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Head of Sonic Team says mixing both 2D and 3D Sonic game styles doesn’t really work, will release 2D and 3D Sonic separately

artwork for sega's sonic generations video game

Sonic Generations was a pretty solid Sonic game on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and it managed to combine both 3D Sonic and 2D Sonic albeit 3D on rails. Talking to VGC, the Head of the Sonic Team, Takashi Iizuka, has said that he doesn’t feel that merging both 2D Sonic and 3D Sonic really works and has hinted that in the future the games will be split between 2D Sonic games and 3D Sonic games. This is basically what we are getting this year with the 2D Sonic Origins collection and the 3D open zone, Sonic Frontiers. One thing that is also interesting is that Mr. Iizuka makes the assumption in the interview that younger children prefer to play the 2D Sonic games over the 3D Sonic games, though that could be due to the quality of the camera and level design etc on past 3D Sonic games. Here’s what he says:

How challenging is it to make a game that appeals to both old and new fans, especially since the most engaged audience seems to have a very specific idea of what they expect from a Sonic game?

From my perspective, it’s not so much about old and new fans, it’s really more about the game genre and the types of games that people like. I see a core fanbase of people who really like the 2D side-scrolling format, and people who really like the 3D action format. Trying to put those both together to make everyone happy doesn’t really work.

Young kids are going to be more into the 2D side-scrolling format, and they’re not going to want the 3D action games. So I see things not really about old and new, but more about the different game genres people are attached to. For me, the only way to make those fans happy is to deliver the game formats that people want.

2017 was one of those examples, where we delivered Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces to the two different fan types in the same year, and everyone was happy. So moving forwards, we want to make sure we’re making the genres that are hitting these audiences.

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17 thoughts on “Head of Sonic Team says mixing both 2D and 3D Sonic game styles doesn’t really work, will release 2D and 3D Sonic separately”

  1. Sonic Generations was a pretty and decent Sonic game in my part. Sonic Forces does not and it became a complete mess after its release and does not satisfied old adventure fans. Sonic Team really needs to do is make a Sonic game that combine the adventure aspects from other games.

  2. Sonic Generations was a moment of joy for me. Sonic Adventure 2 was the last Sonic Game I really REALLY enjoyed, so getting Generations was wonderful. Didn’t mind the two play styles in that game couse if was balanced well, but I did prefer the 3D-style.

  3. The strange world...of Stranga

    Iizuka is incompetent as hell, give someone else with TALENT like the Taxman to develop a good Snic game FFS.

    If sonic forces flops they should give the boot to Iizuka.

  4. Generations worked pretty well and i enjoyed both 2D and 3D parts equally but i have to agree it’s a hard thing to get right.

    Having separate games for each style is not a bad idea, maybe keep making games like Sonic Mania alongside the 3D ones?

  5. ‘Everyone was happy’ with Forces – good one, man. Plus, that game was like 95% 2D, and what wasn’t was mostly rails. But sure, you do you.

  6. That’s the first thing he said in months that actually makes sense (as SEGA hasn’t shut up about their direction since).

    Problem is, this is the same guy who announced another Sonic Adventure game almost a week ago, then said their are no currently plans.

    Iizuka, for the sake of Sonic the Hedgehog, just don’t think. Let us do that for you (and not just Ian Flynn, especially over the two worlds being debunked).

  7. “One thing that is also interesting is that Mr. Iizuka makes the assumption in the interview that younger children prefer to play the 2D Sonic games over the 3D Sonic games.”

    In my family, the 2D preference is entirely due to the local co-op multiplayer. Being able to play with a parent or older sibling carrying is a big deal. And it leads to the younger player wanting to improve their game, instead of just quitting in frustration. Release a 3D Sonic with local co-op and we’ll jump on that just as quick as we jumped on Super Mario 3D World. (Okay, a baseline level of competence is necessary – we tried that Sonic Boom Wii U game but it wasn’t actually fun.)

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