In an interview with Axios, Takashi Iizuka confirmed that the team has been working on Sonic Frontiers remotely since the COVID-19 pandemic forced Japan into lockdown in 2020.
Iizuka had positive things to say about the team working remotely, noting that developers benefited from a safe working environment and that the ease of digital communication actually accelerated much of their work. Sonic Team has continued to work remotely ever since.
Iizuka has noted one negative impact of remote work, however: it’s difficult for everyone on the team to see the big picture. “If you’re just on the team, you’re kind of doing your own work,” said Iizuka, “And you don’t get to look over your shoulder at the other group doing the other work, so not everyone on the team shares the whole vision of what the game is.”
Iizuka also confirmed that development of Frontiers began as early as late 2017, as the team sought fresh ideas after hitting a wall with the old Sonic format.
Check out Iizuka’s full interview with Axios in the source below.