WTF?! Not for the first time, something that started as an April Fools' joke has gone on to become an unexpected success. On this occasion, it was Sega's The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog, a free visual novel in which the speedy blue mascot has been killed (or has he?). Not only has it become Sega's best-performing PC title but also the 62nd highest-rated game on Steam.

On April 1, Sega joined the many other companies around the world in doing something jokey for April Fools' Day, and so The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog was released. While this visual novel is certainly no Return of the Obra Dinn, it's an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours without spending any money.

While these sorts of April Fools' jokes are usually done to garner a bit of publicity, Sega's game has been more successful than the company likely imagined. Since its release six days ago, The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog has been downloaded over one million times. It's currently the 62nd best-reviewed game on Steam, sitting one above Undertale, and had been in the 61st position, thanks to 98% of its 11,000 Steam user reviews being positive.

The popularity means the game is now Sega's best-reviewed title on Steam, edging ahead of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Collection and Sonic Mania, both of which have 94% positive ratings.

We've seen real and successful products originate from April Fools' pranks before. Razer's Project Breadwinner, which began as an April Fools' joke in 2016, ended up becoming a real kitchen toaster complete with Razer Chroma lighting.

Then there was the Stack Overflow keyboard called The Key which consists of only three keys: Ctrl, C, and V. It came about when Stack Overflow kept showing a tongue-in-cheek pop-up notifying users that they were almost out of free copies every time they used a keyboard command to copy characters from the site. The $29 real product was so successful that an updated version featuring RGB and hot-swappable switches was created.

More recently, the Asus ROG Ally gaming handheld originally announced as an April Fools' joke is also becoming a real product, one smaller, lighter, and more powerful than the Steam Deck, according to Asus.