In May, Sega held a special Sonic Central broadcast for the blue blur's 30th anniversary. The live stream went out with a brief teaser of the next mainline entry in the series.
While details are still scarce, during an interview with Game Informer recently, Sonic Team's head Takashi Iizuka noted how the team had thought a lot about what the modern gameplay experience should be for a Sonic title, along with the path forward for the next decade.
While he can't say a lot just yet about the upcoming 2022 entry, he believes it'll likely be an "advancement" for modern Sonic games and what they "can be":
"There is a lot I can't say yet about the title, but I do believe we will see an advancement in what a modern Sonic game can be. Of course, we will not deny the high-speed action that characterized previous modern Sonic games like Sonic Generations or Sonic Forces, rather we will create a title that our current gaming fans and new gamers will enjoy."
Iizuka mentions how one "key point" in the history of the series was the transition from 2D to 3D gameplay, so how can Sega take the next step to truly advance the modern version of Sonic?
If the recent rumours are anything to go by, the next Sonic game (which Sega's PR reportedly referred to as Sonic Rangers) will be an open-world adventure drawing inspiration The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
In the brief trailer we've so far, we can see Sonic running through a forest environment - so who knows how big it might be...
Do you think an open-world adventure could be the next step for modern Sonic the Hedgehog games? How else do you think Sega could take its longtime mascot to new heights after 30 years? Leave your thoughts down below.