Video game Twitters are, for the most part, safe and sanitized tools of corporate info conveyance and updates. There are very few exceptions to this rule among the big boys even as some Twitter accounts have a little fun and bend the rules a bit. But in a sea of PR approved posting, the Sonic the Hedgehog has been a weird and amusing outlier for years. Hopefully, that spirit continues because its social media manager, Aaron Webber, is moving on within Sega and leaving posting duties on the Sonic Twitter behind.
Webber posted his exit from management of the Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter from the account itself on June 18, 2020.
“In 2015, Sega asked me to return and run PR and Social for a certain blue hedgehog,” Webber wrote. “Some of you will remember, but back then, Sonic was in a tough spot. His latest game had failed, the entire San Francisco [Sega] office had shut down and Sega was moving to LA.”
Thank you for an amazing five years. pic.twitter.com/SCCqtOuX97— Sonic the Hedgehog (@sonic_hedgehog) June 18, 2020
“I opened Sonic’s Twitter account that first day, and was greeted with comments so negative and personal, I realized instantly that, just for my own sanity, something had to change. So, in a risky career move, I stopped running tweets through approvals in Japan.”
And change they did. Webber’s interaction with fans, light-hearted jabs at major critics such as Jim Sterling, more bold jabs with Mighty No. 9’s release and Nintendo, and a huge shift in personal responses and quirky approaches to what was once a very upset fanbase made the Sonic Twitter one that people started to turn around on and enjoy. Bad Sonic games became meme ammo for the account. Heck, it took the questionable Ugandan Knuckles meme and turned it into an opportunity to support actual charity in Uganda. The risky move in direction of Sonic social media paid off. Not only did Sonic Twitter become fun to watch, it also went from under 500k followers to the over 5.8 million it boasts as of this writing today through a more successful period that saw Sonic Mania and the Sonic the Hedgehog movie launch.
Aaron Webber took Sonic at one of the blue Hedgehog’s worst times and made him fun while the world waited for better games. He didn’t have success to ride on as he took over the situation, but he gave the character’s social media an edge and quirk can’t be denied. As Webber prepares to move around within Sega, we wish him the best for the laughs and can’t help but hope that whoever fills those red speedster sneakers has the ability to keep the spirit of the Sonic Twitter up and running.