The original developer to host the name -- an internal studio known as Sega AM8 R&D -- in 1988, Sonic Team came to worldwide prominence with the release of 1991's Sonic the Hedgehog. The success of that title prompted their change of name to Sonic Team, and has guided much of their work ever since. Led for much of its life by designer Yuji Naka, Sonic Team has released a number of innovative titles that defined both Sega and the console gaming world as a whole.
While Sonic Team is most well known for Sonic titles, they have released a number of other games, including Nights Into Dreams, Burning Rangers, Phantasy Star Online and Phantasy Star Universe, Samba de Amigo, Chu Chu Rocket, and Feel the Magic: XY/XX.
Following the merger of Sega and Sammy in 2003, United Game Artists was incorporated into Sonic Team.
In 2006, Sonic Team head Yuji Naka left Sega to form his own company, Prope. After his departure, Takashi Iizuka became the head of Sonic Team. Many notable studios have developed games under the Sonic Team name (oftentimes with Sonic Team's oversight), including Aspect, Dimps, and Backbone.