Since the little blighter first rolled onto Sega Genesis back in 1991, there has only been a single year without a game starring Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic skipped only 2000, the troubling 12 months when Sega was busier watching the Dreamcast die a slow death than it was making best-selling video games for one of the most popular mascots in the world. The speedy friend of dual-tailed foxes and enemy of morbidly obese roboticists already made one appearance in 2012. Sonic Adventure 2 will be re-released on XBLA and PSN this fall, around the same time as Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed. Also, the quite nice Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 came out in May. That might not be the only sequel to an aged Sonic series coming this year though, as there are hints that Sega is working on Sonic Adventure 3.
Sonic fan website TSSZ discovered that six domain names were registered on or around Apr. 22 that strongly suggest they’re in support of a sequel to Sega’s long-dormant Sonic Adventure series. The French arm of German-based 1&1 Internet web hosting registered Sonadventure3.com—as well as other top-level domains under .net, .org, .fr, .eu, and .info—in mid-spring.
Domain name registrations have accidentally revealed new games ahead of official announcements in the past. eBrand Services for example registered domains for Sonic Free Riders before that game debuted in 2010. There are a couple of red flags that suggest that these domains aren’t signaling the development of Sonic Adventure 3.
The first is that Sega has used eBrand Services and EuroDNS for domain registration in the past, not 1&1. Second, Sega has registered fake domains names ahead of new Sonic games. Before Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 was released, Sega registered sonicthehedgehog5.com and sonicthehedgehog6.com, both of which redirected to the homepage for Sonic 4. With the Sonic Adventure 2 re-release due out by the end of the year, it’s very possible that Sega just registered those domains to cover its web traffic bases.
We’ve reached out to Sega America for comment but haven’t heard back as of this writing.
Is it time for Sonic Adventure 3? While some fans fondly remember the series, it’s also pointed to as the beginning of the end for the entire Sonic franchise due to its emphasis on playing as other characters. Sonic Team has done some quality work in recent years, namely with Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations. Why break a good streak by returning to a troubled design?