Yeah, but it’s kinda hard not to think the legal incident, and such didn’t make Sega paranoid about that.
It wasn’t just during the Pender era, other writers even Ian Flynn used the Sonic multiverse gimmick.
Also, it sounds weird calling Archie Sonic the “Pendersverse,” as the series’ universe wasn’t just cultivated by him.
Also, I’m oddly seeing many conspiracy nuts that think, “there are no Sega mandates,” and believe the comic writers can literally do what they want, use whatever character they want, and such… Methinks they don’t understand how licensed comics are made…
Ever wonder why Cream and Omega took forever to appear in the Archie canon? Sega wouldn’t let them. So that’s one of the proofs that Sega oversees the comic.