SEGA News Bits: SEGA to Shut Down Sonic Runners

Sonic Runners has traversed a rocky road, after personally disappointing us in 2015 and ending up a financial failure in SEGA’s eyes. Now, SEGA Networks has confirmed that the game will be shutting down in late July. In this SEGA News Bits, Barry and George break down what they think caused Sonic Runners to be killed, if we can expect to ever play the game after its servers shut down and what lessons SEGA could learn from the game’s failures. It’s not all negative, as we also talk about what we liked about the game and give it a fitting eulogy.

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Mobile game Sonic Runners to shut down on July 27th

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Sayonara, Sonic Runners. According to the Sonic Runners official site, the mobile experience from SEGA’s Sonic Team is coming to an end on July 27th, 2016. Released in late February last year, Sonic Runners made waves as being the first smart phone Sonic game to carry the Sonic Team label and seemingly be developed by members of Sonic Team themselves. Unfortunately, one year later it was revealed that SEGA Japan deemed the game a failure. While it was raking in over 30 million yen per month, it wasn’t enough to keep it afloat as SEGA has announced the game’s service will close on the aforementioned date of July 27th.

After this date, the game will no longer be playable at all as it relies on a mobile connection to the game’s servers to operate. There has been no word of an offline version being available. After the break, check out the full announcement.

SEGA News Bits: SEGA Considers Sonic Runners a failure – reaction and analysis

SEGA’s mobile gaming division, SEGA Networks, recently released a report looking back on their success and failures and surprisingly Sonic Runners has been deemed a failure! The main reason is, of course, money. SEGA says over 30 million yen a month is simply not enough to be a success. In this SEGA News Bits, Barry and George discuss why the game likely did not catch on with consumers and suggest what SEGA could do to fix the game. Or, it may just be too little too late.

So click play and hear our thoughts, and if you want more Sonic Runners analysis make sure to watch our Most Disappointing SEGA Games of 2015 video. If you like what you saw don’t forget to like, share and subscribe. Thanks for the support. In the comments, share your thoughts on the game’s failure and what could be done to improve things.

SEGA considers Sonic Runners a failure

SonicRunnersFailureSEGA Networks has now put up a list on how their mobile games are doing including which ones have became big hits and which games are considered failures. Sonic Runners is down at the bottom, now considered a failure by the publisher.

According to SEGA, the game has been making less than 30 million yen (about $260k USD) per month while brand new IPs like Masayoshi Kikuchi‘s (Jet Set Radio creatorSen No Kaizoku  (War Pirates: Heroes of the Sea) has become a big hit. All signs point to Sonic Runners being a big flop, and with negative fan feedback it might be too late to get consumers interested again even if SEGA changes the game.

Check out the breakdown on all the games after the break.

[Source: SEGA-Sammy]

SEGA News Bits: Most Disappointing SEGA Games of 2015

Not all games can be winners, we know that. But even though this year was light on SEGA releases, none of the games released were terrible. Now the SEGAbits staff sits and nitpicks what title was the most disappointing for them this year. Trust us, it was harder to pick a disappointing game then it was to pick a favorite!

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Sonic Runners to get Phantasy Star Online 2 companions later this month

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According to the latest Phantasy Star Online 2 press event, the team has revealed that they are crossing over to Sonic Runners via unlockable companions later this month. The update will allow you to unlock either aa Rappy , Mag or Quna. You can see the unlockable models in the picture above.

Of course since Sonic Runners is still in soft launch, both Sonic Runners and Phantasy Star Online 2 haven’t been released in America yet. While we know that Sonic Runners will eventually come to America, will they still include Phantasy Star Online 2 items, when it hasn’t been released here?

Announcement: SEGAbits presents Sonic & SEGA Fan Jam 2015 website launch and donations

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Last November, we at SEGAbits hosted our very own gathering for all SEGA fans & gamers. The event was named Sonic & SEGA Fan Jam 2014, and was made possible with the awesome help of The Guild Hall of Savannah which provided us the venue space. As the person who spearheaded the event, it was a great experience to host a convention which celebrated SEGA’s video games ranging from classic to current releases. Attendees had a variety of games to play, SEGA fan films from talented filmmakers and animators to watch, and special guest appearances of talented Archie Comics Sonic The Hedgehog artist Tracy Yardley and Matt M. the host of Sonic The Hedgehog YouTube channel Tails Channel!

