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Read from neogaf Sega executive director wants Sonic to surpass Mario:

SEGA executive director and Osamu Ohashi was asked about how Sonic will be developed in the future. That led Ohashi to mention how the goal is for the franchise to surpass Mario.

He pointed out how SEGA respects Mario, but never actually achieved the goal of surpassing him. Not only does the company want Sonic to be played worldwide, but also for the movies to do better and for Sonic to be featured at Universal Studios.

Ohashi said the following (via Google Translate):

“Simply put, I want to surpass Mario. Sonic is a game that was originally developed to compete with Mario, and it still hasn’t achieved that goal. Our goal is to catch up and surpass Mario because we respect Mario. I want people to play it all over the world, including Japan, like Mario, and I want the movie to be a bigger hit than Mario. I would like USJ to create a ‘Sonic Area’ as well. That’s our goal for those of us who love Sonic.”
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