Sonic Team’s Takashi Iizuka has revealed that he would be open to third-party collaborations with other developers to create spinoff titles to bridge the gap between mainline Sonic game releases.
In an interview with UK magazine PLAY, the producer pointed to the longer development cycles of major Sonic the Hedgehog titles as the reason for this – claiming that he is “conscious of not wanting fans to just sit around” between releases, as the mag describes.
“As we have one team working on something really big, we do want to make sure we’re working with other teams and other third parties to continue making content,” Iizuka said.
While this is not a new concept for the Sonic franchise to explore, it has been true that spinoff game releases have been extremely thin on the ground. Team Sonic Racing, the third racing game to be developed by British studio Sumo Digital, was released way back in 2019, and besides Mario & Sonic games the spinoff slate has been bare since the early 2010s.
As the magazine also notes, Sonic Mania – one of the most critically acclaimed games in the franchise – was co-developed by a collection of independent studios. So beyond the usual racing and sports spinoff games, there could be scope for Sonic Team to work with smaller developers to increase the number of experimental concepts that could feature Sonic in the future too. Besides, of course, a Sonic Mania 2, which everybody already wants.
You’ll have to buy the magazine to read the entire interview, which is quite fascinating in and of itself – we recommend you go to your local store and get a copy! – but someone took a snap of the breakout part of the interview that mentioned spinoffs specifically. You can see this below.
We have to say, we do miss the days when SEGA would crank out a mostly-annual Sonic spinoff title in-between mainline game releases – even if a lot of them were criminally hit-and-miss. With a five-year development cycle for main Sonic titles understandably looking to be the norm, we’d welcome some new and creative ideas for Sonic.
Maybe a Sonic Riders 3, please SEGA?
… No, we’re not counting Free Riders. A proper one.