By now you’ve probably seen the scathing memes popping up in your favorite news feed; or you’ve read references of the upcoming ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ movie being compared to a literal “dumpster fire.”
Most may dismiss the outcry of fans as an overblown reaction to a benign (though ill-advised) design choice for the digital erinaceid’s chompers, however the debacle actually contains a very important lesson. If you’re a game developer or the creator of any mass consumed creative product, watch this unfolding drama as a case study and learn from the mistakes that were made here.
What could the director and the studio have done prior to embarking on this project to avoid this PR nightmare? Now with a deafening wall of fan pushback, how much will it cost the studio in time and money to correct course?
Remember: you’re never developing in a vacuum. Your product lives and dies by the approval of your target consumer.