Sega wants to make more of its games into movies following Sonic success

Sega Sonic The Hedgehog 2
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Sonic The Hedgehog’s big-screen success has left Sega boss Shuji Utsumi thinking about which of its other “major IPs” could be adapted into movies and more.

The Sonic The Hedgehog franchise has had its ups and downs since it appeared over 30 years ago, but more recent years have seen the blue blur back on form again. This year’s Sonic Superstars was a welcome mix of modern graphics and traditional 2D platforming, while the movies – most recently last year’s Sonic The Hedgehog 2 – are doing decent business.

That success has left Sega boss Shuji Utsumi openly talking about what other big names the company has in its back catalogue. Could some of those be dusted off and given the big-screen treatment? In an interview with CNBC, Utsumi noted that it has “other IPs,” adding, “We are thinking of reviving other classical IPs too.”

According to CNBC, Utsumi picked out the increasingly popular Like A Dragon (formerly Yakuza) series of action adventures as potential adaptation material, as well as the long-running Persona RPG franchise.

It’s worth noting that Utsumi isn’t just thinking about film adaptations here, but also potential crossovers with other big names – one example being the official Sonic The Hedgehog game that appeared in Roblox last year.

“As I say, we are trying to be in a lot of different categories,” Utsumi said; “different areas like Roblox, movies. All these IPs can be somewhere else other than games soon.”

One property that Sega is likely to make the most of is Angry Birds, given that Sega now owns the IP following its $775m purchase of Rovio over the summer. Angry Birds has already been adapted into a movie (2016’s The Angry Birds Movie) and did perfectly fine. Given that Angry Birds is by far the biggest thing Rovio ever produced, it seems all but certain we’ll see all kinds of games, merchandise and Roblox promotions based on the property roll out in the coming years.

Utsumi did, however, talk about “reviving other classical IPs”, which is where we can let our imaginations run wild a little bit. There was talk of a John Wick-style Streets Of Rage film adaptation last year. Might we see Golden Axe being given the Peter Jackson cinematic fantasy treatment? A gritty urban drama, written by Paul Schrader, about a down-on-his-luck Alex Kidd? It’s nice to dream.

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