Sega executive Osamu Ohashi has said that he would like to see Sonic surpassing Mario in popularity one day.
Ohashi joined Sega in 1993 and is now the division manager of Sega’s 2nd Division, which is in charge of the Sonic series. Speaking in a new interview on Sega’s recruitment website, the veteran said that while Sega respects Mario he’d like to overtake Nintendo‘s mascot one day.
“Simply put, we want to surpass Mario,” Ohashi said. “Sonic is a game that was originally developed to compete with Mario, and it still hasn’t achieved that goal. Because we respect Mario, our goal is to catch up and surpass him.”
While fierce competitors in the ’90s, Sega’s stumbles with the Sonic series in the early 2000s alongside Nintendo’s continued success with the Mario series has seen the franchises diverge greatly in terms of sales and critical reception.
“I want Sonic to be played by people all over the world, including Japan, just like Mario,” Ohahsi explained. “I want the movie to be a bigger hit than Mario. I would like Universal Studios Japan to create a Sonic Area as well. That’s our goal for those who love Sonic.”
The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which was released earlier this year, is the most successful video game adaptation of all time, passing $1.3 billion at the box office. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 managed $405 million worldwide in box office returns.
At last reporting, over 832 million Mario games have been sold, making it the best-selling video game franchise of all time. Sega claimed in 2022 that the Sonic franchise had “sold” 1.5 billion units, but this includes free-to-play titles such as mobile games.
Sonic and Mario went head to head once again last month with the releases of Super Mario Wonder and Sonic Superstars. VGC’s Sonic Supertars review called it the “Sonic 4 fans deserve”, while our Super Mario Wonder review called it “a stylish and striking Mario evolution.”