For 25 years, Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog has been one of the all-time great gaming franchises. Sonic was Sega’s flagship character during its peak, and he’s still very popular in the modern era.
As part of Game Informer‘s ongoing “Burning Questions” feature, Sega’s Sonic Team leader, Takashi Iizuka, offered some unique insights into the history of the franchise. Iizuka also spoke about one of the more fiercely debated questions of Sonic: is his main villain named Dr. Robotnik, or Eggman?
Iizuka explained that the original development team in Japan called the character Eggman, but Sega’s team in the U.S. changed his name to Ivo Robotnik without consulting their Japanese counterparts. Eggman’s Americanized name became popular, and Sega just kind of rolled with it for many years. But that’s over now. “As far as the developers are concerned – the ones who made the character and the leaders of what this character is doing next – we really didn’t want to have anyone in the universe with two names,” explained Iizuka. “We wanted to unify that into one name moving forward. This is something I actually did in the Sonic Adventure series. I made it so that we understand the character’s name is Robotnik, but his nickname is Eggman, and as far as everyone is concerned in the world now, we’re just going to call him Eggman as his official name.”
Part of that Eggman story has been told before, but it’s interesting that Sega Japan allowed the name change for so long. You read the rest of Game Informer’s piece here, which includes Iizuka’s thoughts on Knuckles, Tails, and why Sonic loves wearing scarves now.
Which name do you prefer for Sonic’s lead villain: Dr. Robotnik or Eggman? Grab the ring in the comment section below!