Sonic Mania Co-Developer Unhappy With Sonic Origins Implementation of Sonic 3 & Knuckles

Sonic Mania Co-Developer Unhappy With Sonic Origins Implementation of Sonic 3 & Knuckles

Matt Lorrigan

Simon Thomley (aka Stealth), founder of Sonic Mania co-developer Headcannon, has expressed his disappointment at SEGA's implementation of Headcannon's work on Sonic 3 & Knuckles in Sonic Origins.

As previously confirmed by Headcannon, the studio did not work on Sonic Origins directly. Instead, it was contracted separately to build a “Retro Engine version” of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, which was then implemented into Sonic Origins by Sonic Team. Following yesterday's launch of Sonic Origins, Stealth has expressed his frustration in the finished product.

“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. Integration introduced some wild bugs that conventional logic would have one believe were our responsibility - a lot of them aren't,” said Stealth in a Twitter thread.

“Regarding Origins, we were outsiders creating a separate project that was then wrangled into something entirely different. We knew going in that there would be a major time crunch and we worked ourselves into the ground to meet it just so this would even be made and released.”

Stealth goes on to accept responsibility for some bugs and mistakes that were the result of his team rushing to complete the project on SEGA's deadlines, saying that the team did ask to do some major fixes near submission, and even repeatedly enquired about delaying the product, but were told that neither was possible.

“I'm extremely proud of my team for their performance under such pressure, but every one of us is very unhappy about the state of Origins and even the Sonic 3 component. We weren't too thrilled about its pre-submission state either but a lot was beyond our control.”

Headcannon wants to address some of the problems found in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and has offered to return to the project for post-release fixes and updates to SEGA, but has yet to hear back.

Stealth acknowledges that being so transparent about the development of Sonic Origins this close to launch could be considered “unprofessional” and hurt Headcannon's relationship with SEGA. But the studio has a high pedigree among Sonic fans, due to its exceptional work on Sonic Mania, as well as top-tier remasters of Sonic CD, Sonic 1, and Sonic 2. Stealth says that he didn't want to sit back in silence “while people are asking why and how things happened to a product they put so much hope and money into”.

“I hear you, Headcannon hears you. We wanted this to be right then and now. There's so much that you'll never know or understand within the realm of this kind of work, but know and understand this - we try our best to our own detriment, and we care about our work and about Sonic.”

Sonic Origins is out now for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

  • A publisher not listening to it's development team, what else is new. Sega probably saw what CDPR got away with Cyberpunk and figured the bugs would be okay.
  • With all the product delays and project holds that SEGA had, it makes sense that they would not want to delay a release like this. However, that leaves projects susceptible to bugs and issues, so that's on them. It's nice to see Headcannon stand by their work and be willing to be direct with fans & players.

    As I said, this is on SEGA, so hopefully they allow Headcannon to make updates and fixes like they want. It'd be foolish to not let a team that wants to polish their work do so.

    While I didn't notice any bugs, I will say that the Sonic 3 & Knuckles portion of Origins felt largely underwhelming and did not appear to fit with the other titles in the collection.
  • Sega ruins everything it touches directly. There i a reason they went out of the console development business. From all ive read and looked up, its a deep rot in the japanese core of the company.
  • No idea what this guy is talking about, I just platinumed the collection with 0 bugs. My only issue is sonic 3 and knuckles sucks, it's way too long and some of the levels are just incredibly boring/difficult. Think the collection was fine if not insanely overpriced.
  • I swear it's one step forward and two steps back with how Sega manages their IP.
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