Sonic Boom gives Sega's series a new look, two new developers

The next Sonic the Hedgehog game, Sonic Boom for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, will be developed by a pair of Western studios, Sega announced today, and deliver a "fresh approach that will be at once both familiar and new" for Sonic and his friends, Tails, Amy and Knuckles.

The Wii U and 3DS games will be based on Sonic Boom, a new franchise in the Sonic universe that will extend into television, gaming, merchandise and more. Sega of America's senior director for marketing Marchello Churchill said the new take on Sonic won't replace modern Sonic, but will take "the franchise to another level."

Sonic Boom is the third title in Sega's exclusive deal with Nintendo and promises to take advantage of the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS hardware. In addition to featuring Sonic the Hedgehog's traditional sense of speed, Sonic Boom will introduce a new "Enerbeam" mechanic that will allow players to explore the game's world in unique ways.

The Wii U version of the game will be developed by Los Angeles-based studio Big Red Button and will focus on combat and exploration. Developed using CryEngine 3, the title will "operate in harmony with the television series and act as a prequel to the series." Big Red Button CEO Bob Raffei said the game will be "a very different Sonic, both in tone and art direction."

San Francisco-based studio Sanzaru Games will develop the 3DS version of the title. The game will feature slightly different content on each platform, with the 3DS version having different environments and enemies to the Wii U version.

Both titles are being developed in collaboration with Sonic Team, Sega said in an announcement.

In addition to the video game, Sega is collaborating with OuiDo! Productions to create a CG television series based on Sonic Boom. The series is expected to air in North America on Cartoon Network during the 2014-2015 season. The series will contain 52 episodes that are each 11 minutes long.

With additional reporting from Alexa Ray Corriea.

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