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How Long Do You Think Sonic Will Survive?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Laura, Aug 28, 2023.

  1. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    This is not one of those melodramatic threads where someone shouts Sonic will die in ten years. It's kind of an odd question, but one I thought about last night. How long do you think Sonic will survive as a series before it fades away. How long enduring do you think Sonic's appeal will last?

    Sonic has been around for over thirty years. That's impressive for any form of media and it is quite striking how much long lasting appeal gaming has. It's much greater than music. Most musicians do not have a career relevance of thirty years. It's more similar to films and TV. But even really popular films and TV shows from thirty years ago don't get remakes or sequels.

    Sonic has a lot of lasting appeal because of how much of a cultural icon the series was in the 1990s. The character is also key to gaming and SEGA. So it hasn't suffered the fate of many popular franchises which were killed because they had one entry which sold poorly. But, sorry to be morbid, but in the years 2060-2080, most of the fans who grew up with Sonic will be dead. Sorry to remind you of your mortality! It's of course possible that new fans can keep the torch burning, especially with the success of the movies. But all it takes is for one generation not to find appeal in Sonic and then the series is over.

    So, assuming humanity hasn't destroyed itself by this time, do you think Sonic will be going strong in the years 2100 or 2200? Do you think Sonic will eventually have to undergo significant change and revolution in the years 2060-2080 when it really will need to gather a new fandom. It won't be able to rely on the classic aesthetic and nostalgia at that point!

    I know the answer is we don't know, but I think it's fun to speculate.

    In my own opinion, and I know it's very naive, I think Sonic and other gaming mascots will become something like mythology and enter the public domain. I think it'll be an interesting time in 2100 when loads of different gaming companies will make their own versions of Sonic which will all be very different. In the same way that you get loads of different interpretations of Sherlock Holmes. In many ways it could be the best time to play Sonic. But it all depends if people think there is still lasting appeal in his character and games. I think that while Sonic is very much a game of the 1990s, the idea of using speed in platformers will always be somewhat novel and will give him a unique identity which will be appealing.
  2. Fadaway


    I don't think it will die. I agree it'll eventually end up in public domain and who-knows-what will happen then. I saw an ice cream truck in a parking lot yesterday that sold Sonic-shaped blue ice cream popsicles or something! It lead me into a thought hole about whether or not all this kind of thing (Sonic ice cream products sold on the streets) is officially licensed, etc.
  3. JaxTH


    Pudding Deity Oldbie
    Los Angeles
    Jack shit.
    ...Have you never this? In the 90s they had Sonic X-theme branding.
  4. Fadaway


    I am quite sure and no surprises there. Have I never what? Sort of confused by the question.
  5. JaxTH


    Pudding Deity Oldbie
    Los Angeles
    Jack shit.
  6. charcoal


    Be Cool, Be Wild, and Be Groovy Member
    I think SEGA has just bought themselves at the very least another 10-15 years of life for the franchise with how rejuvenated it's been recently. The movies did really well, Frontiers is the best selling 3D game in the franchise, Superstars is on the way and that game is an easy multi million seller + it's inevitable DLC, we're going to be seeing Sonic for a while.

    After that? Who knows. It all rests on how SEGA handles the franchise. Well managed, I think the series could theoretically go on for a long, long time. How long I have no clue, part of me wants to say he could last into the next century if cards are played right considering characters like Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, and Tom and Jerry are so incredibly recognizable just a bit under a century removed from their debuts. But I think it's hard to predict the longevity of game characters since it's such a young medium. Only time will tell.
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  7. Palas


    Don't lose your temper so quickly. Member
    This is something I actually think about a lot -- not regarding Sonic but any cultural product, especially in our day and age. I agree with you completely that gaming (and other kinds of) mascots will become something like mythology as they enter the public domain, because one of the social functions of stories and characters, and one of the reasons why they are so powerful, is to create common languages. They create shorthands for people to communicate about phenomenons via common metaphors and metonymy.

    So whether Sonic will survive, how and for how long will be determined not by the quality of the official works but by the meaning it ends up establishing for the public at large. As examples of ancient "franchises", so to speak and with a myriad of scare quotes, Grimm's and Andersen's fairy tales, as well as Aesop's fables and many myths we still refer to survive because they describe common situations, characters, archetypes and events we see in the world. They also help shaping them by virtue of describing them.

    So it's not too important that SEGA keeps existing and making Sonic games or media forever. The gaming market can disappear forever, but Sonic will survive as long as or any of its elements is still considered or construed as representative of certain values, dynamics or archetypes and the "easy way" to describe them. This is how we end up with terms like "negative Nancy" enshrined in the language. No one even knows the origin, but we do know what it refers to, so the legacy lives on.

