VGC has had the chance the chat with Sonic Team boss Takashi Iizuka about the teams vision for Sonic Frontiers which has divided most gamers since the first footage of the game was demoed by IGN. It wasn’t the best first showing, and judging from the previews which have come out today, it does appear that IGN were actually playing an early build as stated. VGC quizzed Mr. Iizuka about his thoughts on the delay Sonic Frontiers hashtag which appeared after the first footage was demoed by IGN. You can read his thoughts down below. Sonic Frontiers is set for release this holiday on Switch and other current platforms.
“It’s not really that surprising. We do realise everyone is just kind of reacting to the videos that they saw, and because they don’t understand what this new gameplay is they’re kind of comparing it to other games that they already know. So we do see a lot of people saying, ‘oh, it’s kind of like this, it’s kind of like that, but it’s not like this, it’s not like that’. And really, the team is going out and creating this new game format for Sonic, and we’re calling it an ‘open zone’ format.
“And this new game system itself is something that doesn’t really exist in any other comparable titles, so we really hope that from here until launch we can really explain what open zone gameplay is. If people come to Gamescom or Tokyo Game Show, [they can] get that hands-on experience to play the game and understand what the game is. Because right now we’re just kind of watching videos of people reacting to what they believe the game to be.”
“Frontiers is in development now, and actually we’ve been doing a lot of playtesting with our target audience, who would be in that demographic of someone who’d play a Sonic game and enjoy it. From our playtesting results we have been iterating, we have been listening to the comments that come back, but we’ve also been getting a lot of great feedback from people who rate the game and are like, ‘I had a lot of fun playing this game, I’d give it like an 80 or 90 point score out of 100’.
“So we do feel that we’re getting to the point where this game is done, and people will like it, and we do want to get that game into our fans’ hands as soon as possible. We really feel confident in the playtest results that we’re getting. A lot of people are saying they had a lot of fun, they really enjoyed the game. So we realise a lot of people are watching the videos online and making assumptions, but we do feel confident based on the playtest results from the target demographic that are coming in and playing the game start to finish, they really like the game and we’re confident that we’re making a game that will be satisfying.
“So if our development team all gets coronavirus, or they’re all hospitalised, or there’s something that actually prohibits us from being able to deliver the game on time, we will need more time. But we’re working right now with our team in Japan who are working really hard to make sure this holiday people can buy the game, pick it up, take it home and have a fun experience with it.”
It concerns me that they don’t know there own Gameplay well enough to explain it. I am sorry I am not going to pay you to “understand” your vision. I will wait for the fan reaction before I buy. I’ve been burned too many times by Sonic Team.
Ok so like aside from seeing the actual legit leaks of the sonic demo from summer game fest (I’m not gonna put in spoilers in this comment) why would he tell his fans we “don’t understand” it’s really stupid and undermines the consumer and it’s bad marketing to not show a little bit of best stuff to entice your fans and give them a reason to purchase this, sonic definitely ain’t the type of character where alot of people will say “oh sonic is in it I’ll definitely be purchasing it” he definitely doesn’t have the best track record and people and fans really do want to be confident in his game, so why damage your brand by offering a beta build up first for gameplay instead of showing off one of your lastest build so people can see how you have improve.
People need to understand on why did this in this first place and need to understand that they are trying there best to deliver the Sonic Experience by using some aspects from other open world games.
It’s bad marketing bud no matter how you slice it, if their trying best they wouldn’t had let ign showcase the beta build first for the month of June, these are the same guys that told us we couldn’t try the forces Japan demo because it wasn’t meant for us to play back than when forces was almost close to its release date.
Yes that is correct. Sonic Forces almost look unfinish.
See that right there, people are still concerned about the game gameplay and it’s performance and still didn’t realize that it’s a early build of the game. This game is basically Sonic Team advantage to possibly make another Sonic Adventure game down the road.
The development team trying to create the best Sonic experience for the Sonic lore and they wanted to show fans that they have utilize the open world aspects from other Open world games like BOTW and Genshin Impact.
