The origin story of Sonic the Hedgehog is a bit of a strange one, with Sega looking for a game with a distinctive character that could serve as their mascot, a contemporary and rival to Mario of Nintendo‘s Super Mario Bros. fame. Sega’s Sonic Team came up with a blue hedgehog that was lightning-fast, with spiky blue hair who could roll into a ball to attack enemies and traverse obstacles. In a way, it worked, because Sonic the Hedgehog did become synonymous with Sega, but it would never really reach the level of cultural relevance of a Mario, Luigi, Yoshi or even Wario. Nintendo had that market on lock.
Sega has been out of the home console business since the demise of the critically-acclaimed, commercial dud that was the Sega Dreamcast, which has left Sonic as a character without a definitive home. The last entries into the Sonic franchise was Sonic Generations, a celebration of 20 years of Sonic with both traditional-inspired gameplay and levels with a modern twist, and Sonic Lost World, which didn’t quite enamor Sonic fans to the same degree.