Ken Pontac and Warren Graff are implied to be no longer writing for the series.

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Sonic5993, Jan 29, 2021.

  1. Guess we're not done with the news this week.

    The writing for this series has been one of my least biggest concerns, but I'm also aware it's been one of the most vocalized criticisms since they first came on in 2010, so this seems like Sega are full in control mode now and removing the parts people found controversial. First Roger being sacked from his role as Sonic, and now this.

    Personally, I was never really fond of their writing and thought it was way too juvenile and lacked much substance, but that doesn't really excuse the amount venom and toxicity the fandom through at them and I wish them the best in their future projects.

    As for what this means for the series as a whole? Well...this is pretty much the biggest indication of a new paradigm shift in the works. What exactly we are shifting to remains to be seen however, but yea...change is coming.
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  2. Beamer the Meep

    Beamer the Meep

    Better than Sonic Genesis... Member
    While wishing for Shiro Maekawa to come back might be a pipedream, I am glad to see there might be some change in the writing of the series. I'll admit, I wasn't a fan of the writing duo either, but I can respect their attempts to bring levity to the franchise.

    It should be noted that this doesn't necessarily mean the next game will be without the influence of Roger, Pontaff, or Graff though. It's possible (I'm hopeful) the next game has been worked on for a while and all this news makes it seem like this shakeup happened recently.
  3. MykonosFan


    MODE CHANGE. Moderator
    Did anyone outside of a very loud vocal minority dislike Roger enough for it to be "controversial"? I feel like just about everyone was fine with him.
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  4. I thought so too, but Sega still saw fit to distance themselves from the problems perceived by said vocal minority, so obviously they felt there was a problem.

    It would mirror the vocal group of people who disliked Jason Griffith back in the late 2000's that ironically led to Roger taking the role in the first place.
  5. Jay T.

    Jay T.

    It takes an idiot to do cool things... Member
    Pretty much how I feel. I really liked Colors' writing and some lines are way too memorable. Lost World and Forces unfortunately weren't that great. I kind of get what they were doing in Lost World with trying to make Sonic seem like a pretty flawed character and his relationship with Tails does have bumps here and there, but it just didn't work that well. I don't think they're bad writers in general, just maybe not the best fit for Sonic, especially when it's more serious. If they are indeed gone, least they gave us some good stuff like the Eggman announcements, no copyright in the universe, etc. Though it is concerning on which direction Sonic will take if we get a new writer(s). We'll just have to wait and see.
  6. Azookara


    yup Member
    I see them removing people from this past era of Sonic not really as being for better or worse as much as it is possibly symbolic of what could be on their minds right now. After all, neither RCS nor Pontaff really had as much of an imprint as people think they do, whether or not you liked their performances.

    And I can easily imagine them removing what staff was specialized for a light comedy-centric era in order to take it in a new direction, which is probably the most you could really take from the combined news. If it goes that way, that is.

    Just an educated guess. It's been a solid 10+ years since the last shake-up (and God do I think they need one), so I've got a feeling.
  7. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

    size of a tangerine Member
    If this is true, thank goodness. Hopefully the next writer doesn't treat Tails like a one-note computer geek caricature.
  8. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

    I think Pontac and Graff were awful for the series. Nothing against the guys themselves, but they weren't a good match at all and they openly talked about how little the knew of the series before coming on board. Heck, they didn't even seem to know much after 10 years. Whoever replaces them can't be much worse, but could be much better.

    What I'm more bothered about is what SEGA is doing. Mishandling this franchise is their speciality.
  9. Zephyr


    New Decade, New Sonic? Adventure basically shook up the status quo and set it for the 00's, and Colors shook that up for the 10's.

    Maybe it's finally time for True Sonic Spirit in the 20's :V

    As an aside, were they writing the story for the Japanese scripts as well, this past decade?
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2021
  10. This is especially important to think about. Forces's development ended sometime in 2017 I'd guess, so that gives a good 3 years for these guys to do what work they need to on another game. However, it was stated that Sega's giving this next game (and other ones going forward no less) more time for development than before.

    Enough time to redo the writing and voice acting...?
  11. Well its not like they've confirmed they have a game to release this year. It's entirely possible that the next game will be in 2022, probably to coincide with the Netflix series.
  12. muteKi


    Fuck it Member
    Lost World mostly tried to be funny but I don't think it did a great job. The personalities of the six were pretty thin so their voiceovers during levels tended to be more irritating than amusing.

