SEGA and Nintendo are joining forces in a mutual show of either need or strength but definitely of Japanese collectivism with a new distribution deal as well as exclusivity on Sonic the Hedgehog titles. Is this is brave new stance or a last ditch defence as consoles and console gaming shuffles off the main battlefield to become a side-skirmish?
Announcing the distribution deal, SEGA states, tersely, "SEGA have chosen to exclusively partner with Nintendo to distribute or publish the next three Sonic the Hedgehog titles throughout Europe and Australia. The deal will cover the recently announced Sonic Lost World
, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games
plus one other to-be-revealed title. This is a strategic partnership that does not affect our existing distribution network across these territories and with whom we are looking forward to working with on the upcoming releases of Total War: Rome II
and Company of Heroes 2
In terms of the Sonic exclusivity, "The new agreement will make Nintendo consoles the number one destination for Sonic gaming over the next three titles. The first two titles of the deal were announced today via Nintendo Direct, details of the third Sonic title will be revealed at a later date," says the release, playing down the impact of one failed hardware maker and great gaming name teaming up in a solid fashion with another great game-playa as Japan closes ranks.
?Sonic the Hedgehog has performed incredibly well on Nintendo platforms and this exclusive partnership is a natural fit for the next evolution of Sonic games? commented Jurgen Post COO SEGA Europe Ltd. ?The Wii U? and Nintendo 3DS? are ideal platforms to showcase Sonic and we are looking forward to working with Nintendo on these three exciting adventures.? Not "excited" not "honoured" or even "energised"; not moving forward or building a future. The whole deal has the smell of necessity or even neediness rather than a strongly thought-out plan to construct something positive.
Let's hope we're proved very, very wrong. But F2P, Internet-enabled TVs, mobile gaming and even high end PCs are making even the shiniest of new consoles seem like yesterdays gaming models.