The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise turns 30 next month, and fans have been wondering how Sega and Sonic Team will mark the occasion. While head of Sonic Team Takashi Iizuka told us in 2019 that 2021 would be a big year for the Sonic franchise, outside of a few licensing and partnership announcements, it’s been pretty quiet in the world of the Blue Blur. That appears to be changing later this week, as Sega has announced Sonic Central, a look at what’s on the horizon for the Sonic franchise.
According to a teaser image, Sonic Central will provide players a first look at several new things. The stream, which will take place on both YouTube and Twitch, will deliver a first look at some of Sega and Sonic Team’s upcoming projects, partnerships, and events built around celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Sonic Central airs on the official Sonic channels on both YouTube and Twitch at 9 a.m. Pacific / 12 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, May 27.
In addition to the Sonic Central announcement, Sega also released a video thanking fans and celebrating the first 30 years of the brand. You can watch that video below.
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The last big year for the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise was 2017 when both Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces launched after their initial announcements at the 25th-anniversary celebration of the franchise at San Diego Comic-Con 2016. Sonic Mania garnered strong fan and critical reception, while Sonic Forces were more lukewarm in how it was received by the community and critics. In the time since, Sonic and friends took part in some good old-fashioned kart racing in the Sumo Digital-developed Team Sonic Racing in 2019.
Sonic the Hedgehog originally released on Sega Genesis on June 23, 1991. Interestingly enough, Game Informer also turns 30 years old later this summer, and our magazine’s first issue featured none other than Sonic the Hedgehog on the cover. For more on the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise’s history, check out our suite of features including the series’ rollercoaster existence, its leap to Nintendo consoles, why Sonic 2 is so important, and even how the Genesis’ Lock-On Technology for Sonic & Knuckles came into existence.