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The "Sonic The Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles" Quest for Music Composer Research

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by T.Q., Nov 18, 2019.

Choose your favorite soundtrack version:

  1. Sonic The Hedgehog 3 -- Prototype / PC

  2. Sonic The Hedgehog 3 -- Mega Drive / Sega Genesis

  3. Sonic [3] & Knuckles -- Mega Drive / Sega Genesis

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  1. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    Plus Sega's prob thinking it'd cost more to settle this than it's worth, they'd prob spend more on this than they'd profit off anything related to Sonic 3.
     
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  2. sonicthesnot

    sonicthesnot

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    Thanks for posting this!

    I highly doubt SEGA straight up gangsta-style stiffed someone like Michael Jackson. That would be PR suicide and a legal nightmare. My guess is there was something unclear in the agreement SEGA had between themselves and MJ and crew, perhaps for something like sales of S3&K on Steam. It could be that the agreement only mentioned royalties for physical copies of the game sold (cartridges, CDs, etc.), not digital downloads which weren't around at the time. This is why the PC version of the game has the alternate music, but the digital download on Steam has the OG MJ soundtrack.

    It's also clear that MJ and crew own the rights to their songs as a lot of them were later re-used for MJ albums. My guess is Ciricco feels he got "screwed" going by the spirit of the agreement, but SEGA may technically and legally be in the clear.

    We've been hearing about this "legal dispute" from Scirrico for years now. No way a simple clear-cut royalty dispute would take this long to resolve.

    The software company I work for was in a somewhat similar dispute 8 or so years ago. We added functionality into our software at the last minute that was supposed to be under a royalty agreement with the guy (freelancer) that made the add-on. Unfortunately, the whole legal process was rushed, and the agreement that was signed at the eleventh hour included a ton of exceptions, gray areas, and situations where it wasn't clear whether or not royalties needed to be paid. After a few years, our company paid him a small lump sum to go away and stop threatening to sue and badmouthing us. After that we stopped including his add-on in new editions of the software, and wrote our own in-house version.
     
  3. RetroJordan91

    RetroJordan91

    The REAL Blue Sphere Guy Member
    Based on Cirocco’s quote, and it’s just my thought, it appears that maybe SEGA is slowly trying to pay them off because if he’s only mentioning downloads and retro sales, then maybe progress was made??? I’m not too confident and I sure as hell won’t go digging even further because there’s definitely more to it lol
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
  4. sonicthesnot

    sonicthesnot

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    There's also a chance that SEGA actually legally didn't do anything wrong, and Ciricco just feels he go screwed and is blowing smoke. He's been complaining about this for years. You think if there was a real clear-cut case against SEGA he'd (1) be openly talking about it in writing and (2) it'd take this many years to square away?
     
  5. RetroJordan91

    RetroJordan91

    The REAL Blue Sphere Guy Member
    I agree with you on the fact that this shouldn’t take 8+ years to resolve.. I can only hope that SEGA is in the clear but clearly it’s affecting how they do business otherwise we would have gotten the 3&K Taxman remaster by now.. they know it’s the most requested rerelease so at least some effort has to have been made instead of just erasing Sonic 3 from existence
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
  6. Overlord

    Overlord

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  7. sonicthesnot

    sonicthesnot

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    The thought is that a S3&K remake would be considered a "new" game which would require SEGA to renegotiate the rights to the MJ music and would re-open that whole can of worms. The version on Steam is an exact ROM of the Genesis cartridge which the apparently are still allowed to sell.

    If Ciricco is referring to the Steam version of the game, how much money could he possibly be talking about? 60,000 downloads at a full price of $5 each is $300,000. Assuming some royalty like 10%, that's $30k split between like 10 composers, and most of the compositions were Buxer's anyways. Is it really worth being so enraged by this for so many years?

    Something IMO is "off" with Ciricco's beef. He's either withholding some critical piece of information, or blowing smoke.
     
  8. RetroJordan91

    RetroJordan91

    The REAL Blue Sphere Guy Member
    I get what you’re saying.. honestly this whole thing could have been avoided if whoever was in charge didn’t decide to go with those MJ compositions and use the prototype tunes.. I hope we do get a 3&K rerelease before I leave this earth.. never say never
     
  9. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    Sandopolis got remixed for TSR so that one is good too.
     
