When it comes to the handoff of work and fixing bugs leading up to a Version 1.0, Sega is no stranger to moving things along before they generally should. We’ve seen it in plenty of rushed 3D Sonic games, but apparently, it can extend to 2D Sonic as well. Sonic Origins came out and is generally good, but there are some complaints about the games not being 1:1 with the originals. It’s something that Sonic remaster developers at Headcannon are aware of, and more than that, one developer claims the versions of the games in the Sonic Origins collection are not what the team gave to Sega.
Headcannon developer Simon Thomley, aka Stealth, shared some behind-the-curtain frustrations about the state of Sonic Origins release in a Twitter thread on June 23, 2022. In said thread, Thomley addresses bugs players have found in the game such as collision issues, Tails’ AI behavior, glitches allowing skips of bosses, and more. According to Thomley, the team remastered the games and then passed them to Sega, who recompiled them and developed the collection. Somewhere on the way between the pass and release, bugs appeared that his team hadn’t seen.
Thomley doesn’t put all of the blame on Sega, instead taking some level of responsibility while also claiming that the team knew of some bugs before submission and wanted to polish the collection further. Sega, however, was apparently adamant about no delays and blocked further fixes after submission.
“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,” Thomley explains. “Integration introduced some wild bugs that conventional logic would have one believe were our responsibility- a lot of them aren't… 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.”
It's hardly the first time we’ve heard stories of rush, crunch, and issues between developers and publishers on a game, but it’s a shame that a team as passionate as the devs behind Sonic Mania were forced to endure frustrations on the way to what has been an otherwise enjoyable collection in Sonic Origins. Even so, Thomley also suggests the Headcannon team is still prepared to aid Sega with post-launch fixes and support on Sonic Origins if need be.
“We want these problems to be addressed,” Thomley continued. “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.”
Given Headcannon’s stellar work on the Sonic franchise so far, it seems it would be a huge shame to let the team’s enthusiasm go to waste, especially since the original standalone Sonic games having been delisted for the collection’s release. With Sega holding the reins on the product, it still remains to be seen if that will happen. Sonic Origins is out now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam. Stay tuned as we continue to follow this story with further updates.