The long and varied career of Sonic The Hedgehog is a particular favorite discussion point of internet forums and web artists alike and has long drawn ironic derision and strange homages to the super-fast blue hedgehog but now the company that owns the rights to Sonic and makes his games have finally acknowledged the weird world of his enduring internet fandom and sent the web into a tailspin of both mixed fury and joy.
Sonic The Hedgehog games have long been dipping in quality over the past 26 years (just read our article on his 25th anniversary here) but a hardcore collection of fans have long held a torch burning for the mis-colored mammal with many online communities creating their own fan art as well as aping the habit of introducing new characters with each new title the series has by creating their own fan characters.
This recently came to a head in the latest game in the series where players could finally create their own character in-game thus making them part of the canon of the Sonic story arc and this was thought to be an unofficial nod to these communities from the game makers but now they have gone a step further and immortalized an online meme in the game.
For those not in the know, Sanic The Hedgehog is an ironic meme with a deliberate misspelling of “Sonic”, which refers to a series of fan artworks and game modifications featuring a poorly illustrated version of the video game character. This has become somewhat of an internet phenomenon and has even featured prominently on the official Sonic The Hedgehog social media sites in tongue-in-cheek references to upcoming releases, however now it has also made it into the canon.
In free downloadable content (DLC) released over the weekend for the latest game 'Sonic Forces' Sega announced that you could now customise your own customized character further by adorning them with a T-shirt that features the iconic, ironic meme and thus has finally brought the two worlds of canon and fan-service together. This has inspired joy in many corners of the internet as well as rage in others were people feel the games makers have been yielding too much to fan service rather than focussing on good quality content, which they may have a point for as 'Sonic Forces' is not a bad outing for the blue 'hog but is hardly a stellar offering.
Sega has been doing more and more things as of late to bring fans closer to the Sonic brand, even essentially turning over the latest 2D platformer featuring Sonic, 'Sonic Mania', over to fan developers Christian Whitehead rather than having it be developed by their usual in-house team, Sonic Team.
So what are your thoughts on this, just a bit of fan-service fun or a step too far for the pacy hero? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.