    Forces I actually liked, though, and I think the humor in that one is understated enough that it's actually pretty good. Shame that the story of the game underpinning it doesn't have a logical pace, leading to the actually pretty-good dialogue mostly falling flat in terms of an actual plot.
  13. Dek Rollins

    Dek Rollins

    size of a tangerine Member
    They've been saying since 2018 that Sonic's 30th anniversary (2021) will be a "big year" for Sonic, with multiple games said to be coming out. So far the only thing we know has been delayed was a press panel where announcements of some sort were going to happen. I doubt they'd delay the new game until 2022 without telling anybody about it.

    But we'll have to wait for whatever panel they have this year to find out what they're up to I guess.
  14. JaxTH


    Pudding Deity Oldbie
    Los Angeles
    Jack shit.
    Yes, from what I remember. Except for Forces.

    Will Ian get BTFO again?

    This is the same development timeline that Forces itself had.
  15. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

    Replace them with Ian Flynn and I'm fine. Pontac and Graff were fine but I can do without them. They weren't better or worse than any previous writers, and just like previous writers, they had some great moments and some cringe-worthy ones. I did like their work on Colors, but that's all I've got to say. Hopefully they've got some new projects on the docket, it'll be cool to see what they move onto.

    If they don't get Ian? Maybe Ken Penders will swoop in and save the franchise, just like how he built it in the 1990s.
  16. Beltway


    Temptive Bongwater, Sealed in Can Member
    Sega of Darkest Peru
    college courses / anime trash crusader
    I'm not in the vocal "Sonic Is Not A Comedy" group that called for their collective heads; but I'm of the thought that Colors was the only decent thing the Pontraff duo wrote/translated, and they only got worse as time went on. And even so with Colors, the writing for that game carries a big stain of how it went from being the exception to the norm. What once was a novel departure of what the 2000s games were doing with character focus, tone, etc. ended up being being enforced as the new default for future games, and even the franchise as a whole in certain areas. I also think their admission of a lack of knowledge of the franchise going in hurt more than it helped in the long run; namely when considering what happened to Tails with Lost World and Forces.

    I'm also of the opinion that beyond some exceptions, like the Boom tie-in games. I think the blame for the lackluster writing quality is shared between them and Sonic Team. Whether if it's a case of them just translating the scenarios that ST wrote, or if they're actually co-writing the scenarios with them. I think they've been working in tandem enough to the point that for me it doesn't really matter either way.

    Which is why, despite not liking most of their work; I'm not all that thrilled over them leaving the series either. I'm of the mindset that whatever new writers (or established writers like Ian Flynn) that are brought on-board to write/translate future stories, will only be able to do so much with what the material and/or mandates handed to them.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2021
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  17. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Back on track Member
    Bilbao, Spain
    Upgrading my own life to pro edition
    I can't say I care about this news or the other. I've never given importance to who was writing the plot or acting, the cutscenes are the filler thing that happens between playing and playing, and it's the last thing I worry about unless the plot writing affects the game, which usually doesn't because the people designing the game are the ones deciding what's gonna happen, in which order, and through which playable locations. I care about the game looking good and playing good, so, unless the cutscenes are remarkably bad or remarkably good, I'll watch them once and keep playing afterwards.

    On the other hand, as others have said, the notable point is the overhaul the franchise may be under. Some silent years and winds of change showing up give us th chance of things getting better, more than things getting even worse.
  18. I'm fully aware. Who says it's a bad thing this time around? Everyone was pretty vocal that spending 3 years on hedgehog engine 2 was unnecessary, so I doubt they're gonna be making hedgehog engine 3 anytime soon.

    Plus, they didn't say they were giving the lighting engines more time to develop going forward, they said games were getting that treatment
  19. Frostav


    I'd say "good", but the thing I have no idea what they're getting replaced with.

    Aren't the stories/dialogue of the games written in Japan, and then translated by Pontac and Graff? Seems to be the case, I'm finding a "Makoto Goya" for Force's script. So I have a feeling the actual plots won't really change, the translation will just be different. This may not be that much of a change, honestly.
  20. SuperSnoopy


    I like Sonic Advance Member
    Lyon, France
    Drawing, studying Japanese
    While I was pretty neutral about Roger Craig Smith's departure (since I play the games in Japanese and all), THIS is excellent news.
    I know some of you might be worried about who's going to replace them, but since it literally can't get any worse than the plots we had from Colours onward...I'd say get hyped.
    Something big might be coming for the 30th anniversary. Now if only Sega would hurry up and ANOUNCE it already:V
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