We store cookies, you can get more info from our privacy policy.
DS

Sonic RPG? From BioWare? On DS?

by Jonathan Metts - June 21, 2007, 8:54 am PDT
Total comments: 46 Source: Sega of America

Welcome to the strangest news of the week, or maybe of the year.

SEGA ANNOUNCES BIOWARE WILL CREATE SONIC ROLE PLAYING GAME FOR THE NINTENDO DS

SAN FRANCISCO & LONDON (June 21, 2007) -- SEGA® of America, Inc., SEGA® Europe, Ltd., and Canada-based developer studio BioWare® Corp. today announced a partnership to create a new video game based on the classic SEGA flagship icon Sonic The Hedgehog. The exact name of the game is undetermined, and it will ship in 2008.

"BioWare is one of the hottest names in RPG development in the world," said Simon Jeffery, President and COO, SEGA of America, Inc. "Everyone at SEGA has huge confidence that Sonic is in the safest of hands, and that BioWare can create the ultimate handheld RPG experience for gamers of all ages."

BioWare is the award-winning independent developer that has created some of the world's best-selling titles including the Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights series, the 2003 Game of the Year, Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic and the 2005 RPG of the Year, Jade Empire. BioWare is currently developing one of the most anticipated next-generation titles of 2007, Mass Effect.

"We're thrilled to be working with SEGA on Sonic, one of the industry's most enduring and compelling icons," said Greg Zeschuk, president of BioWare. "As huge fans of Sonic ourselves, we're committed to delivering a truly amazing story-driven experience within the Sonic universe, focusing on capturing the character's broad appeal and placing him in a completely original adventure," added Ray Muzyka, chief executive officer of BioWare.

The relationship with BioWare reinforces SEGA's increased emphasis on Western content development for Western audiences. In the past few years SEGA has announced partnerships with developers Bizarre Creations, Gas Powered Games, Monolith Productions, Obsidian Entertainment, Planet Moon Studios, Pseudo Interactive and Silicon Knights. SEGA has also acquired development studios The Creative Assembly, Secret Level and Sports Interactive.

Talkback

CericJune 21, 2007

This could be really good, Mario RPG, or really really bad, about any other mascots foray into totally different genre.

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorJune 21, 2007

I'd be really interested to know which division of Sega brokered this deal. It seems very close to what Sega of America is hoping to start doing, and if they are the one that started it, it's interesting that Sega Japan allowed them to use Sonic in such a different way.

CalibanJune 21, 2007

Right company, wrong ip, they should have chosen the Skies of Arcadia ip.

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorJune 21, 2007

Nah, Skies needs to stick with a Japanese rpg developer.

BioWare is a great studio, but I just don't see how Sonic can be made into an interesting RPG. Racing battles, maybe? But the story is still a huge problem.

CalibanJune 21, 2007

I agree, but with a name like Bioware behind the Skies of Arcadia brand it would surely make it more popular, and Sonic does not need such success.

Athrun ZalaJune 21, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Caliban
Right company, wrong ip, they should have chosen the Skies of Arcadia ip.
agreed, SoA needs a sequel, like NAO (although it will probably never happen... I've waiting for one almost 7 years...)

CalibanJune 21, 2007

And Bioware could probably revamp the Phantasy Star series while they're at it, might as well.

No idea what to make of this one. On the one hand, hearing the words "BioWare RPG on DS" makes me smile. On the other hand, hearing the words "Sonic RPG" makes me cringe. This is the equivalent of a Far Cry RPG...it just doesn't need to be done, and I wish the entire series would dry up and blow away.

NinGurl69 *hugglesJune 21, 2007

BioWare must be desperate for wurk.

BlackNMild2k1June 21, 2007

Does Sonic have enough of an engaging world and supporting characters to even suggest that an RPG could be possible?
The only Sonic games I've played were on the Genesis so I don't really know much about the Sonic universe or any of the supporting characters other that Tails, Knuckles and Dr. Robotnik, but I've seen the other character from the Sonic Adventure games getting slammed left and right. Makes me think that a Sonic RPG is not the wise decision here.

NinGurl69 *hugglesJune 21, 2007

No.

UltimatePartyBearJune 21, 2007

Good job, Mr. Metts. That headline made me do a triple take. This is one of the least likely things that could have happened.

TrueNerdJune 21, 2007

As long as the game doesn't even think about taking itself seriously, it should be alright. I'll be keeping an eye.

Bill AurionJune 21, 2007

"But the story is still a huge problem."

Do you mean making a story, period, or making a GOOD story? face-icon-small-smile.gif

"...it just doesn't need to be done, and I wish the entire series would dry up and blow away."

Were you paying attention to the gaming crowd when Super Mario RPG was announced? The hardcore Mario fans pretty much acted the same way...Not to say that this game will definitely end up amazing like the Mario RPG/Paper Mario series has, but still, there's the chance...

