Sonic X-treme beta auction
From Sonic Retro
|Sonic X-treme beta auction|
| Developer: Sonic Team,|
Sega Technical Institute
|System(s): Sega Saturn|
The Sonic X-treme beta auction was a auction for the Sonic X-treme 718 prototype.
On September 13, 2005, an anonymous Sega employee put a proof-of-concept beta of Sonic X-Treme up for auction on ASSEMbler Games, using TheRedEye as a middleman and auctioneer. TheRedEye posted a notification thread about it on SWS2B. The seller wanted a four-figure sum for it, which immediately put almost every member of the Sonic community out of the running, at least on their own. TheRedEye then posted in the ASSEMbler's auction thread stating that an anonymous collector had bid $2,500. Because it was unlikely that it would be dumped and redistributed if a collector bought it, some of the members of ASSEMbler's decided to start a group bid. Among the Sonic sceners that contributed were LocalH and rika_chou. The community had raised $1,700 before Ratman221 threw a huge monkey wrench into the plan.
Ratman showed up on the 14th with a promise that he would buy the prototype at any cost. He initially bid $3,000 and said that he would raise any higher bids. Some community members were suspicious of this guy, since he gave two phoney AIM screen names and had never been heard of before. However, donations to the pot stopped completely, as everybody thought he was legitimate. After the debacle over the AIM names, LocalH went back and forth between SWS2B, ASSEMblers, and Sonic Classic relaying additional contributions that were made. This brought the group total to $2,365, only $135 short of the collector's bid.
The next day, after the auction ended, Ratman revealed that his bid was a diversion meant specifically to keep the Sonic community from getting the beta, and said that he was hired by the winning collector (according to him, hl7_18) to keep everybody else out. He also claimed that the entire auction was a show, and that TheRedEye knew of this from the start. All claims about TheRedEye's involvement in a fake auction are almost certainly false due to his reliability, and hl7_18 adamantly denies both being the buyer and having anything to do with Ratman. Ratman later claimed that he was Perfect Chaos.
On September 27, Ratman again posted at ASSEMbler's. He first withdrew the Perfect Chaos claim, then said that he threw off the auction "... for revenge against certain members of the Sonic Community." More information can be found in his Scener page.
The collector is reported to have good video equipment, and has promised that he will make a high-quality video of the game in action as soon as he receives it. As of the week beginning on the 9th April 2006, these promises are yet to be fulfilled. Response to the video is mixed - while some are optimistic, others are skeptical of what can possibly be gained from a video and others still have become cynical of the immense amount of time that has elapsed without a release.
A second auction was later attempted by ASSEMbler, but interest was low. It was pulled soon after it was brought to the attention of Chris Senn.
On July 16th, 2007 Assembler decided to release it and a torrent was posted on his message board.