Sega has enjoyed blockbuster success with the adaptation of its popular Sonic the Hedgehog gaming franchise to movie screens. Both movies have garnered over $700 million, and the company is now keen to expand more of its IPs beyond video games, including Persona and Yakuza. The company wants to build on the success that Sonic the Hedgehog has achieved and take its other IPs to that level with movie adaptations and platforms like Roblox.
Sega Teases Potential Persona and Yakuza Film Adaptations
Sega released Sonic the Hedgehog in 2020 and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in 2022 and saw huge box office success with both films. Even though Sonic the Hedgehog initially suffered upon release, it soon picked up pace and earned around $320 million. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was a hit at launch and banked nearly $405 million in lifetime earnings at the box office.
Shuji Utsumi, Chief Operating Officer of Sega, was present at the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon, Portugal, on November 14 and touched upon several topics, including buyout rumors, major IPs, and more. While speaking to CNBC, Utsumi said that the company is looking to take its popular IPS to other platforms, including movies and gaming platforms such as Roblox, after its success with Sonic. He stated:
We just revived Sonic in a big way, not only through games but also remember movies and TV shows, and actually Sonic is in Roblox too, and we’re working closely now with Lego, so now Sonic is reviving.
We have other major IPs and also, I cannot say too much about it, but we are thinking of reviving other classical Sega IPs too.
The company built up the hype around Sonic, not only with its movies but also with its games, as it recently released Sonic Frontiers, Sonic Superstars, and the Sonic Origins compilation, as well as the Sonic Netflix series and merchandise expansions like Lego. The Sonic the Hedgehog 3 movie is also coming to theaters in December 2024.
Furthermore, a live-action TV series set between the second and third movies, starring Knuckles, will also be released in 2024. The company could also soon bring Sonic to Roblox, which has player communities of millions, for a further boost in Sonic‘s popularity and success.
Shuji Utsumi said that they have two other major IPs that could be up for potential film adaptations. Utsumi added that the company wants these IPs to be in different areas than just video games. He stated:
Right now, there are two big IPs other than Sonic. One is Persona. We are introducing two Personas this year. And also, our Yakuza title. I mean, Yakuza is really unique, but that big one [Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth] is also coming next year too, so be ready.
But also, as I say, we are trying to be in a lot of different kinds of businesses, additional areas, like Roblox and movies. All these IPs can be somewhere else other than games soon.
Both franchises are big and have been doing pretty well with their recent releases, P5 Tactica, which launched on November 17, and Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, which launched on November 9. Both of these games have garnered praise from players and critics alike, and two upcoming games are scheduled to be released next year.
Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is scheduled to release on January 26, and a remake of the third Persona game, P3: Reload, will launch on February 2. The Yakuza franchise has sold more than 21.1 million units worldwide since its first title release in 2005. The latest title in the franchise, P5 Tactica, has also been very successful, with over 9 million sales around the globe.
Utsumi also addressed the buyout topic, saying that they have popular IPs and, as much as they are honored with buyout interests, they are not interested. The company has also recently acquired Angry Birds maker Rovio Entertainment.
Sega is also not the first company to replicate the success of popular franchises, as its main rival Sony has done so with its Spider-Man movies and adapted them into several video games, with the recent Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 being a huge success.