    So the answer is, of course, "who knows". But I personally like to use "Dr. Robotnik" to refer to any plainly evil but also silly individual, usually an industrial tycoon without any foresight regarding environmental matters. And everyone knows what I'm talking about immediately.
  8. LordOfSquad


    bobs over baghdad Member
    Winnipeg, MB
    making cool music no one gives a shit about
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  9. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

    Sonic will survive as long as it makes money
  10. Gestalt


    Sphinx in Chains Member
    Sonic will only get a problem, if people stop craving for traditional entertainment. If, for example, the Switch successor bombs massively and Nintendo quits the industry, then yes, I'd say it's game over. The gap it would leave would be too big.
  11. Considering the likes of Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man are still relevant today despite being over 50 years old, I'm fairly confident Sonic will be around for a long time. Superhero media hasn't really gotten any less popular because there's always new fans being born who discover it.

    Sonic (and other gaming icons like Mario) has basically transcended video games and are publicly known figures; series may not sell as well as other popular franchises, but everyone has at least heard of Sonic's name at least once in their life.

    Even if Video games ultimately fall out of favor over the years, there's still gonna be tons of Sonic media produced; the movies have established that he has an audience that will come and support him.

    Mickey Mouse is gonna be 100 years old in five years and he hasn't fall out of the public consciousness; trust me, Sonic is going to outlive all of us possibly.
  12. DefinitiveDubs


    The Voice Maestro Member
    Cyber City
    Mega Man Zero: The Definitive Dub
    Sonic is a chemical weapon in terms of PR. Even after it goes into the public domain, whoever owns the Sonic trademark is going to ride it all the way to the bank. Sonic games in 2100 may not exist (video games as we know them may not exist, we'll have super advanced AI and super immersive VR) but Sonic as a mascot, in marketing and merchandise, will absolutely still exist. I guarantee it. Sonic is a brand first and a product second.
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  13. Chimes


    NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO Member
    Three words: Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy.
    She's the girl on my icon, but Nancy has been around for ninety years, and in that time she's adapted to the massive morphing landscape around her, from World War II, television, the sixties, Bushmiller passing away, having her artist switch hands several times, the internet, phones, and even COVID. And in that time, she fundamentally hasn't changed much. What made her appealing in 1933 still was present in 1986. What changed was the world around her, and she went along with the ride to much success. ...Okay, there was Gilchrist, but we don't talk about him.

    Sonic is a third's worth from Nancy's longevity, and already he's done the same. Console switching, the internet, new fans, alternative ideas, etc. And his core has also stayed the same. Admittedly Sonic did face a few bumps, but as far as I'm concerned Sonic will be around for a very long time. If Nancy can do it, Sonic can too.
  14. Ritz


    Subhedgehog Member
    The trick is, does the property have enough momentum to survive one generation? Generational appeal is cyclic, culture just flips from craving levity to self-seriousness every 20 years. We're in a silly cycle right now. Even Gex had enough juice to survive just long enough for the ironic-but-not-actually resurgence he's enjoying now. At this point you couldn't erase Sonic from the collective conscience even if you made him illegal.


    Of course he does.

    If I, who was 6 when Sonic 1 launched, could go see the movie in 2020 and hear 6 year olds from that audience get super excited about the Tails cameo at the end of the film, that's already cross generational. I am now able to be 'more' open about my fandom as an adult than I could be as a young teen, and often find it one of the easiest ways to connect with people 10+ years younger than me if the subject comes up.

    That was the moment I knew Sonic had entered the permanent cultural lexicon. The brand will wane and wax, but his appeal is universal and clearly multi-generational. And the classic games (that we still discuss here today 30+ years after the fact), and already finding newer younger audiences, let 'alone' any modern (and post modern?) releases.

    If the Sonic brand survived Sega going 3rd party, Sonic 06, Boom, the many problems of Archie Comics and Penders... it's not going anywhere.

    Sonic's fate as a fixture of global history was decided when he became a Macys Thanksgivings Day Parade Balloon.

    Also, we already know what happens with "dead" gaming franchises. They continue to sell merchandise, get ports and collections, get preserved by gaming historians/archivists, get fan projects, and get demand from online content even in their off years. Revivals can happen literal decades later from something as simple as a cameo in a more popular title increasing character awareness.

    Even forgotten gaming titles and one-offs still get played by people looking for alternate content to more popular IPs. Look at how often we reference Ristar or NiGHTS. Both fairly dead end IPs, yet are still remembered fondly by those who play them and will continue to be as part of SEGA's legacy for many years.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2023
  16. I just got a little sad realizing that Sonic games will release after I die and I won’t be able to play them (assuming there’s no afterlife with a heavenly game room and arcade where I can play Daytona 2 and G-LOC on the R360 for eternity).
  17. Fadaway


    The more you know!
  18. Billy


    RIP Oderus Urungus Member
    Colorado, USA
    Indie games
    I saw a kid dressed as Sonic recently in the grocery store. In the middle of August. Sonic will be around for a long time.
  19. Chimpo


    I Gotta Be Me Member
    Los Angeles, 2029
    Don't Forget! Try Your Best!
    I still see a ton of new bootleg Sonic merch with local steeet vendors. Even saw some crap Blaze and Silver plushies.

    This thing is a multimedia franchise. Sonic doesn't depend on one branch succeeding in order to stay relevant. Toys, Movies, TV shows, Comics, Other Merch can keep the engine going for years to come. Dude doesn't even have to do anything, he can just show up.

  20. ELS


    To the heat death of the universe, it always makes money.