As we know, Sonic & SEGA All Stars Racing Transformed will sport an eclectic cast of fan-favourite cartoon characters from SEGA's library of hits including Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Monkey Ball and…real life US NASCAR driver Danica Patrick. Eh?
This surprise inclusion stems from a new parternship with SEGA, which will see a digitised Danica joining the cast as a playable character with customised vehicles in Sonic & SEGA All Stars Racing. In return, Danica will be racing in a real-life SEGA-sponsored Chevrolet NASCAR during the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge on November 3 at the Texas Motor Speedway.
“It’s a very exciting experience since I’ll be sharing the screen with such an iconic character,” said Danica Patrick. “I cannot wait for gamers to jump into my customized, transformable vehicles and give Sonic a run for his rings this holiday season!”
“Danica Patrick is one of the most popular athletes in the world and her accomplishments both on and off the track make her the perfect partner for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed,” said Masanao Maeda, President and COO, SEGA of America. “Danica’s involvement showcases the broad appeal of this title – everyone from casual gamers to hard core racing fans will be able to enjoy the fun.”
Danica is best known for her achievements in IndyCar, with a career spanning from 2005 – 2011. She currently stands as the only woman to win the IndyCar championship, before embarking on a full time placement in NASCAR starting from this year.
In her spare time she flashes flesh for a modelling career – we can't wait for the outcry when SEGA's younger fanbase, i.e. this game's target market, play the game, fail to recognise her and do a bit of internet research on Google Images. Exactly the image SEGA presumably want for a family-friendly racing game.
A rather dubious marketing move on SEGA's part, if you ask us. Besides the fact that the average player outside of North America isn't interested in NASCAR and will therefore not have even heard of her, plus the fact she has no real relevance to SEGA or video games, you simply have to wonder which historic SEGA character was rejected in favour of her.
Unless of course it turns out to be a subliminal hint at a future Daytona USA sequel. We can dream, but then it at least seems logical for her in-game car to be a transformable Hornet from Daytona, especially after the recent Ridge Racer collaboration.