Sonic Origins Dev Team “Very Unhappy” With Final Game

by Anastasia Deripaska

A lukewarm reception has prompted the Sonic Origins’ dev team to defend their work.

Headcannon, the studio that helped produced the latest title in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, has come under fire after fans began complaining about the game.

In turn, Sonic Origins’ game developers ranted on social media, stating they were put under an unreasonable time crunch and that they believe the final game has glaring flaws.

Sonic’s owner and publisher Sega has yet to comment on the state of Sonic Origins, but fans have sided with Headcannon in the ongoing dispute.

The Story Behind Sonic Origins

Released on June 23rd, Sonic Origins is a remaster of the first four classic Sonic the Hedgehog games for the Sega Genesis—Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic CD, and Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

Sega handled most of the remastering, but passed the reigns for Sonic 3 & Knuckles to Californian studio Headcannon.

Sonic Origins was envisioned alongside several other projects such as Sonic Colors: Ultimate (2021) and the Sonic film (2020). The expected surge of interest in Sonic prompted Sega to remaster their classic games to be more accessible to modern fans.

There is also a recent trend of returning to 2D sonic games after the franchise made the jump to 3D with Sonic Adventure (1998) on the Sega Dreamcast. Well-received releases such as Sonic the Hedgehog 4 (2010), Sonic Generations (2011), and Sonic Mania (2017)—the latter of which Headcannon worked on—showed a ripe market for 2D Sonic games.

Headcannon Dev Speaks Out

Unfortunately, Sonic Origins could not live up to expectations. The game was criticized for its steep price, video resolution issues, poor sound mixing, and frequent bugs. Negative reviews eventually led to Headcannon entering the conversation.

Developer Simon “Stealth” Thomley took to Twitter to explain Headcannon’s perspective, revealing Sega ignored their complaints and meddled with their final product.

“[We had] a major time crunch and we worked ourselves into the ground to meet it just so this would even be made and released,” Thomley said. “We asked to do major fixes near submission but weren't allowed due to submission and approval rules.”

Headcannon also pushed back against the outrage fans have been throwing at the studio. “This is frustrating. I won't lie and say that there weren't issues in what we gave to Sega, but what is in Origins is also not what we turned in.”

At the end of the day, Thomley and Headcannon clearly love the Sonic series and tried hard to deliver the best game they could, saying, “We want these problems to be addressed. We provided a ton of feedback during and after development for both Origins and its Sonic 3 integration.”

What might have been a playful tribute to early Sonic games has ended up as just another lackluster entry in the franchise. Thankfully, since Thomley spoke up, fans now know to direct their complaints directly to Sega rather than to the brow-beaten studio.