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CELEBRATING SONIC THE HEDGEHOG’S 1992


The Sonic story moves on one year, but also a million miles. In the second of a series of retrospectives charting the rise of a pop culture icon MCV revisits the year that gave us Sonic 2sday and a whole lot more…


NOW THAT video games are so established in the mainstream, the impact of Sonic 2sday is hard to convey or contextualise. This was the UK console industry’s first great leap forward and, along with the launch of PlayStation three years later, it was absolutely key to transforming the commercial potential and


MEDIA


Gamesmasterappears on our TV screens for the first time – and Future launches a tie-in mag.


Europress closes down its weekly consumer title,Games X.


ITV launches Bad Influence, a video games show hosted by Violet Berlin and Andy Crane. And yes, this seemed strange even at the time.


EMAP launches the Official Nintendo Magazine. Dennis closes Zero magazine.


3 28


The number of animated series based on Sonic The Hedgehog


PEOPLE


Games industry marketing legend Sean Brennan moves from Mirrosoft to Virgin Games.


Commodore’s long-serving UK boss Steve Franklin quits the firm and is replaced by Kelly Sumner.


Dean Barrett quits Ocean to set up his own PR and marketing firm, Bastion.


July 8th 2011


cultural significance of video games.


The big day itself was November 24th. It was a global launch date – almost unheard of at a time when UK consumers could wait as long as a year for a Nintendo platform to hit these shores.


It was also the first ‘event’ release. It dominated the


industry as effectively as it dominated the charts. Sega’s marketing team, lead by Philip Ley and Simon Morris, hit their stride – and then evolved it into a swagger.


In MD Nick Alexander’s office was a big piece of pop art that just said HYPE. 1992 was the year we believed it all.


SONIC 2 I REMEMBER IT WELL


IN 1992, when Sonic The Hedgehog 2 was released, the computer games business was a new phenomenon for me. I was working as sales and operations director for Sony Pictures


Entertainment in the Benelux and we had just acquired the distribution rights for Sega in the Netherlands.


Sonic 2was released on November 24th. It was a Tuesday. It was Christened, inevitably, Sonic 2sday.


The game marked the debut of Tails the Fox as a new, playable character.


It has now sold well in excess of six million copies around the world.


The critical reception was universally ecstatic. Mean Machines Sega gave it 96 per cent, while MEGAgave it 94 per cent.


Sonic 2is currently available on PSN, XBLA.


The rental video market was buoyant and video sell-through was just starting, but selling Sega hardware and software was a completely different ball game. Nintendo was controlling the market which meant that as a newcomer we were paying too much money to get distribution but the word ‘price-protection’ was also new to us. We learned the hard way – and it was lucky that Sony Pictures was making a lot of money, because Sega in the first year surely didn’t. However, despite the price we had to pay as a newcomer, we also loved this fresh new business. All of a sudden we were going to the CES in Las Vegas in January and Chicago in June to see new games. It was exciting for me to be part of a technology driven business, and after a tough start it was gratifying to see Sega become a strong brand in the Netherlands making Sonic a real competitor to Mario.


Jurgen Post


Then: Sales and operations director, Sony Pictures Entertainment


Now: Senior vice president EMEA sales, Sega www.mcvuk.com


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