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Sonic's still a big winner on mobile


Built-for-mobile games Sonic Jump and Sonic Dash are spiking big download numbers, and UK Sega dev Hardlight Studios believes they can still rise significantly. Chief Technical Officer Chris Southall told Joystiq vertical platormer Jump is up to 8 million downloads, while endless runner Dash is at a whopping 20 million. Furthermore, each day sees 1 million active Dash-ers, as well as 100,000 new users jog onto the game, some several months after it was released.

Jump, released last October, is a paid download, while Dash is free-to-play after initially requiring a purchase when it raced out in March of this year. Southall said Dash offered a more "natural" fit for the speedy IP than Jump, and he feels there's plenty of scope for growth with the 3D runner, including bringing it to Japan where it remains unreleased.

"You can just see that Sonic is such a big IP; we haven't actually done any advertising or user acquisition yet on Sonic Dash," Southall told us. "We're doing updates through the year, we're going to to keep doing that, and using the learning we've gained as a studio. And [we're going to] start to actually advertise the game and push it more. So hopefully where we are now with Sonic Dash is kind of the beginning rather than the end."

Hardlight recently internally signed off on its next mobile game, Southall told us, before adding that this one won't be a Sonic adventure, but something for another "big Sega IP." He wouldn't be budged on anything more specific than an ETA for open beta, which is early 2014, and the possible option to play it in landscape mode as well as in portrait.

"With the next game we want to facilitate a little bit more ability to move it to other platforms, so one of the things that we're looking at right now is allowing the player to play in landscape mode as well as portrait mode," Southall noted. "As well as the some obvious choices with consoles, there are also some of the newer Android-based consoles, and maybe stuff that Apple's doing would be more amenable to controllers and landscape mode rather than portrait mode, maybe bigger displays. So we're definitely thinking about all that stuff."

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