A long-standing rumour surrounding Michael Jackson's involvement with the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series has seemingly been confirmed after almost 30 years.
Taking to Twitter (opens in new tab), Sonic the Hedgehog creator Yuji Naka casually confirmed that yes, Michael Jackson did contribute to the soundtrack of Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Speculation that the pop singer worked on music for the 1994 Sega Genesis title has been ongoing for decades now, with only a quick search on YouTube (opens in new tab) needed to find the mountains of theories trying to piece the evidence together.
So no one expected that Naka would reveal this little tidbit in an offhanded message regarding Sonic 3's music in the upcoming remaster collection, Sonic Origins. This came to light after it was found that the new game does not use the original soundtrack, which is reportedly due to complications with the Jackson estate.
T3 has reached out to Sega for comment.
Oh my god, the music for Sonic 3 has changed, even though SEGA Official uses Michael Jackson's music.June 23, 2022
"Does Sonic Origins Sonic 3 have a different song?" he wrote. "Oh my god, the music for Sonic 3 has changed, even though Sega Official uses Michael Jackson's music."
Sega has never officially confirmed Jackson's involvement and distanced itself from the singer, following multiple allegations of sexual abuse. Any contribution was thought to be without any Sega executives being aware, according to former Sega of America president Tom Kalinske (via VGC (opens in new tab)). This is the biggest piece of evidence yet that it did in fact happen.
The new Sonic Origins (opens in new tab) collection comprises Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles and Sonic CD. The new game launched today and is available across PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.
Meanwhile, Sonic is set to go back to 3D later this year in Sonic Frontiers, a new "open-zone" action-adventure that looks to take inspiration from Breath of the Wild and Shadow of the Colossus.