Head of Sonic Team, Takashi Iizuka, has previously mentioned on a number of occasions how the "key point" in the history of the Sonic series was the jump from 2D to 3D gameplay. Now, later this year, Sega will take the Sonic the Hedgehog series to new heights with "open-zone" gameplay in Sonic Frontiers.
It's a huge change for Sonic that Sega will apparently be building over the next 10 years, as mentioned by Iizuka during a recent interview with GamesBeat. He also used this moment to explain (once again) how Sonic's first-generation games were "side-scrolling", how the second generation was more modern gameplay (think Sonic Adventure) and Sonic Frontiers is now the "next step" with its open-zone concept":
"What we’re doing now is taking the next step. This is the third generation, almost. We know we’re showing fans something new that maybe doesn’t make sense to them yet.
"But we really wanted to think about where we need to take Sonic for the next 10 years. What kind of gameplay do we need to start building out to keep people excited for the future? Sonic Frontiers is that next step for the next 10 years. We hope that fans believe in us and that they enjoy what we’re showing them. We’re looking forward to when they get to play it and really understand what it’s about."
Way back in 2021, Iizuka described the next Sonic game (Sonic Frontiers) as an "advancement" of modern Sonic games - promising to keep all the notable characteristics of Sonic, and the high-speed action that characterised previous modern Sonic games intact. Earlier this week we also found out Sonic would take about 20 - 30 hours to complete, and "easily" be double the amount for completionists.
Are you looking forward to Sonic's new open-zone adventure? How do you feel about this being the "next step" for the Sonic video game series moving forward? Leave your own thoughts down below.