Sega made tweaks to the build the devs gave them which left the game in a buggy state
Sonic Origins released yesterday, June 23rd, to generally positive reviews. Many have praised the collection for being a decent enough all-in-one package of early Sonic games. However, this isn’t to say the game has been without controversy. When Sega announced the game, many noted they’d held back basic content – like character animations and controlling the camera in the main menu – behind a digital deluxe edition. On top of that, there was also the delisting of any other classic Sonic games on all digital storefronts. Now, if you want the classic Sonic games, Origins is your only option.
Since release, fans have noted certain glitches that are new to Origins. From Tails behaving oddly to skipping vast portions of the game. People are finding a lot of little bugs that make Origins an inconsistent experience, to say the least. Founder of and lead dev at developer Headcannon, Simon “Stealth” Thomley gives an explanation for why these bugs are present.
Gotta develop fast
In a Twitter thread, Stealth kicks off by saying “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 not what we turned in.”
Stealth explains that Sega “made major modifications to the build” that Headcannon submitted. “Integration introduced some wild bugs that conventional logic would have one believe were our responsibility – a lot of them aren’t”.
From what Stealth says, it looks like Headcannon were under pressure to get Origins made. “We knew going in that there would be a major time crunch and we worked ourselves into the ground to meet it”. Stealth then takes responsibility for mistakes he and his team made, which he describes as “some actual mistakes, some overlooking, some rushjobs, some stuff we noticed but weren’t allowed to correct near the end”.
However, given the fact that Sega put pressure on the team to get the game out the door, it’s no surprise that these mistakes cropped up. Stealth notes “I’m extremely proud of my team for their performance under such pressure”.
“But,” he continues “every one of us is very unhappy about the state of Origins”. It’s no surprise, as Headcannon, along with Christian Whitehead, have been the main devs behind recent Sonic remasters and the critically lauded Sonic Mania. No doubt, the team wanted to show their love for these classics with Origins. Meanwhile, Sega clearly wanted the title out the door.
So, what now?
In a separate thread, Stealth clarifies that “no, I am not fighting with Sega, and no, I have not cut off Sega”.
“I’m willing to do more work under the right conditions; whether they want to work with me again is an entirely separate matter”.
It’s clear the team want to fix the bugs and make the project worth the increased price tag. Stealth says “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”. To the end, Headcannon are trying to make these remasters something that every Sonic fan will love.
Now, however, it’s in Sega’s hands whether they’ll get that chance. Towards the end of the thread, Stealth mentions he’s been silent until now to not “hurt our relationship with Sega”. After all, doing so would mean “no origins updates, and no further 2D pixel Sonic games from us”.
However, given the game coming under scrutiny now, Stealth says that he doesn’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”.
In any case, it remains to be seen whether Sega will let Headcannon fix the games or whether a dev team within Sega will do it themselves. Either way, everything surrounding Origins does not paint Sega in a favourable light.
Do you think Headcannon should be able to fix Sonic Origins? What do you think of Sega’s treatment of the project? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below! Or, you can also hop over to our Discord to chat with us directly about all things gaming and entertainment!