Sega and BioWare announce Sonic RPG on DS

Hey guys, great news: Sega’s making a Sonic RPG! It seems as though all our clamoring has paid off — the developers have heard our cries for more Sonic titles with epic storylines penned by meth addicts with hard-ons for The Neverending Story and awkward relationships between anthropomorphic blue hedgehogs and teenage princesses. My day? Complete

Now, fo serious, a Sonic RPG sounds about as appealing as driving bamboo shoots under my fingernails — a few years ago, though, it would’ve been different. Hell, Super Mario RPG was a brilliant collaborative effort between Square and Nintendo; Sega and BioWare might have a chance of creating something decent. But we’ve got this history, us and Sega — they had to go and create a massive pile of crap that served as the final nail in Sonic’s little coffin. Many of us had hoped that the developers would get back to the business of Sonic proper. The forthcoming Sonic Rush sequel is a step in the right direction, but this… isn’t quite the way I thought Sega would try to bring fans back into the fold.

But who knows, right? This is BioWare, and they make a hell of an RPG — well, a hell of a computer D20-based RPG, anyway. But how did the project come to fall in their lap? Was a dartboard involved? Sure, you couldn’t ask for much better, but an American developer wouldn’t be high on my list of likely candidates. Sega seems pretty confident, though. From the press release:

“BioWare is one of the hottest names in RPG development in the world,” said Simon Jeffery, President and COO, SEGA of America, Inc. “Everyone at SEGA has huge confidence that Sonic is in the safest of hands, and that BioWare can create the ultimate handheld RPG experience for gamers of all ages.”

Shucks, Mr. Jeffery — any hands look safe compared to those what wrought Sonic on the 360 and PS3. Just sayin’.

Hit the jump for BioWare’s press release.

 

SEGA ANNOUNCES BIOWARE WILL CREATE SONIC ROLE PLAYING GAME FOR THE NINTENDO DS

SAN FRANCISCO & LONDON (June 21, 2007)—SEGA© of America, Inc., SEGA® Europe, Ltd., and Canada-based developer studio BioWare® Corp. today announced a partnership to create a new video game based on the classic SEGA flagship icon Sonic The Hedgehog. The exact name of the game is undetermined, and it will ship in 2008.

“BioWare is one of the hottest names in RPG development in the world,” said Simon Jeffery, President and COO, SEGA of America, Inc. “Everyone at SEGA has huge confidence that Sonic is in the safest of hands, and that BioWare can create the ultimate handheld RPG experience for gamers of all ages.”

BioWare is the award-winning independent developer that has created some of the world’s best-selling titles including the Baldur’s Gate™ and Neverwinter Nights™ series, the 2003 Game of the Year, Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic™ and the 2005 RPG of the Year, Jade Empire.™ BioWare is currently developing one of the most anticipated next-generation titles of 2007, Mass Effect.™

“We’re thrilled to be working with SEGA on Sonic, one of the industry’s most enduring and compelling icons,” said Greg Zeschuk, president of BioWare. “As huge fans of Sonic ourselves, we’re committed to delivering a truly amazing story-driven experience within the Sonic universe, focusing on capturing the character’s broad appeal and placing him in a completely original adventure,” added Ray Muzyka, chief executive officer of BioWare.

The relationship with BioWare reinforces SEGA’s increased emphasis on Western content development for Western audiences. In the past few years SEGA has announced partnerships with developers Bizarre Creations, Gas Powered Games, Monolith Productions, Obsidian Entertainment, Planet Moon Studios, Pseudo Interactive and Silicon Knights. SEGA has also acquired development studios The Creative Assembly, Secret Level and Sports Interactive.

Aaron Linde