What is driving the box-office success of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, reboots of classic games such as Crazy Taxi and even talk of a Sega Cinematic Universe?
Sega, it seems, is having a moment. The veteran publisher’s movie sequel Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has become a huge box office success, hitting $300m in revenue, despite lukewarm reviews. It was also revealed that a film version of classic brawler Streets of Rage is in development, scripted by John Wick creator Derek Kolstad; some are postulating that this could be the beginning of a Sega Cinematic Universe. And last week, sources within the company revealed to Bloomberg that reboots of classic early 2000s titles Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio are in development, part of a new Super Games initiative to build Fortnite-like communities around its titles.
Why so much Sega? Why now? Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has perhaps arrived at a good time with families venturing out to cinemas once again, desperate for something lighthearted that everyone can enjoy – and not having much choice when they reach the multiplex. And whatever you think about the finer points of the movie, it’s fast and fun, with an amusing performance from Idris Elba as Knuckles and Jim Carrey back to his hammy, gurning best. It captures the feel of those original Mega Drive games, with their madcap, screwball energy and bright, blue-sky optimism.