clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sonic Origins developer ‘very unhappy’ with finished product, blames Sega

Headcannon development lead says Sega’s finishing work introduced ‘wild bugs’ that aren’t his studio’s fault

Sonic the Hedgehog runs through an ice level in a screenshot from Sonic Origins Image: Sega

One of the developers Sega hired to work on Sonic Origins all but disowned the finished product in a Twitter thread posted in the evening of the game’s launch day.

Simon Thomley, a developer for Headcannon, acknowledged that there were “issues in what we gave to Sega,” but added that what Sega’s developers did with that code afterward “introduced some wild bugs” that they’re getting blamed for. Headcannon assisted primarily on the remaster of 1994’s Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles.

“We were outsiders creating a separate project that was then wrangled into something entirely different,” Thomley said. “I can take responsibility for my and my team’s mistakes, and there were some. Some actual mistakes, some overlooking, some rushjobs, some stuff we noticed but weren’t allowed to correct near the end.”

Polygon has reached out to a Sega of America representative for additional comment on Thomley’s remarks.

Thomley said Headcannon, which developed 2017’s well-regarded Sonic Mania, “asked to do major fixes near submission,” but this was refused because of “submission and approval rules.” He added that Headcannon “offered to come back for post-release fixes and updates — we do not yet know if this is happening.”

Sonic Origins is an anthology comprising remasters of the first four Sonic the Hedgehog games: Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic CD, and Sonic 3 & Knuckles. A day into its launch, it already has a poor performance reputation, with fans and some reviewers calling out glitches and AI errors. Yet others have said they haven’t encountered the same kind of problems.

Thomley acknowledged that his remarks might cause problems in Headcannon’s relationship with Sega. “I am not fighting with Sega, and no, I have not cut off Sega,” he said later Thursday evening. “I’m willing to do more work under the right conditions; whether they want to work with me again is an entirely separate matter.”

Sonic Origins launched June 23 for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Sega, in late May, began removing the original versions of some of Sonic Origins’ games from digital storefronts, in preparation for the anthology’s launch. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, which originally used a soundtrack composed by Michael Jackson, does not have that score in the remastered game. The replacement tracks have also drawn criticism from longtime fans.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon