Sonic the Hedgehog (Hepburn: Sonikku za Hejjihoggu?), trademarked Sonic The Hedgehog, is the title character and protagonist of the Sonic the Hedgehog series released by Sega, as well as numerous spin-off comics, four animated shows, and an animated OVA. The first game was released on June 23, 1991, to provide Sega with a mascot to rival Nintendo's flagship character Mario (see 1991 in video gaming). Since then, Sonic has become one of the world's best-known video game characters, with his series selling more than 80 million copies. In 2005, Sonic was one of the first game character inductees into the Walk of Game, alongside Mario and Link.