SEGA recently hosted a panel at SXSW in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Sonic the Hedgehog‘s franchise, revealing the release date for Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice and giving fans lots of insight into the history of the series. SEGA and Nintendo have been regularly teaming up for Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games titles since 2007, but the two companies began discussing a crossover much earlier than that. During the panel, former Sonic Team head and Sonic lead programmer Yuji Naka revealed that Nintendo and SEGA began talks for a Mario and Sonic crossover three years prior.
“So yes it is true. Back in the day I did go to Kyoto to visit Nintendo and wanted to have a meeting with Mr. Miyamoto and figure out could we make a game maybe with Mario and Sonic together. Although those original conversations happened about three years before the Olympics game came out, we weren’t able to really make a game that featured Sonic and Mario back from that original conversation, but because we had those conversations, it kind of kicked off future conversations with Nintendo which afterwards led to the Olympic game coming out.”
— Yuji Naka
Olympic Games series has been successful for Nintendo and SEGA, but it would be interesting to see what the two companies could have come up with if they had stuck with their initial talks.