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Why This Sonic Origins Modder Just Threw Sega Under The Bus

It's no secret that the "Sonic Origins" collection didn't live up to expectations. For one thing, its music sounded different (allegedly because of copyright disagreements), and many fans hated the alternate soundtrack. Then, one of the developers of "Sonic Origins" revealed that he – and most of the team – was unhappy with the final state of the game. Developer Simon Thomley admitted that while he was proud of the team for their dedicated work, the game did not meet the studio's original vision, apparently due to pressure from Sega to get the job done quickly. Considering that "Sonic Origins" remasters some of the most beloved "Sonic" content in the series' history, it's only natural that fans would feel disappointed, especially after getting excited to revisit these classic games with a new lens. And so, one modder decided to take matters into their own hands by doing the job themselves.

A modder who goes by the name Xanman – along with fellow modders RetroForever and Louplayer – quick got to work on a project simply called "Better Sonic Origins," which aimed to deliver the version of "Sonic Origins" that fans initially expected. In addition to restoring the lost soundtrack, the mod would improve visuals, eliminate bugs, and make some much-needed sprite changes. But while many fans were excited about the mod, the group behind the project have decided to stop work on the massive undertaking. Xanman even threw Sega under the bus for its audacity in putting out such a lackluster product.

An ambitious Sonic mod canceled

In a now-deleted update to "Better Sonic Origins," shared by VGC, Xanman wrote, "Hey, so we decided to stop the development of this project. After really digging into the files for this game, it's become way clearer that this game is absolute s***." Xanman continued to say that once he and his fellow modders got a bit deeper into the game's code, it became clear that they couldn't do much more on the game without the ability to edit the actual scripts. With the DRM protections on "Sonic Origins" locked in place, the modders hit a wall and were unable to continue.

Although the mod is officially listed as canceled on its site, Xanman said that he might return to the project in the future, especially if the scripts open up for editing. For now, though, the project is dead.

According to the description of "Better Sonic Origins," the mod sought to make these remasters more faithful to the original Sega Genesis and Sega CD titles in the collection. The plan for the patch was to overhaul pretty much everything by altering colors to better reflect the original graphics, using the original sound effects and soundtracks, and altering sprite designs to better reflect how they might have looked in the original release. But seeing how the group was so passionate about the mod, why would Xanman turn on "Sonic Origins" so suddenly, and with such harsh words? As it turns out, his words may have been misunderstood.

Xanman's takes back his slam on Sonic Origins

Some interpreted Xanman's comment about the game's quality as a sweeping statement on Sega's handling of the "Sonic" IP, but Xanman claimed that he actually doesn't have any ill will towards the game's developers. He took to his personal Twitter account to discuss the flood of press his mod received, explaining that when he updated gamers on his mod he felt upset with the modding community in general, and that his comments did not reflect his actual opinions on the collection itself. 

Xanman also clarified that he didn't cancel the mod because he didn't enjoy the game or believe in its potential, but because he and his fellow modders felt exhausted by the project. When the project wasn't fun anymore, they canceled it. Xanman concluded by saying, "Origins is fine [in my opinion]. It does what it set out to do, has some issues, but nothing that really affects the game. I have better ways of playing these games, and Origins' Sonic 3 was very fun to play. Origins is not 'Absolute S***.'"

Other modders that worked on the project chimed in, too. Louplayer commented that they simply grew tired of the project and never intended it to be a serious undertaking. No matter why Xanman and his team ceased work on "Better Sonic Origins," the project stands as a testament to what gamers can do (or are willing to attempt) when given time and resources. It's clear that even the development team behind "Sonic Origins" wasn't entirely pleased with the release, and these modders' attempts show that work can still be done after a game's release.