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Sonic’s creator confirms Michael Jackson rumor

Sonic’s creator Yuji Naka has confirmed in tweets that Michael Jackson wrote some of the music for Sonic 3.

It has been an open secret in the industry that Michael Jackson wrote some of the best songs from the Sonic 3 soundtrack. Iconic tracks such as Carnival Night Zone, Ice Cap Zone, and the Ending Credits theme have long been attributed to the late artist, though publisher Sega has never officially confirmed it.

While Sega has created many collections of its classic Genesis games over the years, the third game in the Sonic franchise has often been absent due to the song’s licensing issues. Following Jackson’s death in 2009 the rights to his music now belonged to his estate. This has led many to speculate that the long-running rumors are indeed fact.

Sonic Origins, a collection of the four most popular Sonic games developed for the Genesis and its counterpart the Sega CD, contains the much anticipated Sonic 3 & Knuckles re-release, with certain songs replaced allegedly to address the legal issues. While this change didn’t openly confirm that the Thriller singer was involved with the game’s music, a tweet from the former head of Sonic team certainly did.

Upon playing Sonic Originsand discovering that the songs had been replaced, Naka tweeted to explain his disappointment in the decision. In a succinct tweet the creator said:

“Oh my god, the music for Sonic 3 has changed, even though SEGA Official uses Michael Jackson’s music.”

Sega has often denied Jackson’s involvement in the soundtrack, reportedly due to the allegations of abuse that came out against the singer. Jackson was a long-time Sonic fan, who had worked with Sega previously to develop the Moonwalker games for the Master System, Genesis, and arcade systems. While each version is different, they all feature Jackson, his music, and his iconic dance routines.

However, this isn’t the only reason rumored for Sega’s refusal to credit the artist. Some say that Jackson himself didn’t wish to be credited as he was disappointed with the quality of the audio when played through the console. 

Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.

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