Sonic 4: Episode II Now “In Early Development”, Says Ken Balough

Sonic 4: Episode II Now “In Early Development”, Says Ken Balough

by February 25, 2011

Adds Episode 1 “Did very well for Sega commercially”

While most knew a second installment of Sonic 4 was coming, and this is pretty far from an official reveal, but we now have for the first time someone within Sega on the record about it.

The remarks are buried in a Sega forum thread concerning speculation on what’s to come with Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II.  Speculation turned into some tasty tidbits when Sega Brand Manager Ken Balough stepped in earlier this month without much fanfare, and many of those remarks were in turn picked up by the Brazilian website Sonic Zone.

“Episode II is in early development now,” said Balough on February 8th, kicking things off.  “We already had some ideas fleshed out on development for Episode I in fact.”

From there, Balough spent the balance of this month diving into whatever details he could, including a remark made yesterday on whether fans can expect something new, or the same rehashed elements Episode I held:

[….] I can tell you you are going to see new zones that look really cool.

Re-hash kind of depends on how you look at the topography. I mean; we’ve gone to a lot of areas – Underground mines in Sonic 2, Deserts, Lush green hills, Jungle, Cities, etc.

But yeah – the idea is to introduce new zones with things you haven’t seen.

Also noteworthy are Balough’s remarks from February 14th, in which he said both Sega’s American and European divisions have input on Episode 2.

Episode I did very well for SEGA commercially, and thanks to everyone’s support, we definitely have a lot of traction going into Epsiode II. This usually means better budgets, etc.

And if you have reservations about the next installment of Sonic 4–as many within the community do–you may want to read this remark Balough made on February 15th, which indicates the promotional campaign will be somewhat similar, including the ability to try before buying:

[….] You will definitely have some trailers to see the game in action first, we will probably take it on the road like Episode I, and you’ll have a demo prior to buying – so you should have opportunities to see it first hand.

Balough did not afford a specific timeline on when we would see more.  One would hope this will drop later this year for Sonic’s 20th, though the way it’s looking now it could be far later this year.  Still, a proper reveal shouldn’t be far off, and we’ll stay on top of that and future developments.