A few years ago we learned that Sega was about to launch a skateboarding game of Sonic for Xbox – and probably the other platforms of the time – called Sonic Extreme. The channel Unseen64 has revealed new material and details about this title.
The project was led by Vision Scape, who developed SeaBlade and Bare Knuckle Grind, based on popular toys in the late 1990s. The studio also worked on Rocket Power, another skateboarding title for Nickelodeon TV.
In Sonic Extreme the characters would use hovercraft and would have two protagonists, Sonic and Shadow. The recreation area was inspired by Green Hill Zone, the well-known phase of the first Sonic and would count with ramps and other elements to perform our tricks. It had solitary mode and combat for two players using weapons like missiles and grenades. The prototype also includes a race mode.
According to the video, Vision Scape made the prototype with its own funding and without the knowledge of Sega. The studio had a good relationship with Sega for their work in some cinematics of Sonic Heroes, so they showed the game to Sega; Yuji Naka was interested in the concept and asked Vision Scape documentation and estimated budget to complete the project. Vision Scape sent the information but Sega did not respond, cutting off the communication.
The concept did not disappear altogether because at a later time Sega launched Sonic Riders – with several sequels. Vision Scape saw the resemblance to its prototype and planned legal actions, but agreements signed during the work in Sonic Heroes mentioned that any prototype with licenses of Sega would belong to Sega.