In an interview with Official Nintendo Magazine UK, Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka has explained that Gamecube, Xbox and PS2 title Shadow the Hedgehog was aimed at U.S. gamers. Iizuka says the reason for this is because first-person and third-person shooters had garnered so much popularity in the U.S. market and the development team saw Shadow as the perfect character to work with shooter-based gameplay.
Check out the full quote below:
“After Sonic Adventure, we had two studios, in the US and Japan,” explained the producer of Sonic Colours. “The Japanese Studio was to develop a Sonic game in the standard style, and the US studio was to develop something different which could contribute to the Sonic franchise.”
“That background generated the Shadow game as he appeared from Sonic Adventure. We wanted to offer other game systems to attract a different audience from traditional Sonic fans. In the US, first and third-person shooters were popular and we decided to go with a character who could work with them.”
Source: Official Nintendo Magazine UK