Beloved video game character Sonic the Hedgehog celebrated his 30th anniversary in 2021. The blue hedgehog could be in for a strong 2022 with several events that could boost the stock of parent company Sega Sammy Holdings SGAMY.
Tesla Arcade: The original Sonic game has made its way from Sega consoles to iOS, Android and now electric vehicles with Tesla Inc TSLA announcing this week that the original “Sonic the Hedgehog” game from 1991 will be playable on Tesla Arcade.
Tesla owners can plug in a USB controller and play “Sonic the Hedgehog” and other games via the in-car screen and entertainment system.
All Tesla vehicles will be compatible with the game. No release date was given in the press release.
“Passengers turn into players as they race at lightning speed across classic zones,” Sega said in the release.
The news that Sonic the Hedgehog will be playable inside Tesla cards was confirmed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk who replied to a meme of Bernie Sanders themed after the game’s villain.
Tesla can bring its brand awareness and headlines to Sega, but inclusion in Tesla vehicles likely won’t be a huge revenue generator for the company. It could lead to additional games being featured in Tesla’s in-car entertainment system, bringing new fans to the Sonic franchise and creating even stronger brand awareness for the 30-year old game.
New Video Game: Sega showed off its new “Sonic Frontiers” game last week at the Game Awards. The 3D game is an open zone-inspired experience, which will feature an original storyline from Sonic Boom writer Ian Flynn.
“Sonic Frontiers is a huge leap forward for the franchise, delivering an evolved gameplay experience that can be enjoyed by longtime Sonic fans and action-adventure enthusiasts alike,” Sonic Team USA Creative Officer Takashi Iizuka said.
The game is expected to be released in the holiday season in 2022 and will be available for consoles from Sony Group Corp SONY, Nintendo Co - ADR NTDOY and Microsoft Corporation MSFT and the PC.
Sonic the Hedgehog games have sold more than 1.2 billion units since the 1991 initial release, making it one of the most popular gaming franchises of all time.
Netflix Series: Earlier this year, Sega announced a new 3D animated show called “Sonic Prime” that will be released on Netflix Inc NFLX in 2022.
The show will feature 24 episodes following Sonic on a “journey of self-discovery and redemption.”
“Sonic is a beloved character and holds a special place in everyone’s heart including my own,” Netflix Director of Original Animation Dominique Bazay said.
The show is aimed at children aged six to 11 and legacy Sonic fans. The show will be animated and jointly produced and distributed by WildBrain and Sega. Creators of the “Ben 10” characters and “Big Hero 6” characters are among the team showrunners and producers on the new series.
Sonic 2 Movie: Following up on the success of the August 2020 live-action “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie starring Jim Carrey and James Marsden, Sega will release a sequel in 2022.
“Sonic the Hedgehog 2” will introduce Tails and Knuckles, two popular characters from the franchise, into the new live-action movie universe.
The movie will be released in theaters on April 8, 2022, and is jointly produced by Sega and Paramount Pictures, a unit of ViacomCBS Inc VIAC.
The 2020 movie had a budget of $85 million according to BoxOfficeMojo. The movie grossed $58 million domestically in its opening weekend and a domestic total of $149 million. International revenue of $170.7 million brought the overall global box office of the movie to $319.7 million.
The movie trailer for the sequel has attracted over 13.6 million views in five days. The trailer made its debut at the Game Awards.
The release of a movie, new game and new TV show could prove to be the ultimate licensing opportunity for Sega.
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