CericJune 21, 2007

I'm sorry but Sonic barely has enough universe for itself. Hence why Secret Rings is set in a book.

Ian SaneJune 21, 2007

"Were you paying attention to the gaming crowd when Super Mario RPG was announced? The hardcore Mario fans pretty much acted the same way"

I wasn't on the internet at the time so I don't know what was up there but among the people I knew discussion was as follows:

"They're making a Mario RPG and Square is the one doing it! And it will have rendered graphics like Donkey Kong Country!"
"COOL!!!"

I think Mario has worked better at expanding beyond the main series because the world is a little more creative. Sonic's worlds are designed for you to run through at a million miles an hour. Who cares what a Sonic Zone is like as long as it has loops? Mario has a slower pace so you need areas that are a little bit more interesting to stop and look at. Not that Square didn't have to make up a whole bunch of new stuff with Mario RPG. The enemies in Mario are also more interesting since more of the focus is on jumping on them while in Sonic they're annoying distractions that get in the way of running fast.

Personally I think Sonic's world reaks of generic 90s platformers. The level design was good in that the game was much more fun that Bubsy or Aero the Acrobat but the enemies and characters were just there. Sonic's hip, cool attitude also comes across as extremely dated so it's harder to connect with him beyond nostalgia and the fact that his old games are still fun to play. Though Mario may have a more popular cast of baddies just because Super Mario Bros was so huge so everyone knows who Bowser and the Koopas are.

pyrokamileonJune 21, 2007

sonic rpg... on ds... imitating Joe Swanson from Family Guy: "Bring it aawwnn!!!"

Quote

Originally posted by: Ceric
This...really ...really really bad...


fixed.

Has a Sonic game ever not had an insipid story?
Good characters?
Pleasing voice work?

No
HELL NO
JESUS CHRIST NO!

No, the source material is all wrong for an RPG.

SixthAngelJune 21, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Crimm
Quote

Originally posted by: Ceric
This...really ...really really bad...


fixed.

Has a Sonic game ever not had an insipid story?
Good characters?
Pleasing voice work?

No
HELL NO
JESUS CHRIST NO!

No, the source material is all wrong for an RPG.


You act like Mario games had a good story or pleasing voice work before the rpg. Mario stories were all just saving the princess. Square changed it and added what they wanted to make it work.

The Sonic world has plenty to work with for an rpg. It has quite a few main characters and you act like they can't invent new characters or enemies. Mario RPG brought in an entirely new villain and one of the first characters you got on your team was a totally new guy named Mallow. You all are showing how you never really liked Sonic/Sega or played the games. Especially when Bioware is behind it (I would be with you if it was the current Sonic team) you have to have some faith, Bioware has a great record.

ArbokJune 21, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: SixthAngel
You act like Mario games had a good story or pleasing voice work before the rpg.


Mario games had no voice work at all when Super Mario RPG came out... unless you are talking about Hotel Mario.

Bill AurionJune 21, 2007

"I'm sorry but Sonic barely has enough universe for itself. Hence why Secret Rings is set in a book."
"I think Mario has worked better at expanding beyond the main series because the world is a little more creative."

Bollocks! The stages in the Genesis games were almost as unique and colorful as any Mario stage...It all narrows down to SEGA'S TALENT, which they no longer have...

steveyJune 21, 2007

Finnaly a new Sonic game that might be really really good! Sega not ruining it and there (probably/hopefuly) wont be any voice oversface-icon-small-smile.gif

MarioJune 21, 2007

WOW, now there are people saying there aren't ENOUGH crappy Sonic side characters? If this game wasn't by such a "serious" dev, i'd be interested. So far its a recipe for generic angst.

Sir_StabbalotJune 21, 2007

I've been really impressed with Bioware's work. But I agree with the other's concerns that there is just not enough backstory for an RPG.

Unless they go with the comic books and cartoons. In which case I'm not touching this game with a 38 and 1/2 foot pole.

steveyJune 21, 2007

There doesn't need to be a big Final Fansty backstory for a sonic RPG. Keep it simply,

Sonic get attacked by Dr. Robotnik,
Evil robots take over place
Sonic teams up Tails and Knuckles
Sonic goes out and save animals under attack
Dr. Robotnik kills Amy FF7 style
Sonic kill Dr. Robotnik
Game Over

All the enemies are robots and big eyed forest animals for characters. It not like they're making a Tertis RPG....

Sonic the KhushrenadaJune 21, 2007

Everyone's been talking about the source material geing from the games but I think if Bioware was to use the comic books it might be better. Although Stabby is the first to mention it and seems to hate that idea, I think the comics would be better to use. It's a completely different world from the games and more fleshed out with better characters. A lot of the characters in the comics have never appeared in the games.




On an extra note of interest, Bioware's HQ is here in Edmonton where I live. If I get the staff job, maybe I can get an interview or two on the game. Just one of those peculiar coincidences I like to point out every once in a while.

that Baby guyJune 21, 2007

What's that quote again? "Remember, whatever the deal is, never trust Kushrenada." I think that's it.

