Sega Gives Tentative Ok On Most Non-Profit Sonic Projects
A Sega rep said that the publisher has no problem with Sonic fan projects that respectfully celebrate the company's blue blur mascot.
Most video game companies are quick to issue a cease-and-desist legal letter to fan projects based on its games, but for the most part, Sega has realized the value of embracing fans of its iconic blue blur Sonic the Hedgehog. With concern that a new episode drop for Sonic fan-game Sonic Omens might result in the project being shut down by Sega and its lawyers, the publisher's social media representative took to Twitter to clarify the company's stance on fan-produced games.
"Hey Sonic fans - I appreciate you all reaching out with concerns over fan games and monetization," tweeted MiniKitty. "So long as no profit is involved, there is usually* no issue with y'all using our blue boy to hone your art and dev skills. We can handle outliers case-by-case as we notice them, but our goal isn't to stifle everything."
Hey Sonic fans - I appreciate you all reaching out with concerns over fan games and monetization!— Katie - MiniKitty (@KatieChrz) May 10, 2021
So long as no profit is involved, there is usually* no issue with y'all using our blue boy to hone your art and dev skills.
*((for legal reasons I can't promise all content is ok))
We can handle outliers case-by-case as we notice them, but our goal isn't to stifle everything.— Katie - MiniKitty (@KatieChrz) May 10, 2021
Please do not use this thread to call out any specific groups or people; we're all learning here and I appreciate how receptive everyone I've spoken to has been. 💛
What that means is that anything that celebrates and promotes Sonic the Hedgehog in a respectful manner, will probably be safe to produce, such as the aforementioned Sonic Omens. Other products such as the totally original character Blonic or Sargnarg the Hardge Harg likely dance on the edge of what Sega is willing to ignore, although any fans asking for cash to produce a sequel to Shadow the Hedgehog's stint in time prison will probably find themselves in trouble.
A great case in point of Sega realizing that it had more than just a positive PR exercise on its hands was when one fan project caught its eye and evolved into the officially-backed Sonic Mania, which earned largely positive reviews when it was released in 2017.
Another prime example of a fan project opening up doors was Tyson Hesse's infamous Sonic the Hedgehog parody. That short collection of strips--and plenty of other original fan art--featuring a very run-down Sonic being force-fed the Chaos Emeralds so that he could save the day. It helped him get his foot in the door to draw official Sonic art for Sega.
Hesse went from art duties on the Sonic the Hedgehog comic books published by Archie Comics to animation director on trailers and animated cutscenes on Sonic Mania, and eventually helped redesign Sonic's live-action film appearance, which prior to the film's release was pure nightmare fuel.
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