Sonic Frontiers Uses a Strange Marketing Strategy


June has always been a big month for the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. June 23 is the day of the release of the very first game on Sega Genesis, as well as the birthday of Sonic himself. As a result, Sega decided to publish information about Sonic Frontiers during June after being silent about the game for a while. However, the way this is handled is rather questionable.

Sonic Frontiers has been in the minds of fans for a long time because of the intrigue that the game created. For some time, fans only knew about the game that it would be the first attempt at an open-world series. Considering how Frontiers is exploring new territory, as well as some interesting comments from Sonic Team, the players were incredibly curious about what they can expect from this new game. However, the information they have now only raises more questions for them.

RELATED: Sonic Fans should Expect Even more news by the end of June

Disclosure of Sonic Frontiers during June

Due to the fact that June in general is such an important month for Sonic, it is quite understandable why Sega will try to demonstrate the next game during the month. However, the specific way Sega decided to go about the whole endeavor was pretty strange. Instead of revealing multiple levels or abilities in general, Sega has released small showcases strictly focusing on specific gameplay elements such as exploration and combat. While it’s usually not too much of a problem, there’s very little context in these previews as to what’s really going on.

These Sonic Frontiers previews may seem interesting, but many fans have noted that it feels like a technical demo without important things like the user interface and without an explanation of what the player will do in general. It seems that Sega understands how poorly these demos reflected the game, as without any notice, the company posted Sonic Central and shared the video with TailsTube at the same time that new Frontiers screenings were scheduled. Some fans wondered if the sudden content was meant to help fix or even distract from the situation with the promised news.

Sonic Frontiers at the Summer Game Fest

Sonic Frontiers could be played at a personal event Summer Game Fest Play Days, but the situation there was quite peculiar. While almost every other game presented at the event allowed people to come up and try it out, Frontiers required a meeting and for the people who played it to sign a non-disclosure agreement that they would not talk about specific parts of the game until a certain date. Those present at the event noted that this situation is not common and rather strange.

Sega quite strictly complied with this requirement, since the videos taken by the participants of the event show that those who worked at the Frontiers stand refused to allow people to show the game on camera in any quality. However, thanks to the photos and videos taken at the event, fans finally got to see the update system, potential user interface, several clips and previously leaked levels of cyberspace found in Sonic Frontiers.

The biggest thing that Sonic’s supporters took out of this situation was that it was the most confusing marketing the series has ever had. Although the initial reaction to the Sonic Frontiers gameplay was quite negative, Sega has since shared more tempting footage with fans, and the first practical previews from critics are mostly positive. These two things seem to have changed perceptions pretty quickly, and fans are wondering why such questionable gameplay was the first thing that was shown as a result.

The two installments of Frontiers previews were so different that viewers wondered if they belonged to different stages of the game’s development cycle. Some fans even suggested that it’s possible to see two different models of Sonic depending on which build is which, although others have since apparently refuted this.

Until June, Sonic Team and Sega were transparent about the high quality standards imposed on Sonic Frontiers, for example, Sega hoped for good reviews, and Sonic Team pushed back the game to provide a high-quality product. Now it seems that Sega has damaged the reputation of its own game with its secrecy. Many people who are looking forward to playing Sonic Frontiers this winter agree that Sega could have better emphasized the mysterious nature of the game than it has been so far.

The release of Sonic Frontiers is scheduled for the holidays of 2022 for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.