Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka wants to make you happy. The guy is clearly working flat out to deliver whatever projects SEGA has in store for Sonic the Hedgehog’s 30th Anniversary, and in a new interview he’s not shy about his intention to to satisfy every fan out there.
As it’s Sonic’s birthday this month – as well as SEGA’s 60th anniversary – the producer and studio boss had some time to sit down with Otaquest (a website established by music celebrity Taku Takahashi, of pop group m-flo, which worked with SEGA on a Shadow the Hedgehog remix back in 2005… so quite a fitting website to be interviewed by). He was asked about Sonic’s milestone anniversary and, while Iizuka did not spill any beans on what was being planned, he did share that he was hopeful that fans would like it.
“It seems just like yesterday that we celebrated the 20th anniversary of his birth, but he will be celebrating his 30th anniversary next year in a matter of days. In the past 10 years, we have been blessed with a number of hit titles that represent “Sonic Mania”, and we have been able to leave our mark with many achievements such as TV anime and Hollywood movies,” he said.
“I’m grateful for all of the fans who have loved and supported Sonic for so long, and I hope that I can make it a year to celebrate the 30th anniversary with all of the fans in order to meet their desires. We would like to continue to grow our brand as one that can be enjoyed by people around the world, so we look forward to your support.”
As to what Sonic Team is working on right now, that’s currently up for debate depending on what rumours you listen to. Something to do with Sonic Adventure, if recent SEGA America hirings are anything to go by. But, Iizuka also shared some interesting opinions that might offer some clues.
When asked about the ‘A-Life’ system first introduced in NiGHTS into Dreams and then implemented into Sonic Adventure’s Chao Gardens, Iizuka revealed that he was “thrilled that there are still requests for a sequel,” and also hinted that we might not see the last of Classic Sonic (either in collaborative projects like Sonic Generations, or in solo projects like Sonic Mania).
“Not much time has passed since the distinction between “classic” and “modern” was made, in fact, it was since 2011’s “Sonic Generations” title,” Iizuka said when asked about the challenge of balancing Modern and Classic Sonic gameplay styles.
“Even before that, in addition to the main 3D series, there was a high demand for the 2D action games such as the Sonic Advance series, so we revived the old Sonic as Classic Sonic for the 20th-anniversary title, Sonic Generations. We initially thought that it would be a 20th Anniversary project only, however after that we had a strong demand for a new classic Sonic standalone title, that became 2017’s Sonic Mania. We would like to take good care of these two very popular iterations of Sonic’s in the future.”
Interesting stuff! What are your hopes for Sonic’s 30th Anniversary project? Let us know in the comments section below!