The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise might have been created by Sega, but reports are swirling that Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, the latest in the famed franchise, won't be developed by Sega after all.
According to reports, Sonic 4 will be developed by a Japanese developer named Dimps. The news was originally reported by Destructoid.
The evidence that Dimps, rather than Sega, would be developing Sonic 4 came from Microsoft's Xbox Live Marketplace site where the game is listed. The listing says that Sega is publishing Sonic 4, but Dimps will be developing the game.
It shouldn't come as a surprise. Dimps has developed several Sonic games in the past, including Sonic Advance and the Sonic Rush titles the company released a few years ago. Those titles tended to be well-received by game critics.
Sonic has yet to confirm that Dimps is in fact developing the game. I have contacted the company for confirmation.
If it's true that Dimps will be developing Sonic 4, I'm a little saddened. Granted, the company has done a fine job developing Sonic titles, but it's a Sega game. And as a longtime gamer who played the games that preceded Sonic 4, I wish the company could follow its past successes.
In some ways, it feels like the end of an era.