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Sonic Team: Ever since the release of Sonic Forces, Sonic Team has been trying to nail the next-gen Sonic experience

Game Informer caught up with the head of the Sonic Team, Takashi Iizuka, to speak to him about the iconic Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic’s 30th anniversary, and how the pandemic has affected the company’s celebratory plans. One thing which many of you will wish to know is what happened to the Sonic Team after the release of the disastrous Sonic Forces game in November 2017. Well, the team obviously shipped it and then immediately started working and trying out different ways for them to deliver a truly next generation Sonic game. The team needed to think about how they were going to take the spiky blue hedgehog forward after struggling for years. It seems like they have settled on something as they teased their next generation Sonic game, which is seemingly titled Sonic Rangers, during the Sonic Central stream. Here’s what Mr. Iizuka said:

After Sonic Forces, many fans have been curious about what the next mainline Sonic game from Sonic Team will be like. Now that it’s officially announced, can you give any details about the kind of gameplay they should expect from the new game?

Thank you for being so patient. Ever since the release of Sonic Forces, Sonic Team in Japan was trying many different approaches to deliver a next-gen Sonic experience. While celebrating 30 years of Sonic titles and thinking about what the modern gameplay experience should be for a Sonic title, we also needed to think about what path forward we should plan to take for the next decade. There is a lot I can’t yet talk about, but we are working hard on the title. We look forward to sharing more information about this title in the future.

Are there any particular things you hope to accomplish with the new game? What lessons did the team learn from games like Sonic Generations and Sonic Forces that will be implemented into the title?

There is a lot I can’t say yet about the title, but I do believe we will see an advancement in what a modern Sonic game can be. Of course, we will not deny the high-speed action that characterized previous modern Sonic games like Sonic Generations or Sonic Forces, rather we will create a title that our current gaming fans and new gamers will enjoy.

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19 comments

  1. Wished they stop trying to “nail” arbitrary nonsense and just make competent games.

    1. Sega have been trying to re-invent Sonic for the next gen again and again for the past 15 years, and it has been consistently a terrible strategy. It completely contrasts with Nintendo – whilst they have been somewhat experimental with Mario in the 3D games, they’ve never strayed away from the basics of what makes Mario great, and the games always take a lot from previous games (with Odyssey feeling like a great amalgamation of literally every 3D Mario game before it).

      Think of everything Sega have tried in 3D Sonic that radically changes how the game plays – 3 character team gameplay, the Werehog, boost gameplay, Classic Sonic stages, whatever Sonic Boom was. Stop trying to reinvent the wheel. The Adventure games were such a solid foundation for the series – they certainly haven’t aged the best but they were great games for their time so they should have built on what made them great. Unfortunately I think ’06 (which attempted to do that but was just cursed with incompetence on every level) has discouraged them from that pathway.

      And given the rumours about this upcoming game as being some sort of BotW inspired open-world Sonic game, I am definitely feeling deja vu as they try yet another radical shift in gameplay. There is definitely potential for another failure of Sonic Boom proportions here.

      1. Somebodies angry. Chill, man. You’re acting like you’ve been personally attacked. It’s just videogames.

        1. Man I don’t know if it’s just me, but video games just don’t hit the same anymore…

      2. If this article was about Pokémon then trust me, I have plenty to say about that too. But that would be off-topic.

        The original Sonic the Hedgehog was the first video game I ever played, and I owned exclusively Sega consoles until the Dreamcast died. Sonic was my thing growing up. But we have to be real about what has happened since then. There have been some good moments, Generations is a good game and Mania is excellent. But for every 1 of those there have been 2 or 3 embarrassingly poor efforts. The name Sonic does not imply quality anymore, and every time it sounds like they want to re-invent the franchise yet again, it ought to be met with great skepticism.

  2. There’s the problem; They keep trying to “Nail” something or appeal to “New Gamers”. It’s been struggling for years because all they do is try to make some new edgy or innovative concept….. On a separate note, E3 has been unbelievably bad this year. Now it’s all on Nintendo to save it lol

  3. There has been a few problems with SEGA and previous failed Sonic games. The franchise has been struggling for a while now with some fail widespread concepts they been trying to deliver for years now. Not only that but Sonic 06 was a failed concept and didn’t receive much attention from reviewers. I know this new game is going to be a inspiration to Breath of the wild, but how will they manage to achieve this type of development strategy and bring the old fans back?

    Every now and then, SEGA been trying too make something more challenging for advance gamers for a longtime now by creating the ultimate Sonic title in history by making the best experiences as possible. Plus, Takashi Iizuka and his team at Sonic Team know they made a mistake from Sonic Forces and now they are rethinking there mistakes and doing some researching to bring in new concepts & strategy for pro gamers to experience the next gen Sonic game.

    I mean, they been trying to do that over, over, and over again for years now just like Sonic 06 and Sonic Lost World. The only thing I want Sonic Team to do is to get themselves together and revisit their mistakes from past Sonic titles. The franchise has been through some darkest path now.

    Beside’s Nintendo did learn from their mistakes from the Wii U era due to its low sales and reception. Now Nintendo is going to save E-3 this year witch they are going to the light path now.

    1. how sonic is going to be an inspiration to breath of the wild?

      or do you mean “it’s taking inspiration FROM breath of the wild (???)

        1. So it’s from not “taking to” nor “be an inspiration to”

          The day a Nintendo franchise takes inspiration from sonic, that’ll the day creativity officially dies.

  4. This is the second interview from Iizuka I’ve seen and they both make me worried. I don’t think they EVER learn from their mistakes. This serisouly sounds like a whole lot of nothing. Like “improvement” can mean anything in the case of Sonic. Do they mean the game play? The design? The concepts? What??? Sonic has been such a mixed bag that when I hear iizuka say shit like this, I don’t know how to feel. Sonic doesn’t need to Innovate, he just needs a good game!!!

  5. I’m tellin ya… Hand it over to Platinum Games to make a standard plat-action game

    OR

    Open world game where you liberate small animals by destroying Eggman bases, prison camps, etc.

      1. I was thinking more minimalistic than that. I wouldn’t even oppose to the idea of Sonic becoming a silent protagonist again in this concept.

        Really, it’s more of a way to explore the concept of an open-world game where the player character can, quite literally, fast travel. The plot just adapts to what the Sega games plot felt like.

  6. Just don’t file for bankruptcy or sell the franchise.

    Some of us want to make games FOR the franchise.

  7. I would rather see this game get canceled so we can get sonic adventure, sonic adventure 2 and sonic heroes ported to Nintendo switch as a trilogy collection.

  8. As a long time Sonic fan,

    Mania was a breath of fresh air and cant wait to see if Mania 2 comes out. However I now welcome the idea that Sonic Rangers is a new game with a new concept and a new set of physics to go with it. NEW games come out all the time and make blockbuster numbers, fall guys comes to mind, and I dont think thats a good game at all.

    The unfortunate failings in the past will only be repeated if you underfund and over stretch the resources of developement. Its been a while since Sonic Forces, i just hope that time and money will show in the new game. The Sonic movie has proven that bad decisions can be overturned, (even if it was just a marketing stunt). Theres a Post modern sonic fan base now and we cant be split into three groups. Classic, Modern and Post modern Sonic.

    I have high hopes for a solid sonic game with a gimmick thrown in that wont rip the gameplay appart.

  9. We already know what Sonic’s next Adventure is, It’s a remake of Sonic Colours.

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