Sonic the Hedgehog is a video game franchise created by Yuji Naka, and is developed and owned by Sega. The franchise centers on a series of speed-based platform games, but several are spin-offs in different genres. The protagonist of the series is an anthropomorphic blue hedgehog named Sonic the Hedgehog, whose peaceful life is often interrupted by the series’s main antagonist, Doctor Eggman. Sonic usually must stop Eggman and foil any plans of world domination. The first game in the series, published in 1991, was conceived by Sega’s Sonic Team division after Sega requested a mascot character; the title was a success and spawned sequels, and transformed Sega into a leading video game company during the 16-bit era in the early to mid-1990s.
Sonic Team has since developed many titles in the franchise. Prominent members of its initial staff included Naka, designer Naoto Ohshima and game plannerHirokazu Yasuhara. Other developers of Sonic games have included the American Sega Technical Institute, Japanese Dimps, American Backbone Entertainment, Canadian BioWare, British Sumo Digital and British Traveller’s Tales. While the first games in the series were platform games, the series has expanded into othergenres such as action-adventure, fighting, racing, role-playing, and sports.