It’s pretty clear that with Sonic’s silver anniversary knocking on our doorstep, Sega has some big plans. We already know of two Sonic related games in the pipeline for early in 2016: The Nintendo and arcade exclusive Mario and Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games that will begin rolling out in February, and the delayed Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice. It’s a given those two will not be the anniversary game–a source tells TSSZ that game is indeed coming.
The source indicates it’s been in development for a while–since before the release of Sonic Lost World, the source says. That shouldn’t be a huge surprise. But here’s the twist: Our source says it was also meant to be released a while back–before Lost World‘s release, as it turns out. Technical hang-ups with last-gen systems shelved some ambitious ideas with the project, the source said. On the plus side, that would put the game’s development time at least at three years, if not four. As the title is now planned for XBOX One and Playstation 4 (our source did not indicate whether a Wii U or 3DS release was coming), we will see how many of those issues were overcome. Our source says there are positive feelings internally at Sega over the anniversary title’s quality–then again, the source cautioned that same feeling surrounded Sonic Lost World; it had high expectations but ultimately saw mediocre reviews and even worse sales.
About Lost World, there was some surprise in the community when a PC port of the once WiiU exclusive was announced and delivered this year. Our source says that effort was spearheaded by Sega Europe, who saw it as an easy opportunity to make money with minimal porting effort. Lost World may be the first of a larger effort to bring more Sonic and Sega titles to PC and principally the Steam platform through 2016. Our source believes several items are in the pipeline and we’ll talk a bit about that tomorrow, but Sonic-wise, the source believes Sonic Colors is a higher priority for porting. Sonic Heroes, which did receive a physical PC release in 2004, is low-priority, and Sonic Unleashed is the subject of internal debate on whether it should be considered for Steam at all.
If that’s not enough Sonic appetite, our source says a second Sonic Team title may be in the works for next year. We want to be clear that just because it’s a Sonic Team project, that may not necessarily mean it’s a Sonic game. Our source also indicated it would be smaller in scale. We asked if that meant a mobile game was planned, but the source could not say. The source did note Sega of America now has greater influence in Sonic games, so any second Sonic Team title, if it’s Sonic, could be promoted as a bigger deal than it may end up being. Think of how Sonic 4 was promoted years back by SOA as a proper successor to classic Sonic–it turns out, according to our source, that the SOJ side only intended it a simple mobile platformer–and not the spurious rhetoric injected into many fans’ minds before major leaks revealed some ugly truths.
With all that mind, it’s a safe bet to expect at least 3-4 new Sonic releases in 2016. Surely one has to work out, right?