In the last four months, Twitter has turned from a mild annoyance into an unending garbage fire that may well be damaging to your mental health. But, through it all, there’s been one voice of reason and delight — a north star, if you will, amidst a sea of dread. I’m speaking, of course, of Sonic the Hedgehog.
Now the man behind the iconic blue rodent’s social media persona, Aaron Webber, is stepping down to take on a new role at Sega.
This truly is the darkest timeline.
Webber stepped into these red famous shoes during a tumultuous time for the Sega brand. A string of lackluster Sonic games had accelerated the spikey blue critter’s path toward the dustbin of video game history. But Webber has proved instrumental in keeping Sonic relevant. He’s done so with humor, but also with love. And he will be missed.
The announcement was made on Twitter Thursday. The account, which is owned and managed by Sega, allowed Webber to pen a final letter of goodbye.
“In 2015, Sega asked me to return and run PR and Social for a certain blue hedgehog,” Webber wrote. “I was a huge fan of Sonic since a young age, but I had no idea just how interesting things were about to become.”
“I started posting whatever I felt would work,” Webber continued. “Fun content, memes, references you wouldn’t expect from an official account — the conversation had to change, and I was confident that we could change it. Normally, this is a good way to lose your job. I cannot thank you all enough for what happened next, because you saved my career.”
Webber helped grow the account from some 30,000 followers to more than 5.8 million. He did so while both the console wars and the culture wars waged all around him. And he brought a smile to many, many faces when they needed it. On his way out of the door, Webber turns back to thank the fans.
“I couldn’t be more proud of what all of you as the Sonic fanbase have accomplished,” he wrote, “and what I know you will continue to accomplish in the coming years. Thank you for letting me be a part of this journey with you. Thank you for sticking with us through thick and thin. Thank you for an amazing five years.”
Webber will be passing the torch along to someone else at Sega, so here’s hoping that the tone will remain the same. Webber didn’t say what he was moving on to, but I think it’s safe to say that whatever position it is … he’s gotta go fast to get there.
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