Sega to begin major Sonic promotion

New games and a new anime series featuring Sega's mascot are currently in development.

Sega has announced plans to begin a major promotional campaign for Sonic the Hedgehog, starting with the release of an anime series. A number of Sega's subsidiaries will be utilized in promoting the character.

Sega will first release an anime featuring the characters of Sonic the Hedgehog. Titled Sonic X, the anime series will take place in an alternate world that Sonic gets sent to during a battle with Dr. Eggman. Sonic X is being produced by a subsidiary of Sega named TMS Entertainment. The anime will air every Sunday morning beginning April 6 on the TV Tokyo network in Japan. The anime is also scheduled to run in North America, Europe, and Asia starting in the fall. Sega subsidiary Sega Toys will be releasing toys related to Sonic to promote the character even further.

Four Sonic games are scheduled for release within the year. Of the four, two of the titles--Sonic DX and Sonic Pinball--have already been announced. The other two are expected to be revealed during E3. Sega's tie-in with McDonalds and its Happy Meals, which was announced last month, has now been revealed as a part of Sega's promotion of the Sonic brand as well.

Yuji Naka, head of the Sonic Team development studio, said that he hopes to make this year "the year of the Sonic." Naka also commented that he hopes the release of the anime will bring forth a breakthrough in the popularity of Sonic, just as the Pokémon anime did for that property.

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