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Sega Exec Admits Sonic Criticism 'Is Probably Warranted'

Sega of America vice president of marketing Sean Ratcliffe admits that criticism of recent Sonic the Hedgehog games "is probably warranted" -- it's been "a challenge," he says to ensure quality, particularly at the beginning of the current generation.
Criticism of recent Sonic the Hedgehog games "is probably warranted”, admits Sega of America vice president of marketing Sean Ratcliffe in a new interview with website GameDaily. Although the classic Genesis/Mega Drive games are still fondly remembered by fans, many current titles like 2005’s Shadow the Hedgehog and 2006’s Sonic the Hedgehog have been criticized in the press and by fans alike. "We definitely recognize that a franchise that has been going as long as Sonic, you really have to put a huge amount of effort in to make sure that you maintain that quality, and arguably a disproportionate amount of effort," said Ratcliffe. “However, I would say we recognize it, which is why you're seeing us this year taking the first steps in making sure the quality is right, and we're constantly looking at innovation. We can't just stand still with Sonic; we've got to be looking at different ways to develop the character, different genres, and so on,” he added. After praising the quality of the forthcoming internally developed Sonic Unleashed and BioWare's Sonic Chronicles for the Nintendo DS, Ratcliffe admitted: “Your point is a fair one, and it's a challenge to Sega to make sure we're pushing and making sure the quality is there with Sonic." "Do we get concerned about it?" he asked. "Yes, of course we're always concerned about how we're developing that franchise. And a lot of time and effort is spent discussing how we develop Sonic.”

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