Sonic the Hedgehog producer Takashi Iizuka and art director Kazuyuki Hoshino have revealed they want to make Sonic a VTuber; along with opening a theme park.
The news comes via Ryokutya2089 (a blogger dedicated to sharing news from Japanese print magazines), highlighting an excerpt from a Famitsu interview with Iizuka, and Hoshino. Both discussed future plans for the series, including how “Sonic’s new work will be in a different form than before.” (translation: DeepL, adjusted).
This likely refers to the next game in 2022; with leaks confirming the title will be Sonic Rangers. Those leaks gave new context to earlier claims by supposed testers, stating the game is an open world The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild style game. Hoshino also discussed a new program, likely Sonic Prime.
Iizuka and Hoshino both discussed Sega’s future plans for the blue blur. The former reportedly stated “Sega is preparing to make a Sonic Vtuber.” The rise of popularity since the debut of Kizuna Ai, and subsequent “agencies” such as Hololive and VShojo, are no doubt tempting to a large number of industries; especially gaming.
Aside from VTubers being asked to sponsor or play a game, companies have created their own official VTubers to advertise an upcoming product. These include A-set for Spike Chunsoft and AI: The Somnium Files, and Asamiya Athena from The King of Fighters for SNK Corporation.
While the livestream would likely be focused on Japan and Sonic’s Japanese voice actor, the west has seen the English voice actors cut loose a little. The official Twitter account for the series has featured several “Twitter takeover” events, with voice actors reprising their roles as fans ask questions to their iconic characters.
In addition, Sega are also reportedly planning a theme park “after Hollywood movies.” Following in the footsteps of Super Nintendo World aside, there was the Sonic Spinball roller coaster from 2010 to 2015 at Alton Towers in the UK (later re-branded as the Spinball Whizzer). The ride also debuted Roger Craig Smith as the then new voice of Sonic before his first game appearance in Sonic Free Riders.
All of this comes amid celebrations today of the Sonic the Hedgehog 30th anniversary; including a symphony performance of music from the series premiering today (12 p.m. PT via Twitch, and YouTube). Other upcoming games include Sonic Colors: Ultimate, and Minecraft Sonic the Hedgehog DLC.