SEGA to Hold Panel at AOD 2013 About the History & Future of Sonic

Sonic 10th anniversary figurine

UPDATE: Aaron Webber has confirmed via Twitter that there won’t be any new game announcements at the panel.

You may recall an article we published last month about Ken Pontac being listed on AOD 2013’s website as the writer for an upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog game. Well, we’ve now learned from AOD 2013’s Dominic Nguyen, that Ken will be there as part of a bigger official SEGA Sonic presence.

Remember that Sonic 10th Anniversary statue SEGA posted on their blog on Saturday’s Hedgehog Day? SEGA has donated several rare items, including that statue to the event’s charity auction, which aims to raise money for community causes. More about AOD’s charity work can be read here.

The biggest news for fans is that SEGA will be holding an official panel talking about the history and future of the Sonic the Hedgehog brand, hosted by Sonic Brand Manager Aaron Webber. The description for the panel reads:

Super Sonic: Behind the Scenes of Sonic the Hedgehog

With Aaron Webber. Starting on Sat at 3 pm. In room Live Events 1. Categorized as Panel.

Explore the rise, fall, and recent resurgence of Sonic the Hedgehog in games and other media. An in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at Sonic’s creation, his rise to fame in the early 90’s, and his transition into 3D and the present day. Bring your questions and your passion for Sonic – all are welcomed! With Aaron Webber, Brand Manager, SEGA America

While not advertised in the website description, Nguyen informs us that Webber will be talking about the history and the future of Sonic.

This year we have several events that we think would be of interest to your audience: we’re not only welcoming Ken Pontac, a writer for Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, but Sega’s own Aaron Webber will be holding an official panel about the history and future of Sonic.

AOD 2013 will be held February 16th-17th 2013 at Hotel Kabuki, Japantown, San Francisco, CA, with the panel scheduled for Saturday February 16th at 3pm PST in the Live Events 1 room. SEGA of America is also based in San Francisco, so this event works out great for them. Early registration closes today, so if you would like to attend and get registered in advance, you better purchase your tickets quickly here.

Will a new Sonic game be revealed at the event? The date of this panel lines up with our report last month that a new Sonic game would be teased/announced in the middle of February. While one source gave us a game description together with a brief February schedule, other sources told us a Sonic game will be teased/announced mid-February.

We’ll be sure to let you know of any news that comes from the event. For now, let us know if you will be attending and what you would like to see from AOD 2013.

For more information about the SEGA-related happenings at AOD 2013, check out the links below:
Super Sonic: Behind the Scenes of Sonic the Hedgehog
Ken Pontac
Charity Auction

We thank AOD 2013’s Dominic Nguyen, Director, Press Relations for sharing this information with us.

The Sonic Stadium may link to retailers and earn a small commission on purchases made from users who click those links. These links will only appear in articles related to the product, in an unobtrusive manner, and do not influence our editorial decisions in any way.


  1. Y’know it’s extra curious that the new Sonic game is scheduled for announcement around the same time as the supposed PS4 announcement…

      1. “Sonic has hardly anything to do with Nintendo.” ~ SEGA fanbase, circa 2002
        “Sonic has hardly anything to do with Microsoft.” ~ SEGA fanbase, circa 2006

    1. Maybe the red herring was that post about sonic going to Texas because I don’t see how any of this connects to Texas. Wouldn’t you agree?

      1. We know that there is a hidden message with the word “Red Herring” (I jested about the possibility of other hidden messages but that was merely humor with overindulgence of hype), a 10th anniversary statue of Sonic with the key members of the 1990s Sonic the Hedgehog team, and a picture of Sonic supposedly aboard a plane to Austin, Texas, with a United ticket in front of him. That said, I think all of this smells of red herring because none of it seems to fit together. Some have surmised that the first is a clue that Sonic Adventure 3 will see the light of day, but Sonic Adventure 3 is something which will never come as I see it because, although I know many people who are rooting on this proposition, there at as many, if not more, people who are against such an idea. Likewise, it has been suggested that Sega is working with one of Nintendo’s own companies, Retro Studios of Austin, Texas, to make the next game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Of course, although it is not a far-fetched idea, all of the Sonic the Hedgehog games in the main series have been primarily engineered in-house by Sega’s own employees. None of these ideas have a leg to stand on when you seriously think about the reality of it all and try putting into perspective and, in fact, it may even make you chuckle a little if given enough time to settle in. That’s why I said I think the Sega employees must be laughing at us for having fallen for all of the “red herring” with this anagram, as you put it, because there really is nothing that can be substantiated from “red herrings” they have given us as it’s really all the product of a few employee’s creative imagination and nothing more.

