SEGA's Sonic The Hedgehog Tops Chart For The First Time In AGES
Team Sonic Racing has had a brilliant launch, with the Sumo Digital-developed SEGA racer speeding to the top spot on the UK boxed sales chart, for the week ending 25 May.
The game - which we were very complimentary about in our write-up last week - stars SEGA's spiky mascot alongside a wealth of other characters from the Sonic series. Unlike Sumo's previous racer to star the Blue Blur, 2012's Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Team Sonic Racing doesn't expand its driver roster into other SEGA franchises. It also doesn't feature any vehicle morphing; but it does place a new emphasis on teamwork, with racers needing to cooperate with their pals to get the best results.
Team Sonic Racing hasn't only topped the all-formats chart - it's available for PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch - but has done so with (reports GamesIndustry.biz) over double the sales of All-Stars Racing Transformed.
Perhaps it's because of the forthcoming Sonic movie drawing eyes to the character again; or maybe the impressive sales are down to the game being actually pretty darn good. Could be either, could be both. But from an old-school SEGA fan's perspective, this warms my heart no end.
Team Sonic Racing's success means that a Sonic game is number one in the UK for the first time in - get this (I was surprised, TBH) - over a decade. The last title to star the character and achieve the same feat was 2007's Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games, for Nintendo DS and Wii. And that, obviously, had both the additional mascot clout of Mario behind it, and was tied to a major global sporting event. Which makes this new triumph feel all the more impressive.
We spoke to the head of Sonic Team, Takashi Iizuka, in April, and the producer of Team Sonic Racing explained why the new game places such a focus on working as a team:
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"We've had games like Overwatch and Splatoon for a while now, where it's really more of a team versus a team, more than everybody for themselves. It's that team versus team essence that I wanted to inject into a racing title, because really, racing games up until now have been about the individual, quite single-player focused. And by adding teamwork, you can advance what a racing title is, and advance the genre."
Breaking down the sales for Team Sonic Racing across formats, it's the PS4 version that has sold the most, closely followed by Nintendo Switch. Sonic on Nintendo... it'll probably never not be weird to me.
The whole UK chart - based on boxed sales only, and not counting downloads - currently looks like this (check out another karting game, coming back into the mix):
- Team Sonic Racing
- Days Gone
- FIFA 19
- Rage 2
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- The Division 2
- Mortal Kombat 11
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Edition
- Grand Theft Auto 5
- Forza Horizon 4
Featured Image Credit: SEGA / Sumo Digital