Published on May 22nd, 2013 | by APant10
Does Sega’s Partnership with Nintendo Matter?
Oh Sega, I used to love you. We all did. I have very fond memories of trying to muscle my way through Wanted! or Captain Silver on my aunt’s Master System. All my friends fell in love with Sonic and his ilk back in grade school, but by high school, we took jabs at the “Sonic Cycle.”
The formula is simple: Sega announces a Sonic game that’s going to be different from the last one, everyone gets excited. More details come up, making it clear they have no idea why anyone loves Sonic. Game comes out, everyone’s fears are confirmed. Sega announces another one promising the same thing. The Circle of Life right there.
Even friends of mine that aren’t huge fanboys are getting really excited about Sega’s latest announcement, though. They’ve said they are partnering with Nintendo to publish three exclusive Sonic games for the Wii U and 3DS. Personally, I don’t see why this is big news. It doesn’t surprise me that there are new Sonic games, I think that’s a given, and there wasn’t enough info to get excited about. This kind of announcement really signals a desperate move on Sega’s part.
Around this time last year, the company was hit with layoffs and “restructuring” across the board. Even with their acquisition of Relic after the fall of THQ, their release schedule is looking slim. They have Company of Heroes II (from Relic), a handful of games in the Total War series, and the critically and commercially disappointing Aliens: Colonial Marines.
Exclusivity deals like this are usually like this aren’t just limited to Nintendo’s role in publishing the games. They’ll work on giving it prominent placement in their markets, advertising, and other help. On the other hand, sometimes a console maker will beg a company for exclusive games to help sell systems. I think it’s a bit early to say that people will run out and buy a Wii U for any of these games, I mean, we hardly know anything about them at all.
Sega is in a really unique position: they’re the biggest game company switch from making consoles to making games only (and still be alive and kicking). I don’t think they’re going south anytime soon, but It could happen if they keep releasing games that just don’t resonate with gamers. Moral of the story: just go play Sonic the Hedgehog 2, you can’t not enjoy it.