sega wasted no time in seizing the moment and capitalizing on Sonic’s popularity slapping on him on all kinds of merchandise, including lunch boxes, cereal boxes, school supplies, toys, and more.
Sonic’s popularity would only grow years later following his introduction, thanks to the arrival of Sonic The Hedgehog 2, cementing his status as a pop culture icon and one of the greatest video game characters ever. Sega would go on to feature the speedster in over 60 games, multiple cartoons, and a successful feature-length which saw the film the studio being cyber-bullied into making Sonic look more presentable on the big screen.
Sonic is still thriving today, finding life on the Sony PlayStation, Xbox, and even the Nintendo Switch since Sega is no longer in the console-making business. He has even ended his “beef” with Mario and has starred in games alongside Nintendo’s mascot. As for his future, it was revealed during the Sonic Central virtual presentation that a new Sonic game being developed by Team Sonic arriving in 2022. In a recent interview, Takashi Iizuka, the head of the Sonic Team and the vice president of product development for the franchise, hopes the game will build a new foundation for Sonic games.
“Sonic Adventure laid the foundation for 20 years of Sonic titles after its release,” said Iizuka. “So in the same way, I really hope that this new title releasing in 2022 lays the foundation for the following future Sonic titles – that is the idea behind the challenge for the team.”
Sonic The Hedgehog will forever hold a special place in gamer’s hearts, young and old. That s definitely made clear based on the reactions in the gallery below.
Photo: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / Getty
No lies detected.
Even the villain needs some love.
A defining moment in a lot of childhoods.
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