Fan-made projects based on existing video game franchises commonly stand on shaky ground in the modern era, with many companies obligated to shut down fan games to protect their IP. Sega is usually more relaxed in this regard, and Katie Chrzanowski, Associate Influencer Manager at Sega of America, recently reached out to Sonic fans on Twitter to address the matter.
Chrzanowski states that the company usually has no issue with Sonic fan games as long as they are not monetized. She does provide the caveat that, “for legal reasons,” there may occasionally be exceptions.
Hey Sonic fans – I appreciate you all reaching out with concerns over fan games and monetization!
So long as no profit is involved, there is usually* no issue with y'all using our blue boy to hone your art and dev skills.
*((for legal reasons I can't promise all content is ok))
— Katie – MiniKitty (@KatieChrz) May 10, 2021
Sega’s open approach to embracing fan projects has seemingly worked out well for the company, as evidenced by modern classic Sonic Mania. The game was developed by Christian Whitehead who, prior to his official Sonic debut, was a prominent member of the Sonic fan game community. When Whitehead approached Sega with his “Sonic Discovery” prototype, the company was highly receptive and allowed him to head development on an official game. Sonic Mania, which we awarded a 9/10 in our review, is commonly regarded as one of greatest Sonic titles of recent years.
So by all means, Blue Blur believers: Allow your your creativity to run as wild as Sonic himself!
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