Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg released on the GameCube in 2003 and introduced gamers to an incredibly fun and unique style of gameplay. Published by SEGA and developed by Sonic Team (using the Sonic Adventure 2 engine), Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg allows gamers to play as a kid in a chicken costume who can roll eggs around to make them grow and eventually hatch them to gain the powers to save the world.
It sounds a bit silly, but it’s actually a lot of fun, uses unique platforming mechanics, has interesting puzzles, and involves a plot about stopping darkness from engulfing the world. The game did well critically but was unfortunately a financial bomb. Most people who have played it enjoyed it and have fond memories of playing through the single player story and the competitive multiplayer mode, but it seems that not a lot of people actually played it. The game has unfortunately become forgotten over time, so it definitely deserves more love than it’s gotten since it was released almost two decades ago.
Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg deserves more love simply because it’s a genuinely great game. It’s lighthearted, has a fun adventure, and offers unique mechanics for platforming and puzzles along with some extremely catchy music. For some reason, it just never got the love from mass audiences. The game never got a sequel of any sort, there’s no big fan groups for it online, and cosplays are rarely seen. The only acknowledgements that Billy Hatcher has received since the game launched was the titular character appearing as a guest character in Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity and Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, as well as being playale in SEGA Superstars. In each of those games, Billy is overshadowed by the likes of Sonic and Super Monkey Ball characters.
Perhaps it would have been more fondly remembered if there was a sequel or if it became a long-running series like Sonic the Hedgehog did. More opportunities for people to be introduced to the game could have meant more people giving it a try and allowing Billy Hatcher into their hearts. That being said, a standalone game can absolutely have its fans and be fondly remembered. Bloodborne has no sequels (yet), but plenty of people celebrate their love for it through cosplay, fan-art, and buying merchandise.
Billy Hatcher also doesn’t necessarily need a sequel, though. The story feels complete and it works as a standalone game. Everything doesn’t need to be a part of a series. There are ways the game can still be celebrated if SEGA ever finally decides to give attention to it. One major way they could help the game get some love from fans is with an HD re-release. Even if it’s just a digital download in the Nintendo EShop. Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater have not only proven that these reboots and re-releases can be successful, but that they also rebuild excitement for the original games.
If, for whatever reason, SEGA never decides to re-release the game on modern consoles, there are still other ways Billy Hatcher could get more love. There seems to be a Funko POP! figure of just about everything these days, so why not one of Billy Hatcher? Perhaps First 4 Figures or Iron Studios would be willing to create a collectible statue or action figure of Billy. Heck, even plush toys or t-shirts would be a lot more than fans have been able to get in recent years.
Billy has made guest appearances in other video games before, so why not have him show up in more? More Sonic racing games have been released, so he’d be a great fit for those. He would make for a fun and unique character in a Super Smash Bros. game. If Nintendo doesn’t want him playable, they could at the very least feature him as an Assist Trophy, Spirit, or even a Mii costume. Maybe Billy could at least briefly appear in the Sonic the Hedgehog comics like he did once several years ago.
Regardless, any tidbit of recognition Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg can get would be welcome for those who actually played the game. It’s a charming and enjoyable game, and it’s a shame that it’s practically been wiped out of existence except as a distant memory from the early 2000s. Love for this cult classic is definitely past due.