Sonic Frontiers is basically there way on improving themselves and they wanted to create something new by adding some of the adventure series lore to the game. I really don’t want this game to go in to a waste of development. Otherwise, it will feel like a development hell and Sonic Team develop this all for nothing because of the feedback by fans. Sonic Team did learn a lesson from there recent mistakes.
Hahaha, he should be a comedian.
Regardless of the end product, this has been a disaster of a rollout. The entire purpose of marketing is to showcase to your potential customers the aspects of the product you think will entice them to purchase that product. By the lead’s own words, they did not do that. Worse, they are either unwilling or incapable of doing that as a damage control gesture, as evidenced by their 10 minute long sonic live event.
Either A) The game actually has nothing worthwhile about it, and they aren’t showing it to you because it doesn’t exist.
Or B) It really does have very enticing gameplay, and they’ve managed to fail at showing it off like 4 times in a row now, showcasing a disturbing lack of basic competence, which is itself not very encouraging for the end product. If the core gameplay really is great, how can a company that’s so inept it can’t just show you that gameplay going to deliver on all of the other non-core gameplay issues that come along with producing a major title? If this is what their marketing is like, what’s their quality assurance like? If this is what their marketing is like, what’s their post release support like?
It’s not like this game is some super-unique thing – I don’t think what it’s doing is that different from a full-game Bowser’s Fury, in fact I don’t think ultimately it’s that different from Super Mario Odyssey. Where it differs from those two games is lack of polish, unappealing level design, and very slow-paced gameplay. Framerate wasn’t wholly steady in the video, and the controls looked twitchy to me (though obviously that you can’t be certain of until the game is in your hand). The world itself looks likes a developer test area – that’s something that will absolutely not change by playing the game. The visual style of what we’ve seen, the super-realistic grassland with random floating rails scattered I just don’t like.
I can see that effort has been put into this game, unlike for example Sonic Forces. I just think it was too ambitious for what Sonic Team are capable of achieving. I hope this guy is right and it’s somehow fun when it’s in our hands, but I’ll certainly be waiting for other people to be the guinea pigs on that one.
I have a theory about the visual direction in Sonic Frontiers. It’s just my own opinion and not really based on anything that’s been confirmed, so I could be dead wrong. I think Sonic Team is trying to integrate the art design from the new Sonic movies into the main series canon as a result of their success at the box office. Sonic Team is expecting a flood of new fans as a result of the movies’ popularity (hence their emphasis on focus testing) and the new art direction is a result of Sega’s desire to merge the new fans in with the old. Badniks have a much more realistic take this time around and the environment resembles Earth more than any location in the genesis games – but Sonic retains his familiar look and the floating rails and islands seem to me like a half-baked reincorporation of Sonic’s game elements. There will probably be sub-environments which take visual cues from Sonic’s classic outings and we may see another redesign for Eggman. Again, I could be wrong – but it might explain their reticence to show off other areas and elements of the game at this stage
Amazing how they still cant get the gameplay down for their 3D sonic games. Meanwhile there are plenty other mods using the unreal engine that show off better gameplay.
But gamers won’t buy a broken game to see their “vision”…
Understanding their vision and actually being OKAY with it are two different things.
Especially if they have something better in mind that they’re currently working on (without any support from anyone in both their personal life and on the internet).
Sure, i’ll take a look once you release a demo. You’ll release a demo worldwide this time and not just in Japan, right?
See, people still didn’t realize that the game is basically a early product of the game. Sonic Team is basically trying to deliver the best Sonic experience for the franchise and utilize the open world aspects from similar games like BOTW and Genshin Impact.
I still understand people’s frustration with Sonic Team about these types of Sonic lore and still complain that they did a lazy ass job on this title and made it a complete mess. It feels like Sonic Team developers trying to add a few adventure lores in to the game just to satisfied adventure fans. I really don’t want this game go in to a waste of development and it will be all for nothing.