Receiving news about a delay for a video game is a bittersweet occasion. On one hand, it means having to wait all the longer for a game’s already highly anticipated release as its launch is pushed further ahead, but on the other hand, one can’t really complain about extra polish to ensure greater quality from the final product.
Such was the case with Sonic Mania when the Sonic Team panel at SXSW 2017 revealed that the game wouldn’t be launching this spring as originally envisioned, and has since been pushed towards a summer launch. Turns out that the wait might be over sooner than we think, as the ESRB has just recently published on their website that the game will be rated “E for Everyone” once it launches on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
If you’re unfamiliar with the process, it means that Sonic Mania is nearing the very end of its production period as SEGA would have had to submit a working copy of the final game—if not close to finished—to the Entertainment Software Rating Board in North America.
In other words, the company would have to file the game to the Board for a commercially approved rating before it can be released. Not that an “E” rating is any less obvious or of any actual surprise for a Sonic game, but hey, short of a confirmed release date, it means Mania will soon be here!
Its description on the ESRB website is as follows:
Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Content Descriptors: Mild Cartoon Violence
Rating Summary: This is an action-platformer in which players assume the role of Sonic as he zooms around colourful “zones” and attempts to defeat Dr. Eggman. As players run and jump through whimsical environments, they can jump on enemies’ heads, causing them to transform into small woodland creatures. Boss battles sometimes depict characters shooting “cartoony” bombs and/or oversized missiles; Sonic reacts to damage by losing coin-like rings and falling off the screen when defeated.
You likely noticed that one glaring omission by now. “Aren’t they forgetting the Nintendo Switch version,” you ask? Not so, according to their Twitter:
The #Switch version has not yet been rated. You know where to look for updates! (Hint: here)
— ESRB (@ESRBRatings) May 18, 2017
This is likely due to SEGA not yet submitting the Switch build of the game, which is not produced in-house at PagodaWest Games alongside the PC, PS4, and Xbox One versions, but is instead a port outsourced to Australian developer Tantalus Media. The company is renowned for porting big budget games such as Bioware’s Mass Effect 3 and Nintendo’s own The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess to the Wii U, as well as Ubisoft’s Zombi U to other platforms. Besides Sonic Mania, the Melbourne-based studio is also currently working on a Switch port for Tequila Works’ Rime.
If anything, it simply means that the game’s Nintendo Switch version is still not quite ready, but there is no reason to fear a longer wait if that’s your system of choice. Aaron Webber previously confirmed that Sonic Mania will launch on all four platforms at the same time (and at the same price), so that should dissuade any worries over preferential treatment between consoles at launch!
So with all of that said, which version of Sonic Mania do you plan on buying? Have you already preordered the Collector’s Edition for your preferred console? Sound off in the comments below!