Sonic Mania Plus, the expanded new release of last year’s hit Sonic Mania, has released today and publisher Sega is celebrating the occasion with a new fun trailer. Sonic Mania Plus is available physically for PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and digitally as DLC for owners of Sonic Mania, for only $29.99.
Sonic Mania Plus has arrived today and marks an interest change how Sega views its prime company mascot. The development of the original Sonic Mania is a fascinating story on its own, spearheaded not by Sega themselves but by dedicated and talented fans of the speedy hedgehog. It was Australian programmer Christian Whitehead, who made a name for himself by porting the classic 2D Sonic games to smartphones, that pitched the idea of Sonic Mania to Sega. The idea of “remixed” classic Sonic games got the interest of producers at Sega, and Sonic Mania was born.
Still, Sega must have not been so sure whether a traditional Sonic game with an old-school pixel-art style was going to resonate with modern gaming audiences, thus the game only was released digitally. Sonic Mania released in summer 2017, shortly before Sega’s own Sonic Forces. Later got a higher production and marketing budget, clearly showing what Sega executives believed to be the more important Sonic game. How wrong they were. Sonic Forces released to abysmal reviews and a general dislike by the gaming community.
It was indeed Sonic Mania, the experimental project Sega greenlit, produced by a fan, for the fans which became the sensation last year. It quickly became the highest rated Sonic game in more than 15 years and a major hit among gamers. As is so often suspected among gamers, company executives can be detached from their own consumers, not understanding what they really want.
Commercial success and a positive image, the Sonic franchise was in desperate need for a long time, do however change the minds of businessmen. Sega seems to have understood their misjudgment and are now fully backing Sonic Mania, by releasing a new and expanded version dubbed Sonic Mania Plus for pretty much every platform. Previous owners do get the chance to upgrade to the Plus version with a DLC purchase.
Sonic Mania Plus features two new playable characters, Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the flying squirrel, a new zone called Angel Island, an Encore Mode with remixed stages and more. The physical edition also comes with a holographic slip cover, a reversible Sega Genesis sleeve and an artbook.