Content Continues Below

It’s been one of the most enduring and prolific rumors in the game industry for years upon years — did Michael Jackson, king of pop and controversial public figure, compose music for Sonic the Hedgehog 3? Keyboardist and Jackson comrade Brad Buxer said so as far back as 2009, with fans wondering about the connection even earlier due to stylistic similarities between the Sonic 3 soundtrack and some MJ tracks. It’s been almost an open secret all this time, with the accusations out there but nobody explicitly confirming or denying them, leading to wide speculation — until now, because Sonic creator Yuji Naka just kinda went “Wow, they changed the Sonic 3 soundtrack in Sonic Origins even though Sega Official’s used Michael Jackson music before?”



Jackson had a close relationship with Sega in the ’90s, developing Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker on Genesis and lending his talent to Space Channel 5. The reason he wasn’t credited for Sonic 3 before now is allegedly due to his 1993 child abuse allegations, which caused Sega to distance itself from his public image. And the rumor has become an urban legend in the years since. If we needed more proof than the word of god, however, Naka also provided a picture of when he went to MJ’s Neverland Ranch:



As Naka stated, Sega replaced Jackson’s music in Sonic Origins, which appeared to consist of three tracks: “Carnival Night Zone,” “Ice Cap Zone,” and “Launch Base Zone.” They’ve been replaced by arrangements of music from the game’s prototype, handled by the one and only Jun Senoue. Why make the change? Probably either rights issues now that the topic has become more prominent, Sega wanting to cut any association with MJ at all due to continuing controversy with the musician after his death, or some combination of the two. Fans don’t seem too happy with the change, though. It’s difficult to see how Sega could’ve come out of this making everybody happy, but sometimes that’s just how the cookie crumbles.

Sonic Origins is out this very day. You can buy it right now at retailers like Amazon or in the eShop.


Leave a Comment

Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.