This year, we are happy to announce the launch of the Sonic & SEGA Fan Jam 2015 website, announcing the event coming this Fall. Like any sequel, we aim to make it bigger for everyone in the southern east coast area with more games, activities, and special guests from the SEGA community. In addition to the official site, we’ve worked on developing a Facebook page for the event to keep you guys up to date on news and special guest appearances. In the coming months, we will announce special guests, ticket prices, and many more details. Want to show your support by helping us with donations for the event? Be sure to click the jump for more details.

Sonic Talk #31: “We’re gonna need a bigger podcast”

We got a fairly large podcast going on this week with lots to discuss. Starting off with our special guest, Elizabeth Silvas who tells us a very touching tale of her near death experience and how Sonic saved her during a troubling time in her life. Next, we discuss the brand new mobile game from Sonic Team “Sonic Runners”. It looks like only I got my hands on this game, but I give my full impressions. Also, I go into the new slightly playable build of Sonic X-Treme and we find out what other Sega and Capcom properties will be involved in the new, “World’s Unite” crossover event. Last, but not least, we delve into some Sonic Boom discussion and talk about the last few episodes.

[MP3] [iTunes] [Stitcher] [SoundCloud]

The Chaotix are playable in Sonic Runners today

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For a limited time only, the Chaotix are available to play in Sonic Runners starting today. The Chaotix campaign will last from 3/5 to 3/15 They increase ring bonuses by 75%. Vector is a power type, Espio is the speed type and Charmy of course, is the flight type.

Only thing is, I haven’t figured out how to play as them. I finished my latest mission as Sonic and Tails, but the Chaotix don’t seem to be available anywhere (although, since it’s not technically 6 AM in the U.S. as of this posting, thy just might not be available yet). There’s still no set release date for the U.S. version yet, but we will inform you the moment it’s known so stay tuned!

Sonic Runners assets uncovered, reveals new characters and upcoming events

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Sonic Retro forum member woun has been uncovering a plethora of data contained in the recently soft launched Sonic Runners. The new assets reveal upcoming characters and events that will take place in future episodes of the game. While several characters were shown off in the game’s latest trailer, new surprises include Metal Sonic and Big the Cat! Sorry, had to include an exclamation point, because c’mon… it’s Big the Cat!

Also revealed are upcoming events featuring characters and locations from Sonic and the Secret Rings, Shadow and Omega with creepy glowing purple eyes, and what appears to be Metal Espio and Metal Eggman. You can see woun’s findings as they come over at the Sonic Retro forums, and we have select images after the break.

Sonic Runners is out now on Google Play and iTunes

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If you are excited about the new Sonic Team developed Sonic game, Sonic Runners then the wait is over (maybe). The game is officially out on the Google Play for Android, but sadly many people (myself included) have been plagued with the ‘This app is incompatible with all of your devices.‘ message. Meaning you can’t download it at this exact moment. Many people have been saying the app won’t be officially up until February 26th (time zone differences from Japan). As for the Apple version, that has only appeared in the Japanese iTunes, which you can see below.

Android | iTunes

Android APK

If I get my hands on the APK file, then I will post it here later. If you get the game downloaded, tell us what you think in the comment section. Will keep you updated when its officially up to download in the US.

[Update] The game as of right now is out in the Canadian iTunes and in Japanese online stores. SEGA America and Europe have issued the following statement:

Sonic Runners is a new mobile game developed by the Sonic Team in Japan. We are soft-launching it in select countries to see how the game does and to work out any bugs.  No decision has been made yet whether it will be released in the US or Europe. It will depend on our observations during the soft-launch phase which could take several months.  

To learn how to download and install a APK on Android, please read this. Here is a work around for non-Canadian iPhone/iPad users to get Sonic Runners.

SEGA Networks releases Sonic Runners gameplay trailer

SEGA Networks has recently released a gameplay trailer of Sonic Runners for smartphone devices. The gameplay showcases Sonic the Hedgehog and friends blasting through various levels in classic 2D format similar to the Genesis and Advance/Rush games with slight changes to their designs (retaining their original Dreamcast/Modern look but with shorter sizes) collecting rings, Red Rings, and what appears to be small colored diamonds.

The video also shows more characters to be unlocked, Sonic Record, a leveling up system, story mode and having companions during gameplay.

