Sonic: The Journey of the World’s Fastest Hedgehog HomeGamerSonic: The Journey of the World’s Fastest Hedgehog
The trajectory of the world’s fastest hedgehog – who everyone mistakes for a hedgehog – known as Sonic, began when a certain Plumber invaded the gaming world. Mario became Nintendo’s biggest icon, and this generated an unprecedented level of identification with the public. So for SEGA, vying for the same market, it became clear that it was necessary to create a mascot to match. It was the mid 80’s to 90’s and the first console world war was about to begin.
Choose the ideal mascot to face the plumber
SEGA thought that having a mascot that could clash with Nintendo’s mustache would be the solution and held a famous competition to choose their mascot. Among rabbits and other animals, a very special hedgehog won, chosen because it was easy to draw and because it seemed to please everyone who looked at it. Sonic concept creator Ohshima explained:
“I just put Felix the Cat in Mickey Mouse’s body.”
Sonic was born to win
The mascot’s potential was quickly recognized, and even from the first prototypes of the debut game, everyone could see that something amazing was about to happen. It’s true that the first version of the hedgehog was very different… With leather clothes, visible teeth and a human friend, Sonic still needed cutting, but the game itself was exciting, that was a fact.
Sonic was revamped prior to release, removing his more aggressive elements but keeping his fun and cool style. And at that moment, the executives already knew that he would not only be a mascot, but a symbol for the brand.
“Sonic would not only be the face of the company, he would also represent its spirit: the little misfit who moves at crazy speeds and no matter what obstacle he faces, he will never stop moving forward,” the creators explained of the project, such was the confidence they had in the product in their hands.
The bold marketing strategy
The strategy of getting Sonic to depose Mario was extremely aggressive. A huge investment was made in media to place the mascot next to each of the brand’s products. In addition to innovating by having the cassette included with the purchase of the console (which was not common). However, the boldest strategy was to sell the consoles that came with the game at a cheaper price. Tactic to sell the production and place the blue hedgehog in the house of as many customers as possible.
The bold strategies caused SEGA to start losing. However, the company continued to believe that this would reverse in the medium and long term.
And as we know, the trajectory of Sonic, the world’s fastest hedgehog, worked very well. Sonic has indeed become a worthy rival to Mario and is following a rather subversive trend. Which appealed more to young people who saw him as something more rebellious and energetic than the Nintendo mascot that has been on the market for a while.
It just didn’t go any further because of SEGA
Its rise just didn’t last due to strategic decisions by SEGA, which stopped producing consoles and eventually lost ground as a brand. What didn’t happen with Nintendo continued to be strong and strong in this market. Despite this, Sonic remains a pop culture icon to this day! So much so that his film was relatively successful at launch (to see the movie trailer, click here), although it doesn’t feature as heavily in today’s games.
If you enjoyed this article, we recommend you read about the history of the first Doom, click here.