"Appealing to the West" has become a buzz-phrase among Japanese developers for the past year or so, as their own country's market struggles with decline. SEGA had them all pipped to the post five years back, however, as Sonic Team reveals Shadow the Hedgehog was designed with that very mindset.
“After Sonic Adventure, we had two studios, in the US and Japan,” reveals Sonic Team boss Takashi Iizuka. “The Japanese Studio was to develop a Sonic game in the standard style, and the US studio was to develop something different which could contribute to the Sonic franchise.
"That background generated the Shadow game as he appeared from Sonic Adventure. We wanted to offer other game systems to attract a different audience from traditional Sonic fans. In the US, first and third-person shooters were popular and we decided to go with a character who could work with them."
And of course, it was a massive success! Shadow the Hedgehog was critically acclaimed in the West, and fans all across the United States and Europe flocked in their masses to not only buy it, but praise SEGA for the franchise's stunning return to form. Guns had saved Sonic, because the West loves guns, and that's all you need!
Oh wait that's not what happened because Shadow the Hedgehog was f*cking shiiiiiiiiit.
Shadow The Hedgehog’s Target Audience Was U.S. Gamers [The Sonic Stadium]