    2. Red herring was one of the names that was given to Knuckles in Sonic 3. There-fore, people are thinking that there will be a game similar to Sonic 3. Maybe even Sonic 4: Episode III.

        1. I dont know…i think that the third concept art looks a lot like Marble Hill Zone
          though i also dont want to hope too hard, if its an RPG i may give it a shot

          oh and i love NU-13

    1. Dosnt look like sonic, unless its a design change (One I like the look of)
      I have to say I also think the third? image looks like marble zone, although Im pretty confident this isnt sonic

    1. Maybes theres something in how they keep talking about Sonics History – The blog post, the Puyo Puyo stream and now this
      Prehaps Sonics past will have a influence on the new game

  2. We’re getting closer and closer to some form of announcement. The excitement that’s brewing inside me can’t hardly be contained anymore.

    They better not just wink at a tease to the game. I want Video proof. Something to keep me occupied to an official trailer.

  3. The description for the panel sounds like a description for a college course or something.

    It’s weird how they describe it as “the future of Sonic”, though. That phrase makes me think of not just one game, but years to come…

  4. I am curious to see where they take the franchise. Though…how much writing does a Sonic game need? Its a platform game…all it really needs to be entertaining is good levels and interesting enemies.

    1. Depends, Sonics always had a good amount of focus put on story. I thought Colours hit the right balance, games like 06 had too much and I thought generations had too little

    2. Maybe that’s all it needs to you, but Sonic’s much more than that, they need a good plotline, a with a dash of humor, some good music compositions, and maybe a few new skills

  5. The “rise, fall, and recent resurgence” bit has me interested. They’re probably going to share what their opinions are on a lot of Sonic’s past games, which aside from the massive butthurt that will ensue regardless of what they say, it will show what aspects they want to bring into the future, i.e. this next game.

  6. I hope we get some insight to some of the creation of past games and retrospectives. We never really get to see “behind the scenes” for sonic games too much, so it’d be interesting to hear what it’s like.

  7. Can somebody tell me if this kind of suspense and excitement happens every time there is a new sonic game to be announced? This is my first time to be around for the entire run if you know what I am saying and every seems so incredibly suspenseful. I just hope that when they do officially announce the game that it isn’t a huge flop, because it seems that a lot of people would get upset, but maybe that is our fault for being so picky.

  8. Can somebody tell me if this kind of suspense and excitement happens every time there is a new sonic game to be announced? This is my first time to be around for the entire run if you know what I am saying and every seems so incredibly suspenseful. I just hope that when they do officially announce the game that it isn’t a huge flop, because it seems that a lot of people would get upset, but maybe that is our fault for being so picky.

    1. Everyone is ful of suspense and excitment more than usual for a onic game because…
      A. This is a very mysterious and unpredictable time for sonic because we just finished his 20th anniversary and now no one knows if the brand is going to change and evolve or just continue from generations.
      B. Because of the recent rumor of an anouncment, very is anticpating the excitemnt of a new sonic game. Had it not been for the rumor, It would be like sonic colors again. ” sonic 4 blah blah blah, sega this sega that. ((suddenly)) BAM!! New 3d Sonic Game Out Of Nowhere In Yo Face!! !1

  9. So there is another reddit post claiming that “SA3 will be announced 3/3/13” With a picture of sonic tottaly black only seeing his eyes and smile with the text “THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES 3/3/13”

    But i wouldent believe it’s real seeing as he made his acount 9 hours ago and the post was made 9 hours ago

    (Just wanted to make this coment before somebody goes “OMG GUYS LOOK IT WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON THE THIRD OF MARCH”But hey heres the link if you wanne check it out )

  10. I REALLY hope it’s Sonic Adventure 3 like that one rumour says, and if so, PLEASE also add in an HD Chao Garden!!! 😀

  11. Yeaaaaah buddy! This hints that we are getting closer and closer to the announcement for the next Sonic game. All aboard the hype train!!!

  12. You know, it’s funny. My friend was mentioning how there was apparently a little teaser announcement hinting SA3, but seeing as it isn’t here, I have to wonder if he was trolled. Frankly I don’t count my chickens before they hatch, but I don’t feel justified in robbing others of their hope XD

    Still, this is very interesting indeed. Who knows? It could be something completely different…

  13. Sonic Adventure 3, Sonic Heroes 2, Sonic Dimensions, Sonic 013..
    Who really gives a F what this game is called, as long as the game plays good I will accept any Sonic game.

  14. Hopefully we’ll know whether or not SEGA has finally figured out how to handle Sonic. Judging from how they’re using the colors writers… maybe they may stick with Colors and Generations type games as far as stories go.

    1. Well, I wouldn’t say that. I mean, even though the Colors/Generations writers are returning, that doesn’t mean the game will be lacking in story. And over the years of jarring tone shifts, weird gimmicks and whatnot all the way to what we have now, I think it’s safe to say that now, Sonic Team remembers “How to Sonic”.

    2. Generations had a very weak story XD I at least like to have some semblance of a story to go off of – at least Colors had that and humor to go with it – but, gameplay wise, I suppose it would be great. Just make the controls a little smoother at low speeds 😉

  15. You guys might want to update this; Aaron Webber (via his Twitter account) has said; “Like the title and description read, it’s a look at Sonic’s history, from creation to now. No new game announcements – sorry! :)”

    Twitter account link for Aaron Webber:

    1. Yeah they need to update this story immediately. This puts it at three things during the month that ended up having nothing to do with what that “source” said. I wonder if one of the guys at SEGA is actually behind this as a joke, they way some people didn’t get the red herring thing and jumped to conclusions was hilarious, I can easily see a bored CM over there looking at that bogus Sonic Dimensions rumor and how it spread and decided to try his hand at it knowing SEGA had unrelated events planned during February that everyone would point fingers at.

    2. NOOOO! What a Buzzkill! I can’t believe I went through all this excitement and he spoils it by just plain out telling us that there won’t be any announcements! I’d like to figure out for myself next time Aaron thank you very much. (Unless if him telling us that IS the RED HERRING!)

      1. I still have a strong feeling we’ll be hearing something this month; after S&ASRT comes out for the 3DS, there’s absolutely no Sonic games announced for the near or distant future. Plus, there’s almost always a Sonic related announcement in February; maybe they’re waiting for Toy Fair? I mean, Sonic Stadium wouldn’t have posted that rumor if it didn’t have some merit to it; SS almost NEVER posts rumors unless it’s from an extremely reliable source.
        BTW, i heard that Sonic & Knuckles’ code-name was “red herring” back in 1993; is this true???

  16. Only a few days to go, this is gonna be the best Birthday present ever! (For me :3) かわいいねソニック!

  17. I think I’ve noticed a pattern of when Sonic games are being announced. Sonic Unleashed was announced in April 2008. Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing was announced in May 2009. Sonic Colors was announced in May 2010. Sonic Generations was announced in April 2008. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed was announced in April 2012. Notice the pattern? I think we can expect the next Sonic game to be announced in between April and May. 🙂

    1. EXACTLY. They always reveal the 1st trailer in April/May time. Which is why I don’t expect anything legit till then.

        1. Thank you. I hope the bruised and beaten dead horse you just cruelly beat comes back as a zombie in the form of Tail Doll to haunt you to your death. And Sonic Adventure 3 /= The desire of the heart of every fan in the community. It is a harsh generalization because there are also many who do not want this to happen.

          1. But for the record, I am not against Sonic Adventure 3 if and only if it does not try directly mirroring Sonic Adventure 2 and it is more akin to Sonic Generations, Sonic Colors and Sonic Unleashed. Otherwise, I will be utterly disappointed.

          2. I think it would happen but not in the proper way, I mean I’m almost sure that Sonic Team don’t have any plans to use again the Sonic Adventure formula, but with the succes of SA2 in the digital market and the fans desire for a continuation of the Adventure series I think that Sega will try to take advantage of that and will name their next Sonic game SA3, but just to earn more money thanks to the brand because that game will probably be more similar to Unleashed/Colors/Generations than any of the Adventure games.

          3. Pretty much, all that was said here means nothing to me….
            I’m beating the dead horse…? It’s not my fault it gets brought up everywhere dispite most people knowing it isn’t coming out. I don’t care how much it’s wanted, it’s stupid how these people never learn, despite how since 2006 to now they’ve been doing the same thing, getting the same results and doing the same thing. It’s like they are insane.

  18. @Hamza: Maybe because it is not yet ready for prime time, still at a relative level of playability akin to Sonic ’06. In such a case, I would rather have delays than see a product like Sonic ’06 enter the market again only to be plagued with terrible level designs, high load times and bugs in the code, only to our utter disappointment and disgust. Just sit back and relax while mother nature takes its course. And don’t forget: Sonic Generations and Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed had a long development process but they were well worth the wait.

    1. Problem I have is that… yes bla bla bla sonic 06 has bad story, glitches etc etc but there is NOTHING wrong with the leve designs buddy.

      1. It was designed well, but their was barely any slopes or hills to gain momentum from… mainly because the game had no physics…

  19. you guys do realize that Aaron Webber could be the Red Herring right? think about it… his twitter is RubyEclipse…. Ruby being a shade of red and the picture of the twitter is a RED herRING. idk maybe hes there to throw us off with his tweets… im just making huge guesses and trying to put things together… but the best we can do is wait for this event to happen at AOD we’ll see… sooner or later

    wheres Sherlock Holmes when you need him haha

  20. I think Aaron was just telling everyone there isn’t going to be an announcement because he knows how things work in the sonic community and how fragile we are with everything. He was shooting down the hype train.

    When they want to announce the new sonic game, they’re gonna make sure a lot of people are watching and aware. They’re running a business, not a fan service centre…lol

  21. I think Sega and Sonic team are playing it smart by not letting anybody get any ideas of what there doing after recent leaks (generations) and They’ve taken an awfuly long amount of time away from sonic games , I think they want this game to be really good and that’s why it’s taken a while for sonic to return,

  22. Of course SEGA is going to release a new Sonic Game no doubt because of their announcement of plans in 2013, but let’s not forget that Sonic Colors was announced in May of 2010 and Sonic Generations was announced in April of 2011, so let’s just all assume for now that all of these rumors are bullshit and that we should expect a new Sonic Game announcement around that time somewhere between April and May!
    Also to all those Hackers out there on the Web who like to spoil Information, Knock that shit off and be patient, you almost ruined Sonic Generations because of those leaks, so zip your mouths so that all of us can have a fun time when we get our hands on the Game when it releases in stores probably by the end of this year!

    1. That’s exactly what I’m saying. If we want them to announce a new Sonic game, we’re gonna have to be patient and wait 2-3 months. We’ll live people. At least we know by year’s end we’ll have our hands on a new Sonic game. Just think about that. 🙂

  23. The big news is that they will be adding a new character to the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and apparently he will be a red herring.

  24. There arn’t any videos on this panel event on any website nor YouTube, why hasen’t TSSZ uploaded anything? Did they even go to the event? Why hasen’t anyone on any site posted any info on sonic’s history & sneak peak into what sega has instore for the franchise?

  25. I’ve seen a picture that has Sonic’s eyes and it says “THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES 3/3/13” It’s March 3, 2013. No new game announcement O_O I don’t know if it’s completely fake or what but I know that SEGA is going to be releasing a new Sonic game this year. I really hope it’s Sonic Adventure 3, this could be a major comeback for Sonic.

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