In a move that has sparked widespread speculation and excitement in the gaming community, Sega, following its acquisition of Rovio, has dropped hints of a possible collaboration between two iconic gaming franchises: Sonic and Angry Birds. This prospect, first reported by MobileGamer.biz, emerged from the recent Roviocon event in Helsinki (that's in Finland, where Rovio is HQ'd) and has since been a topic of discussion among the community.
During the event, Shuji Utsumi, Sega's COO and president of consumer games and transmedia, alongside Rovio’s Angry Birds boss Ben Mattes, teased the audience with the possibility of a crossover between the speedy hedgehog and the famously furious Birds. While the details were not officially confirmed, the mere hint of such a collaboration has ignited the imaginations of gamers worldwide.
Utsumi, known for his playful approach, referred to the potential partnership between the Sonic and Angry Birds IPs as akin to them "dating":
“Sega has a strong portfolio of numerous IPs and characters which becomes much more attractive by welcoming the Angry Birds IP... To maximise the value of these great IPs we have implemented a transmedia strategy which comprehensively approaches a global fanbase through digital and also physical channels.”
This light-hearted analogy suggests a creative and synergistic union between the two popular gaming universes. The prospect of combining these franchises is seen as a strategic move by Sega to bolster its presence in the lucrative mobile gaming market, a domain where both Sonic and Angry Birds have enjoyed considerable success... and would make sense after such an insanely high near-3-quarter-billion price paid for the acquisition.
The hint at a crossover comes at a time when Sega is significantly expanding its mobile gaming portfolio. With Rovio now under its wing, Sega is poised to leverage the Angry Birds brand, already a powerhouse in the mobile gaming sector, alongside its own revered IPs such as Sonic, Yakuza, and Persona.
Sega's ambitions extend beyond gaming. Utsumi also discussed the company's transmedia strategy, highlighting plans for Angry Birds animated projects and a broader approach to engaging with global fanbases. This strategy resonates with Sega's successful ventures in the film industry, particularly with the Sonic movies.
The potential Sonic-Angry Birds game, while not officially confirmed, represents a new horizon in mobile gaming, marrying nostalgia with cutting-edge gaming trends. It also signals Sega's commitment to exploring new avenues of entertainment, blending the digital and physical realms.
In addition to this exciting hint, Sega also alluded to developments in other franchises, notably Yakuza and Persona, indicating a diverse and ambitious roadmap for the future. The company's mention of exploring subscription game services and 'metaverse' products, including a speculative "Segaverse," points to a broad and innovative approach to gaming and entertainment... But it remains to be seen what they ultimately end up doing with that.
While the official announcement of a Sonic-Angry Birds crossover is yet to be made, the hints dropped at Roviocon have certainly set the stage for an exciting future in the world of mobile gaming. Fans of both franchises will be eagerly awaiting further news, hoping to see this unique and playful partnership come to fruition. I'd be interested in checking it out, assuming it's not a microtransaction-filled mess... But I'm not holding my breath.