Update: Adding extra confusion to this saga, Yuji Naka has further tweeted that he was referring to a TikTok on the official SEGA account using Michael Jackson’s music. How that relates to Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is still up in the air though, so it’s likely this is either Naka-san being coy about the whole situation or a pure confusion of meaning:
I feel like I'm being misunderstood a lot, probably because I don't speak English and I'm using a translation tool. Sorry.
Original story: Sonic Origins, a brand-new compilation of the first four classic Sonic the Hedgehog games, released this week giving fans the chance to replay the games on modern platforms with enhanced visuals, music and a treasure trove of bonus content. One thing that fans immediately noticed had changed in these new iterations though, is that the music in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 isn’t the same as the original release – it seems to come from much earlier compositions.
Fans aren’t the only ones who noticed, either. The game’s original producer, Yuji Naka, took to Twitter to express his surprise at – confirming an urban myth that’s been around for absolute yonks – the removal of the music originally worked on by none other than Michael Jackson.
It’s been a long-held belief that Jackson and his team became involved in the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 project late in development, changing much of the game’s soundtrack. Until now though there’s never been such a bald-faced confirmation as the former head of Sonic Team tweeting about it out of the blue:
Oh my god, the music for Sonic 3 has changed, even though SEGA Official uses Michael Jackson's music.