This is a year filled with anniversaries, but one that might not be on your radar is Sonic the Hedgehog’s 25th. That’s right, it’s been a quarter of a century since the blue blur first took to those nostalgic green hills on the Sega Genesis. On the surface it might seem like Sega isn’t celebrating, but with a little digging it quickly becomes apparent that the company’s plans are already in motion.

For starters, the 25th Anniversary is pushing forward in one key area: merchandising. In fact, Sega will be working with over 100 licensing partners around the world to release brand new Sonic merchandise, ranging from the usual toys and clothes lines to more unique items like watches, novelty drinkware and even credit cards.

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All of the merchandise seems like it will fit neatly into two categories: Classic and Boom. Fans who just follow the games might wonder why Sonic Boom is still being marketed, but while the games under-performed (to say the least), the tie-in cartoon is doing pretty well, with a second season already in production.

Instead, the most notable aspect of this merchandising push is the total absence of Modern Sonic; the design that has been featured in every main game since Sonic Adventure. If the end goal of this merchandising is to push a brand new game, it could be that we’ll be getting a blast to the past with classic designs instead of the modern Sonic we’re accustomed to, but that’s purely speculation at this point.

It’s likely there is some form of game on the way though, and it’s being teased in a rather unusual fashion. The Sonic franchise has a very self-aware social media presence, with the franchise’s main Twitter feed in particular being fond of poking fun at itself, but in this case we’ll be looking specifically at the Tumblr page. Specifically, the massive list of tags on some posts that allude to future announcements. Take a look at just one example:

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You can check out the other Tumblr teases over at the Sonic Stadium, but from what we can gleam there’s going to be an announcement of some sort in February.

Another source that backs up the existence of an anniversary game is none other than the band Crush 40, well known for their cheesy-yet-catchy Sonic themes. In a Facebook answer to a fan, member Johnny Gioeli stated “we are planning a few performances for 2016 to commemorate the anniversary of Sonic. We “might” participate in writing new songs for the anniversary game…stay tuned…” This comment was swiftly deleted.

There are even more mysteries left to solve though, such as this recent video tweet from the Sonic Twitter account:

While it might seem like the video is just a small tease of what’s to come, eagle eyed fans spotted some symbols that appear during the explosion animation: 3, 21, and ⊙⊙. A simple deduction of the numbers is that something will happen on the 21st of March, but the meaning of the two circles has been speculated to be anything from Big the Cat’s eyes to two rings. Even more mystery numbers have appeared elsewhere throughout the Twitter feed, and the two rings theory was backed up by another tweeted image which was sneakily edited to feature them.

Needless to say, all of this is still an enigma that fans are trying to crack. Sonic’s 25th Anniversary is definitely going to be a strange one, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted if a new Sonic game is announced for Nintendo platforms.

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Written by Tom Brown

Whether it’s an exciting new entry in a series long established or a weird experiment meant only for the dedicated, Tom is eager to report on it. Rest assured, if Nintendo ever announces Elite Beat Agents 2, he’ll be there.

Tom Brown