  10. I hope whatever comes of this, that it turns out that MJ had minimal input regarding the soundtrack (which is what I believe anyway)

    Due to all the allegations etc (I'm not stating here what I believe personally) regardless which line you take, all the controversy has tarnished the soundtrack for me quite a bit.

    I'm sure SEGA are keen to distance themselves from this, and knowing how the Jackson estate behaves I don't think we'll ever see this resolved.

    With that in mind I'm happy to hear placeholders/different versions in place of the OG tunes for any future 3&K releases. I know it's not ideal but I have the original if I want to hear it anyway.
     
  11. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    I played S3AIR with the S3 proto option for the given levels and it fit like a glove. The "released" tracks are nice to listen to but they're not necessary for the game IMO.
     
  12. Yeah, I think in this day of remakes and such, I don't think fans would be too bothered with replacements.

    But I guess the problem then is, if 3&K is released with replacements, would the gaming press then latch on to the soundtrack controversy? In that case I can see why SEGA is avoiding releases all together.

    If they had more money (like Nintendo) then I'm sure something could be sorted out. But I'm just speculating at this point, and I'm sure there are others in this thread who have digged into this allot more than I have (which is not much).
     
  13. RetroJordan91

    RetroJordan91

    The REAL Blue Sphere Guy Member
    I heard that MJJ cast interview with Buxer from 2019 (I think) and he said that MJ really didn’t have an interest in composing the soundtrack at the time due to everything he was dealing with so Brad was the main man in charge of his team (take that as you may)

    Like you said, I wouldn’t mind a 3&K re-release with the prototype tracks (despite rumors that those tracks are in legal hell too apparently) As long as we just get the game I don’t really care because it deserves to be played on modern consoles
     
  14. RetroJordan91

    RetroJordan91

    The REAL Blue Sphere Guy Member
    I believe the gaming press IS aware of the soundtrack controversy. But if they realize that the prototype tracks are the true original tracks that were intended for use before the MJ tracks were included, I’m sure there won’t be a massive uproar over it unless there are purists who prefer the MJ tunes
     
  15. SystemsReady

    SystemsReady

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    Yeah, it's already an open secret in the community I think. In terms of PR, what people need to realize is that if anyone is a "pop star", even back then, their works are produced or quite possibly even written by other people, and Sega could emphasize that.
     
  16. RetroJordan91

    RetroJordan91

    The REAL Blue Sphere Guy Member
    In Sonic 3’s case there were 5-6 composers from MJs team I think, so even if 10% equals 50-60K each, that is not bad at all.. why this beef/legal trouble is still ongoing is way beyond me.. maybe SEGA can just use some of the profits from the movie to pay for the music rights and be done with it lol that’s wishful thinking on my part.. whatever the case I do have faith that this will get resolved and I will predict a 30th anniversary re-release in 2024... there’s absolutely no way this legal stuff lasts over 10 years, unless there’s other related cases that I’m unaware of??
     
  17. sonicthesnot

    sonicthesnot

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    Assuming the 60,000 downloads refers to the Steam version of the game, that means the Steam game earned, at most, $300,000 since the full price is $5 (often discounted). 10% of $300,000 is $30,000 which would then be divided among the 5-6 composers. So it's more like $5k each.

    And my guess is that they the composers would not get 10% of the full selling price of the game anyways. That would represent an absolutely enormous portion of their R&D costs. But that's a common figure in terms of songwriter royalties in the music world. It's probably different in the VG world.
     
  18. And also, I think we’re still pretty sure none of Cirocco’s work made it to the final Sonic 3 anyways...
     
  19. RetroJordan91

    RetroJordan91

    The REAL Blue Sphere Guy Member
    According to Cirocco’s website, he composed a song called “The Water” for levels 2 and 3.. but it’s been confirmed to NOT have made the final game since Hydro City was composed by SEGA and is in Sonic Mania so yeah I don’t know what else he could have composed
     
  20. Laura

    Laura

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    What's the evidence of the Sonic 3 Proto music having legal issues? As far as I'm aware, it's just an obscure OST which not many people know about. Pretty self-explanatory for why the tracks haven't resurfaced.