Sonic Team

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Sonic Team is a major development studio within Sega (under its CS2 division), handling the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, as well as the NiGHTS and Phantasy Star game series. The initial team was formed in 1990 by Takashi Iizuka, Yuji Naka, Naoto Ohshima and Hirokazu Yasuhara. Following their first game, Sonic the Hedgehog, which was a huge success for the Genesis in 1991, the team relocated to the United States during 1992 (following Naka's initial exit from Sega) and was housed by Sega Technical Institute during development of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The studio then remained dormant until 1995, when they moved to Sega's CS3 department during development of NiGHTS. In 1999, the team was reorganized under Sega's R&D 9 division when the company reorganized its game development units (both consumer and amusement). That same year, twelve members of the team relocated to San Francisco, California and formed "Sonic Team USA" (later "Sega Studios USA"), but eventually moved back to Japan in 2008. In 2000, Sega renamed their R&D software divisions into separate companies, as a result R&D 9 became Sonic Team Ltd but in 2005, the company was reorganized into Sega's GE1 division. As of 2024, Sega's CS2 division uses the Sonic Team name for games in the Sonic series, all other titles developed under CS2 are solely credited under Sega as a whole.

1st Logo (February 11, 1995-)

Visuals: On a black or white background is a blue silhouette image of Sonic's head with the text "SONIC TEAM" in the same font from the Sonic games in the same color. Above the text is "CREATED BY".


  • On prototype Xbox and GameCube releases of Sonic Heroes (before 10.13) and Shadow the Hedgehog, only the logo is shown with no text shown above it. Later Sonic games would feature this variant.
  • On NiGHTS into Dreams, a 3D image of Sonic's head in blue with a silver outline rotates horizontally into view, while a group of glass letters that make up "SONIC TEAM" zoom out and rotate to face the camera. The letters become 2D and white as they face the camera, and "PRESENTS" fades in underneath "SONIC TEAM".
  • On Sonic Jam, the words "SONIC TEAM" in 3D spin about before joining together. The Sonic head then appears in-between the words as "PRESENTS" in spaced-out letters swipes in from the right and settles underneath the logo. The Sonic head glows yellow with the ring sound. Animated by Shigemitsu Nobuhara.
  • On Burning Rangers, the Sonic Team logo with Sonic's head in-between the words "SONIC" and "TEAM" fades in. The logo is white and shines for a second before turning into its normal colors.
  • On ChuChu Rocket!, the logo is placed in a speech bubble.
  • On the arcade and Japanese Dreamcast versions of Samba de Amigo, the logo is placed on a piece of confetti paper. This was later replaced by the standard logo in the international Dreamcast versions and the Ver. 2000 version for both platforms.
  • On Sonic Adventure, the logo whizzes in on an ocean background and slowly zooms up. The logo is similar to the one used in the Sonic Jam variant.
  • On Sonic Mega Collection, the text "COMPILED UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF" is seen above the logo rather than "CREATED BY".
  • On the Puyo Puyo games since 2001, the logo appears with the Sega logo with "PRESENTED BY" above the logo below.
  • On Sonic Lost World (aside from 4:3 fullscreen and 16:9 widescreen), the logo can also be presented in 16:10 widescreen, 21:9 scope and 48:9 super-scope.
  • In trailers for Sonic Forces, the logo is dark gray with concrete texturing.
  • In the ending credits for Sonic Forces where it starts inside the tower (with a shiny bloom effect) in Eggman Empire Fortress, an in-credit version appears from outside the black 16:9 box and scrolls up until it stops above it. Then it disappears seconds after the box fades out in the Metropolis location.

Technique: A still graphic designed by Hirokazu Yasuhara, either digital or sprite-based.

Audio: None.

Audio Variants: On the first four games that used this ident, it included a jingle, which consisted of a whoosh noise followed by an echoing female voice whispering "Sonic Team" and a slightly low-pitched ring sound from the Sonic games that also echoes.

  • On NiGHTS into Dreams, simply the jingle plays.
  • On Sonic Jam, the whoosh at the start is accompanied by the sound of wind blowing.
  • On Burning Rangers, there is no whoosh, but a calm 5-note jingle instead. The voiceover is heard with a quicker echo, and instead of the ring sound from the Sonic games, the sound you hear when you lose all your rings is heard.
  • On Sonic Adventure, the jingle is accompanied by synthesized crashing of waves.
  • On NiGHTS Journey of Dreams, the whoosh in the jingle is missing, the voiceover is different, and the ring sound is normal pitch.


  • The standard logos are seen on almost every Sonic game developed by the studio starting with Sonic Adventure. On the PC port of Sonic Heroes, the logo was not used, but is stored as a leftover in the texture archive packed in "".
  • The variants listed above are seen on the aforementioned games on which they are seen. It was first seen on NiGHTS into Dreams for Sega Saturn.
  • The Puyo Puyo variant can be only found on Puyo Pop, Puyo Pop Fever, and Puyo Puyo Fever 2 Chu! from 2001-2006.

2nd Logo (November 8, 2022-)

Visuals: On a black background, there is a bright light on the right of the screen. The light later reveals rings along with grass below (which likely resembles Green Hill Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog). The light later reveals to be a blue aurora trail resembling Sonic the Hedgehog collecting rings with sparkles and particle effects when collected. More rings appear and the trail goes faster until it creates an outline of the Sonic silhouette seen in the Sonic Team logo. The blue trail goes away and forms the Sonic head, but is now followed by a yellow and red trail (representing Miles "Tails" Prower and Knuckles the Echidna), forming the "SONIC TEAM" text on the right.

Trivia: A four-way split-screen comparison video of the animation test version, the two work-in-progress versions and the final version can be seen here. Furthermore, comments from the logo's producer and the creative director of Sonic series, Kazuyuki Hoshino, the logo's sound director, Kenichi Tokoi, Yota Suzuki and Taiyo Yamamoto of flapper3 and Akira Ito of Marza Animation Planet can be seen on the Sonic series' official Japanese portal page, Sonic Channel, here.

Variant: On Sonic Origins (Plus) as of the 2.0.0 update and Sonic Superstars, the logo takes place on a white background.

Technique: CGI by Marza Animation Planet.

Audio: It starts off with a quiet whoosh (not the whoosh heard in older games like Sonic Jam and Adventure) with the iconic ring sound when the Sonic trail collects the rings (now in normal pitch, like on NiGHTS Journey of Dreams), with the whoosh sound becoming louder and more like the sound we hear when boosting in Sonic games beginning in Sonic Unleashed. When the Sonic head outline is formed, an orchestral arrangement of the Chaos Emerald jingle heard in many Genesis-era Sonic games (which later became the Extra Life jingle since Sonic Adventure) is heard.

Availability: First appeared on Sonic Frontiers, and later on newer versions of Sonic Origins (including Sonic Origins Plus), plastering the previous logo, and Sonic Superstars.

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