Sonic Origins developer "very unhappy" with Sega about state of the game
"What is in Origins is also not what we turned in."
One of the developers of the recently released Sonic Origins has hit out at publisher Sega, alleging "what is in Origins is also not what we turned in".
Simon "Stealth" Thomley, of Sonic Origins developer Headcannon, took to Twitter to accuse Sega of introducing "wild bugs" into the game.
Headcannon was responsible for the well-received 2017 platformer Sonic Mania and assisted Sega with the development of Sonic Origins, which was released on multiple platforms this week.
Sonic fans are disappointed with the amount of bugs in the new ports, spurring Thomley to write a series of tweets explaining his team's involvement as "outsiders creating a separate project that was then wrangled into something entirely different".
"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. Integration introduced some wild bugs that conventional logic would have one believe were our responsibility - a lot of them aren't," he said.
"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.
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. Integration introduced some wild bugs that conventional logic would have one believe were our responsibility- a lot of them aren't.— Stealth (@HCStealth) June 24, 2022
"Again, 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. It's absolutely not perfect and some of it is from us. It's complicated.
"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.
"We asked to do major fixes near submission but weren't allowed due to submission and approval rules. We asked about delays early and repeatedly but were told they weren't possible. We offered to come back for post-release fixes and updates - we do not yet know if this is happening.
"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. We've done a good chunk of work after our work term was over to fix things, support Sega, and to prepare for future updates."
Eurogamer's own Matt Reynolds experienced a bug while playing Sonic 2 concerning the AI of Tails.
I know the Sonic 2 Tails AI has always been comically rubbish, but I don't remember it getting stuck off screen that often? Has happened multiple times in Sonic Origins so far. pic.twitter.com/Yyv6bpce6V— Matthew Reynolds (@Crazyreyn) June 23, 2022
On the flip side, IGN's Svend Joscelyne, and founder of fan site Sonic Stadium, claims he "never encountered any major glitches or bugs during [his] review of Sonic Origins or Headcannon's remaster of Sonic 3&K" and that Thomley's statement is "unnecessary".
I never encountered any major glitches or bugs during my review of Sonic Origins or Headcannon’s remaster of Sonic 3&K (that’s not to say they don’t exist though), this statement seems… unnecessary https://t.co/TeCkvJUijp— Dreadknux (@Dreadknux) June 24, 2022
It's possible that, due to overwhelming fan excitement for the game, Thomley felt compelled to open up about Headcannon's involvement, even if the bugs are not quite as widespread as fans believe.
"Why am I talking about it now, then? Well, there's just too much scrutiny over things that both are and are not related to us, and I don'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," he said on Twitter.
He added: "No, I am not fighting with Sega, and no, I have not cut off Sega. It's a lot more complicated than that. I'm willing to do more work under the right conditions; whether they want to work with me again is an entirely separate matter."
Fans have also heavily criticised the music used in Sonic 3, adding to the discourse around the game. The game does not use the original soundtrack, instead adding new arrangements from composer Jun Senoue.
It's speculated this change is due to an ongoing rumour that Michael Jackson originally wrote music for the game, seemingly confirmed by Sonic creator Yuji Naka yesterday.
Eurogamer has contacted Sega for comment.