Former Sega programmer Yuji Naka seems to have confirmed that Michael Jackson did indeed work on the original Sonic the Hedgehog 3 soundtrack, which could explain why it is no longer used in new re-releases of the game.
On Twitter, Yuji Naka reacted to the fact that Sonic 3's soundtrack in the Sonic Origins collection was changed. He then followed up with, "Oh my god, the music for Sonic 3 has changed, even though Sega Official uses Michael Jackson's music."
Naga then further clarifies that he's referring to a Sega's TikTok video where the company is using the star's song to celebrate Sonic's 31st birthday. However, this doesn't seem to negate his previous implication about Sonic 3's soundtrack.
Oh my god, the music for Sonic 3 has changed, even though SEGA Official uses Michael Jackson's music.
— Yuji Naka / 中 裕司 (@nakayuji) June 23, 2022
Earlier this week, Sonic social media manager Katie Chrzanowski confirmed that the original soundtrack for the game wouldn't be included in the new classic games collection. It's long been speculated that pop star Michael Jackson worked on the original soundtrack due to its similarities with his biggest songs like Smooth Criminal, Stranger in Moscow, and Jam.
Instead, the soundtrack in Sonic 3 for Origins was adapted from the 1993 prototype that was discovered in November 2019. Fans weren't really happy about the results.
Sonic Origins launches on June 23 for Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
George Yang is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @yinyangfooey