Former SEGA director says Michael Jackson’s songs never made it into Sonic 3

Sonic 3 Michael Jackson

In an interview with Retro Gamer, shared by Nintendo Everything, former developer Roger Hector claims music legend Michael Jackson’s music never made it into Sonic the Hedgehog 3.

The new interview had the ex-Sega director reveal that Michael Jackson did compose the entire soundtrack to Sonic 3, but his music never actually made it into the game.

You can read the direct quote (via Sonic Stadium) below:

“I get this call from one of Michael Jackson’s people, telling me Sonic was Michael’s favorite game and could he come to SEGA and meet the people who made it. He came in after hours, I gave him a tour and introduced him to the creators of the Sonic games and he was thrilled. You could see he was a total Sonic fan – he was really, really excited. So one of our guys says, ‘Why don’t you write the music for the next Sonic?’ And he says, ‘OK.’ Everyone’s jaw dropped. I’m thinking, ‘How are we gonna work this out?’ but basically, he did write the entire score for Sonic 3.

I had a CD of it! It was all in the game and we’re just a few weeks away from delivering the final code so it can be produced for Christmas that year and then stories start appearing in the papers about Michael and, you know, him being the bad guy with kids. Everyone panicked. I mean, we had kept it a secret because it was going to be this huge, surprise announcement that Michael was doing the score, then boom, this thing comes out about him.

SEGA of Japan made the decision to take [his music] out… I had a composer on my staff, who’d done a bunch of videogame music in the past, called Howard Drossin. I told him he had to replace the audio [for Sonic 3], basically 16 weeks’ worth of work, in a week and a half. I said we’d slide food under his door but he couldn’t leave the office. And he did it! He was an amazing guy and has gone on to do a lot of movie music in Hollywood but he got his break at STI as a last-minute replacement for Michael Jackson!”

Apparently Michael Jackson’s legal troubles made the team reconsider his inclusion in the project, and the team had another artist replace the music with his own work.

The site Sonic Stadium has an interesting take in the situation, pointing out that half of the game’s soundtrack did not make it into Sonic Origins due to mysterious licensing issues, which could mean that Roger Hector may not be telling the whole truth, although it is just speculation.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is available on Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii. The game is also available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows (through Steam) as part of the Sonic Origins Plus expansion.

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