Gaming’s greatest rivals are about to go head-to-head once again, now that the Olympics are coming to their home turf. Having reclaimed the video game licensing rights just in time for the occasion, SEGA has announced that their own Sonic the Hedgehog and Nintendo’s Mario will pick up where they left off in Rio with the upcoming Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The reveal dropped at this year’s SEGA Fes with a big announcement trailer, with the next Mario & Sonic at the Olympics game set to launch this winter in Japan for the Nintendo Switch. As previous entries’ western release windows weren’t too distant, the same should be expected internationally, pending official word from Nintendo or SEGA.
The “Play 2020” trailer also featured other Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games tie-in titles published by SEGA. On top of the main Nintendo Switch game, SEGA also announced a Mario & Sonic at Tokyo 2020 arcade game for next year, a separate Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for mobile devices, and the Tokyo 2020 game for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch for Asia this summer and worldwide in 2020.
SEGA retained the license for tie-in video games for every edition since the Beijing 2008 Olympics, back when the Mario and Sonic crossover sports games first began, with new entries every two years on contemporary Nintendo platforms. At least, this was the case until 2018, when Ubisoft got the license for the Winter 2018 Olympics-themed expansion for Steep.
The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics are scheduled to run from July 24 to August 9 next year. Japan is the home to a ton of beloved pop culture icons and franchises renowned around the globe and spread out across innumerable manga, anime, and games. The country prided itself on these during the Rio 2016 Closing Ceremony, showing off the likes of Hello Kitty!, Doraemon, and Mario himself, among others. While I can’t claim to have 2020 vision, the returning Mario & Sonic franchise might just be the tip of the media crossover iceberg on the horizon.
Are you looking forward to picking up Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for the Switch? What kind of otherwise impossible crossovers would you like to see happen during next year’s sporting festivities? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.