The graphics in this game looks pretty great and colorful. The gameplay in my opinion reminds me of a combination of the classic Sonic titles with the Rush feel to it. Sonic Runners will be running towards Japan on iOS and Android smartphone devices this Spring. What are thoughts on the gameplay? Feel free to leave comments in our comments section.

The official site has also updated with character descriptions and some screenshots, check it out!

SEGA releases the first Sonic Runners teaser trailer, gameplay details and more

Sonic Runners is going to be Sonic Team’s big Sonic the Hedgehog mobile developed game and SEGA has finally released the first teaser trailer. You can watch it above. The trailer basically goes through the history of Sonic Team developed Sonic games and starts off with a counter, counting down the years to 2015…

Something to note: The trailer only shows off the retro series and Sonic the Hedgehog 4 (if you count that as part of the retro series). Could this game be more influenced by older retro style Sonic games instead of the recent games?

SEGA also launched a site for the game which revealed that the game will be released in 2015 in Japan for free with premium items available. The game will be available for iPhone 4S and above, iPad 2 or later running iOS 7.0 or above. If you are on Android, you will have to be running OS 2.3 or later (Which means almost any Android phone released can play it.)

The site features an image of Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles running through Sonic Lost World‘s Windy Hill with Chao and the Mother Wisp from Sonic Colors DS floating above. Could the classic clips and Sonic 4 indicate that Sonic Team sees Sonic Runners as a successor to the originals, or hint toward a gameplay style? What’s with the Chao and Wisps?

UPDATE: An interview between Iizuka and Famitsu lists a end of February release for the game in Japan. From what we can understand from the interview, characters will run forward on their own and Eggman will make appearances during stages which there appears to be 50 of at first (if we are reading the translation correctly). Tails and Knuckles are also playable, but Sonic is the only character initially available. Famitsu also went hands-on with the game, mentioning a cutscene featuring Sonic, Tails, and Eggman. Jumping appears to vary based on where you tap on the screen, possibly indicating that you tap on enemies to homing attack. The Eggman boss battle appears to have Sonic throwing or knocking back Eggman’s projectiles to defeat him.

What are your thoughts?

“Sonic Runners” officially announced, smartphone game due in 2015

Takashi Iizuka has officially announced Sonic Runners, the rumoured game we previously reported on, during a Sonic event as Tokyo Joypolis.

The game is set to come to smartphones, with 2015 being mentioned as a release window, and is being developed by Sonic Team once again. That being said, very little is currently known about the game; more details are apparently set to be released in January. Whether Sonic Team have anything else in the works for next year is currently a mystery, but to be perfectly honest, I would like to think they’ve spent the past year or so since Lost World’s release doing more than a smartphone game, and one that it’s currently tentative in just about every way. It can at least be assumed “smartphones” refers to both Android and iOS versions of the game being on the way.

Once more details come out we’ll report on them, so stay tuned for Sonic Runners news!

Rumor: Sonic Runners is an upcoming mobile game from SEGA Networks

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The Sonic fan community has been abuzz over the rumor that the next Sonic game will be titled Sonic Runners. The rumor began when a member of a message board shared inside info on Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric months before release. While at the time the person’s claims couldn’t be verified, following Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric‘s release, several of the bits of info lined up with what was in the final game. Most notably, information about Metal Sonic and Shadow which detailed not only their addition before SEGA revealed them, but also where and when they appear in the game. The tipster also revealed in-game dialogue, NPC information, and design details – again, all which lined up with the final product. In addition to Sonic Boom leaks, the person also let leak that a working title for an upcoming game titled “Sonic Runners” appeared on a whiteboard.

Today, the rumor has been strengthened by Sonic Stadium discovering that SEGA, specifically SEGA Networks Corporation, has registered and owns the SonicRunners.com domain. SEGA Networks is SEGA of Japan’s developer of high-end games for smartphones and tablets – lead by Haruki Satomi and based in Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward. The company began with 211 employees and have since released Demon Tribe, Kingdom Conquest II, Go Dance, Rhythm Thief & the Paris Caper, and Super Monkey Ball Bounce. This leads us to believe that Sonic Runners will likely be a Japanese developed title for iOS and Android devices.

As usual, this is a rumor, so take it as a grain of salt until SEGA officially announces something.