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Takashi Iizuka Explains Why Dr. Robotnik Started Being Named “Eggman”

In a recent interview with Game Informer, Takashi Iizuka, head of the Sonic Team, explained why people started calling Dr Robotnik the new name “Eggman”.

“When the game was originally developed in Japan, they called the character Eggman. That was the name of the character, but when the game got localized and ported into the Sonic the Hedgehog that we know in the West, they decided to, without confirming with the development team, change his name to Ivo Robotnik or just Robotnik. That’s kind of when everyone first learned about the character. Of course, this was without consulting the people who made the game. They just kind of went off and did it. It became super popular and everyone in the West kind of learned about the character as Robotnik.

That went on through the “classic” series in the Genesis/Mega Drive era, but as far as the developers are concerned – the ones who made the character and the leaders of what this character is doing next – we really didn’t want to have anyone in the universe with two names. To us, he’s Eggman, but in the rest of the world he’s called Robotnik. We wanted to unify that into one name moving forward. This is something I actually did in the Sonic Adventure series. I made it so that we understand the character’s name is Robotnik, but his nickname is Eggman, and as far as everyone is concerned in the world now, we’re just going to call him Eggman as his official name.”

So there you have it, the mystery is solved. The team wanted to have a unified name for the Sonic villain going forward and this is why he is also known as Eggman. Which do you prefer?

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40 thoughts on “Takashi Iizuka Explains Why Dr. Robotnik Started Being Named “Eggman””

    1. I honestly didn’t know because I never actually bothered to find out. That & they did later make Robotnik part of his actual name so I never thought anything of it.

  1. He’ll always be Robotnik to me. It sounds more sinister. Of course, in my country, the -nik suffix, taken from Sputnik, has evil connotations because of the side of the cold war we were on. But “Eggman” seems weird, even if he uses eggs as a motif a few times. Is there some Japanese association with eggs I just don’t know? Sonic Team used them for Eggman, for chao, and pretty centrally in Billy Hatcher. What’s with that?

  2. I was always confused since he was called Robotnik in the early Sonic games yet all of his devices involved the word egg (Death Egg, Death Egg Robot, Egg Hornet, Egg Carrier, etc.). I’m perfectly okay with his real name being Robotnik and him just going with Eggman because he just said “ah, screw it” after awhile; his family name was confirmed after the introduction of Gerald and Maria, anyway.

    1. That song was so great but it always seemed weird to me that his theme was embracing what I thought was an insult that was made up by his enemies lol.

  3. I wasn’t introduced to the Sonic series until Sonic Adventure 2 on the Gamecube. Never had Sega systems growing up. So I’ve been using the two names interchangibly and will continue doing that.

  4. ugh whatever
    eggman is just a nickname

    this is a children’s series (that tried to be too edgy) so a name like eggman is perfect
    even because all his traps and gadgets in sonic 1/2/3 had “egg” in their names

    dr. ivo “eggman” robotnik for me

    there ya go

  5. There never was a mystery.
    A lot of people know this, but to a LOT of us, the name is fucking stupid as fuck.. and does not sound very threatening as a villains name, so a lot of us ignore it and keep calling him Dr Ivo Robotnik, as it sounds way more menacing.. and less like the name you would a FUCKING CLOWN!

      1. Seriously .. why the fuck can’t we edit comments? This is ridiculous.. i can’t go back and correct spelling errors or missing words or anything…. ta fuck?

      1. Not always, no.
        He did not start off that way… not in the US anyhow.
        Especially if you ever watched SatAM Sonic the Hedgehog.
        He was as villainous as they come.

        1. SatAM isn’t canon to the original series. I mean, he was fat, dressed ridiculously bad, smiled in embarressment whenever one of his machines were destroyed, not to mention that hilarious running animation from S3&K. Yeah, I don’t think he was really all that serious from the beginning. Besides, his actual name was Eggman (SEGA is of course a Japanese company), I’m pretty sure they were aiming for a more comedic approach than the mean looking Bowser from Mario.

  6. I don’t mind Eggman as a nickname, but I think the should use Robotnik here and there in the localizations. It sounds cooler.

  7. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

    ||The Sonic weaponry got worse just in time when Eggman was introduced as a name…||

      1. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

        ||Yes but it wasn’t his official name back then, only his empire…||

        1. The problem with sonic was that sega focussed a lot with making sonic being cool than making fun games, that has been the main difference between mario and sonic.

          1. SEGA relies too much on Sonic too. They’ve got other great franchises that are just begging to be brought back, but they won’t do it. Probably because of the fear they won’t sell well or something.

            1. That’s their biggest issue, but i guess with izuka’s comments about sonic in Wii u they acknowledged that sonic is not a system seller (anymore).

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  10. Always wondered why they called him Eggman in later years. Least they made Robotnik part of his Japanese name because I find that name cooler than Eggman. So I can still call him Robotnik since it’s now part of his canon name in both Japan & everywhere else.

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