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The "Project Sonic" label.

Project Sonic (プロジェクトソニック Purojekuto Sonikku?) was a label given to a set of games in the Sonic the Hedgehog series by Sega in the late 1990s.

Development

The purpose of the company project that would become known as Project Sonic was to increase the awareness of the Sonic the Hedgehog series among the people of Japan.[1] Despite the commercial successes of the Sonic the Hedgehog series' first couple of main titles in Western territories, the series was given less attention in Japan. Sega's then 32-bit console, the Sega Saturn, proved to be popular in Japan, but suffered in America and Europe due to a poor launch. As such, Project Sonic was established to increase the number of Sonic titles on this system.[citation needed]

History and launch

Project Sonic was first announced at the Tokyo Game Show 1997 Spring.[citation needed] Alongside this announcement, the first title in the Project Sonic line was presented as well: Sonic Jam. For "phase 1" of the project, Sonic Jam was designed to act as a second introduction to the Sonic franchise by containing Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and Sonic & Knuckles, and documentation on the the Sonic characters and their history. "Phase 2", which was prepared by "phase 1", later served as the introduction to Sonic R, which debuted in late 1997.[citation needed] This was seemingly followed by "phase 3", which involved the the Japanese Saturn release of Sonic 3D Blast.[citation needed]

Following "phase 3", no more Sonic titles involved in Project Sonic were released. However, Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, which was released in late 1999, would reused the artwork of the Project Sonic label on title cards for each Zone.

Logo for Project Sonic '22.

Over twenty years later, the Project Sonic label was re-introduced as Project Sonic '22 on 21 January 2022 in promotion for Sonic the Hedgehog titles and merchandise of that year, including Sonic Frontiers and the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 film.[2][3] Currently, only the logo and wallpapers have been shown.[4]

Trivia

  • There have been games or media in the franchise that hold similar pre-production titles. Sonic Forces was first mentioned at the Tokyo Joypolis under the title "Project Sonic 2017".[5] Similarly, Sonic X was originally known as "SONIC Project" during its production.

References

  1. (July 1997). Saturn Power. "Saturn Power: What can you tell us about Project Sonic? / Yuji Naka/Naoto Oshima: Initially this project started as a company project. One of the games which the Sonic Team did was Jam. This game's been written for people who've never played a Sonic game before. When we made NiGHTS we received a lot of letters asking us what the Sonic Team was and who Sonic was. That's why we started this project; we wanted to introduce those people to Sonic.
  2. ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ【公式】 on Twitter (Japanese). Twitter (21 January 2022). Retrieved on 22 January 2022.
  3. Carter, Chris (21 January 2022). The new Project Sonic 2022 logo promises big things this year. Destructoid. Archived from the original on 22 January 2022. Retrieved on 21 January 2022.
  4. 「Project Sonic '22」プロジェクト始動! (Japanese). Sega.jp (21 January 2022). Archived from the original on 21 January 2022. Retrieved on 22 January 2022.
  5. Iizuka Confirms Sonic 25th San Diego Party Livestream + “New Sonic Project” Info, & Fire & Ice/M&S Being Only 2016 Titles. TSSZ News (23 July 2016). Archived from the original on 26 June 2016. Retrieved on 22 January 2022.
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