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SEGA’s biggest dream remains elusive: for Sonic to outsell Mario

Osamu Ohashi, an executive at SEGA, speaks candidly about the company's biggest challenge, which is none other than becoming more popular than Mario.

SEGA’s biggest dream remains elusive: for Sonic to outsell Mario
Nacho Requena Molina

Nacho Requena Molina

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It’s not easy to find as much honesty as shown by Osamu Ohashi, an executive at SEGA. In a recent statement released by the company, the executive mentioned that the biggest challenge he would like to accomplish is seeing Sonic surpassing Mario in all areas, from sales to being a mascot and overall impact.

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In short, we want to surpass Mario,” states the document published on SEGA’s recruitment portal. “Sonic was a game developed to compete against Mario… and it has not yet achieved that goal. We respect Mario, but our objective is to reach and exceed it.”

“I want people all over the world to play Sonic, including Japan, just like they play Mario games. I want the Sonic movie to be a bigger success than Mario. I would like Universal Studios Japan to create a Sonic Area too. That’s our goal for those who love Sonic,” he emphasizes regarding the significant boost Mario has experienced in the past year, beyond the video game.

Indeed, it’s important to remember that both Mario and Sonic were neck-and-neck in terms of sales and impact during the 1990s. However, the arrival of the 2000s and the new consoles caused Sonic to lose momentum. In fact, the successive releases of questionable quality games eventually took a toll on the blue hedgehog’s franchise, to the point where SEGA admitted they weren’t quite sure which direction to take.

In recent years, Sonic has gained more prominence with titles like Sonic Superstars and Sonic Frontiers, although it still falls short of successes like the recently launched Super Mario Bros. Wonder. Nevertheless, it’s essential to focus on the positive: the first step toward achieving a challenge is acknowledging that you are currently lagging behind your biggest rival.

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Nacho Requena Molina

Nacho Requena Molina

Journalist specialized in videogames and technology. Almost two decades dedicated to it.

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