For the record, if Artificial Studios ever makes something for the Wii or DS or any Nintendo system, I could probably manage an interview with them for NWR. It'd be freelance work, or something.

Khush, I bet if things don't work out with this staff job thing, you could do the same. Of course, that's if things don't work out, and we won't know that one until people tell us that one.

TMWJune 21, 2007

Screw the comic books.

(Herein I reveal my secret inner fanboy)

While the comics do have a huge (too huge) storyline and large cast of characters, if they stuck with the somewhat simpler and very similar old saturday morning cartoon show, they could make a helluvan RPG.

And, since Sega of America was largely responsible for both the comic and the entirely american produced cartoon series (it has nothing to do with the newer, more crappy anime series based on Sonic.)

And considering they somehow sorted out the licensing issues and released the old cartoon on DVD, I don't see a reason why this couldn't work, legally.

If anyone is curious and has no idea what the old cartoon is like, just google satAM, that way you get the more serious, mature version of the two Sonic cartoons that were produced in the early 90's.

+ DS means the game probably will not have lots of terrible voice acting (just short crappy clips)
+ New, quality developer is welcome (though Dimps has done a bang-up job overall on the portable front, too)
+ RPG and DS means Sonic will most likely avoid sloppy controls this time
- I don't like western RPGs
- Western development teams have a poor dev record with the franchise IMO (Sonic Team in San Francisco, Traveler's Tales...)
- A story-driven Sonic game with "Eggman" as the villain would make me sad

Looks like the pluses are stronger than the minuses, so I'll keep an eye on this one.

Athrun ZalaJune 21, 2007

I'm sorry but Mario barely has enough universe for itself. Hence why Mario 64 is set inside paintings.

I don't care. The geek factor is through the roof even if the constellations aren't all in alignment.

NephilimJune 21, 2007

The games they make are slow pc rpg's, how is it going to fit sonic?

KDR_11kJune 21, 2007

Bioware is good and they could save it but I expect this to introduce another batch of characters noone wants that Sega will keep including in the games for no reason.

18 DaysJune 21, 2007

LOL

There were few environments taken from mario for mario rpg, and a ton of non-mario characters but they were creative and made it work. I'd like to think it has a chance but if sega is involved...

blackfootstepsJune 22, 2007

Sega should have given them Shenmue instead.

Quote

Originally posted by: blackfootsteps
Sega should have given them Shenmue instead.


ZOMG YES!

ReverendNoahWhateleyJune 22, 2007

In similar news, Mozart's back from the dead, and his first new project will be collaborating with Billy Ray Cyrus on an Achy Breaky Remix album!

The idea of the guys behind Neverwinter Nights and Jade Empire working on a Sonic RPG makes me kinda feel sorry for them. I'll just bet there's a scene that features Amy Rose being whisked away by a large winged monster while Sonic reaches out and screams "AMY!!!" Honestly, if Bioware can make this a little less pompous than almost every other Sonic offering has been for the last decade or so, it might actually not be so bad.

Even if it's not, though, my hopes of this being a DS sequel to Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale have just been shattered.

S-U-P-E-RTy Shughart, Staff AlumnusJune 22, 2007

I have it on a good source that they are basing the story on this.

Smoke39June 22, 2007

That's like the awesomest thing ever.

RequiemJune 22, 2007

That was actually...ahem......very impressive!

IceColdJune 23, 2007

Man, if every trace of the word "Sonic" was removed from this news, it would be amazing news.. Think about it - the chain keeps getting better until we hit Sonic:

- Bioware supporting the DS
- Bioware supporting the DS with an RPG
- SEGA collaborating with Bioware supporting the DS with an RPG
- SEGA collaborating with Bioware supporting the DS with an RPG, possibly with a critically acclaimed RPG franchise from either company (Phantasy Star, Shining Force, Skies, a Bioware franchise etc) OR even better, a new IP

And out of all the franchises that they have, they chose.. Sonic?!

Quote

Originally posted by: S-U-P-E-R
I have it on a good source that they are basing the story on this.


omg. OMG! SO NOT SAFE FOR WORK BUT OMG!!! AWESOME! awesomeAWESOME!

LuigiHannJune 23, 2007

Yeah, you guys have to remember, Super Mario RPG was kind of:
A) A fluke. Not very likely to happen in the first place, and also fairly hard to replicate.
B) Preceded by Mario's other successful forays into other genres.

So this game is unlikely to be good because: A) It's very unlikely that any such genre-swapping game will be good, and B) Sonic has been particularly unsuccessful at transitioning out of the platform genre.

But hey, stranger things have happened.

I also agree that just about any other Sega franchise would be a better choice. Or that Ultimate Fan Fiction. That'd be a good story for an RPG.

Thank you for once again scarring me for life, Ty.

Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement