Sega's good Sonic the Hedgehog video games over the past decade are few and far between. But while Sonic might not have the best games, its social media team is at least on point.
We've written about the Sonic social media accounts before. Whether on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, the official Sonic accounts are always right on the pulse of whatever fans are talking about. The runners of the accounts have proven they are Sonic fans just like their customers, and it shows in each and every social media post they make.
Most recently, the Sonic YouTube account took a shot at Nintendo and their frequent use of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to take down fan-related projects. Popular YouTube channel Game Grumps recently uploaded a video of them playing the fan-made Sonic game Green Hill Paradise Act 2, and rather than try to take the video down (like Nintendo would), Sega gave the video and the fan game its seal of approval.
"Brb, DMCA time," the account jokes. "Just kidding. Keep making great stuff, Sonic fans." The post is one of the most-liked comments on the video, which currently has more than 500,000 views.
Nintendo and its fans have been in the headlines in recent months as the house of Mario has cracked down on numerous fan projects. A fan-made remake of Metroid 2 got the ax from Nintendo earlier this year, while the fan-made (and incredibly popular) Pokemon Uranium was also removed from the web after the creators became concerned about Nintendo's legal team. A Mario and No Man's Sky mash-up wasn't long for this world, and Nintendo even forced a website hosting hundreds of fan-made games to remove each and every one following a DMCA copyright claim.
With all of that in mind, Sega's open endorsement of fan projects stands in stark contrast to Nintendo's actions. Sega in many ways is alive thanks to the continued passion of Sonic fans, who still love the character despite the release of some truly terrible games in recent years. Nintendo, on the other hand, doesn't have that problem. Nearly every new Mario game is an instant classic, and though Nintendo also needs its fans to make money, its relationship with customers is far different from that of Sonic fans and Sega.
Perhaps one day Nintendo will realize that having a passionate fan base willing to put their blood, sweat and tears into crafting tribute projects is something to celebrate, not attack. Until then, at least Sega seems to understand.