SEGA Planning Longer Development, Higher Quality for Future Sonic Games

SEGA has apparently decided to take its time with Sonic games from now on. On the premiere episode of the new season of SEGA’s Sonic Official stream, Sonic social media guru Aaron Webber confirmed that the company was now prioritizing quality over quantity when it came to Sonic games.

While conducting a fan Q&A, Webber was asked when we would be seeing a new game trailer or “anything.” While Webber did not say when we can expect the next game’s announcement, he did talk about why we would likely be waiting longer between new games from now on. A few years ago, SEGA decided that rather than trying to put out a new Sonic game every year, the company would “put more time into things as we go forward.” Webber confirmed that this would mean a longer wait for new game announcements.

Webber went on to say that he felt the patience would be worth it, and said that they were very excited for what is to come.

You can watch the entire stream below. Aaron’s answer begins at 14:21.

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Nuckles87 has been an editor at Sonic Stadium since 2007, and has been covering events like E3, PAX, and SDCC since 2010. An avid retro gamer, he runs a monthly stream on Twitch where he explores obscure Sonic oddities, and how aspects of the franchise have evolved over the decades.


    1. Look at the 2000s early 2010s.
      2001: Sonic Adventure 2
      2002: Sonic Adventure 2 Battle and Sonic Advance
      2003: Sonic Adventure DX and Sonic Advance 2
      2004: Sonic Heroes and Sonic Advance 3
      2005: Shadow The Hedgehog and Sonic Rush
      2006: Sonic The Hedgehog (06)
      2007: Sonic and the Secret Rings and Sonic Rush Adventure
      2008: Sonic Unleashed
      2009: Sonic And the Black Knight
      2010: Sonic Colors and Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1
      2011: Sonic Generations
      2012: Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 2
      2013: Sonic Lost World

      And I haven’t even mentioned the spin-offs.

  1. Sega have said this so many times it has lost meaning. And yey, we will never again see the mid 2000s hayday of always having something sonic to look forward to

  2. Don’t forget that that Forces was toted as having 4 years of development time. 3 of those years was spent on the lighting engine. There is nothing stopping the next game from being similar. I don’t trust anything Sega says anymore.

    1. ^Exactly this. Unleashed, which I still consider the best 3d Sonic game, was released 2 years after 06, yet has triple the content of Forces, which is mostly 2D, and released 4 years after Lost World, having the majority of time spent on the lighting engine and story. I am fine with them taking their time to release games, but the expectation is that those products will actually be bigger and better.

      1. But Sonic Unleashed’s engine was being developed for Sonic 2006, but it couldn’t be finished in time, so they used it in the next game. So, we can’t say Unleashed development took only 2 years if the engine had been made since before 2006 released.

        Also, Sonic Forces started to be developed right after Sonic Lost World released. Maybe, Sonic Team didn’t have time enough to take the fans feedback before starting a new project. Sonic Team never had a break from Sonic games. Since Sonic Adventure, they developed new Sonic games one after another.

    2. If Sonic Team doesn’t even understand the issues with their last games and Sega doesn’t pad their staff with more help, all this is doing is making fans wait longer for the same medicore games.

      Sonic Team hasn’t earned benefit of the doubt anymore.

      1. I agree with you, but giving Sonic Team more time between games could solve this problem, too. They used to develop the new games right after the release of one. For example, Sonic Lost World started to be developed right after the release of Sonic Generations, so did Sonic Forces right after the release of LW.

        Sonic Team didn’t have time to think about the fans feedback before starting a new project.

    3. This. Lost World and Forces were the last straws in my opinion. It seems like Christian Whitehead and his associates are the only developers who genuinely care about Sonic nowadays, if Sonic Mania and the iOS remasters (Sonic 1, 2, and CD) are any indication. That’s just me, though.

    4. And yet somehow they managed to make it uglier than Unleashed, what a waste of 3 years if you ask me.

  3. We have been receiving Sonic games every year since 2004 until 2014. That’s literally 10 years. After Sega took “4 years” to develop Sonic Forces, it was a disappointment for fans and we are not counting Sonic Mania & Team Sonic Racing because Sonic Team did not make those game. In order to make a good Sonic game, Sonic Team needs to stop listening to fans idea and let them “Open Their Hearts”. What I am trying to say is that Sonic Team did that in 1998 with Sonic Adventure. Every-time they tried something new they would make it good or amazing. For example, Sonic Adventure brought Sonic into 3D perfectly. The sequel added new features that would become the staple of the series. Sonic Heroes was a different approach with team mechanic. They tried to make Shadow the Hedgehog a edgy game but failed. They learned from that along with 06′ where they rushed their development. Then they came back with Sonic Unleashed which critics did not like but fans loved it because of the day time stages. and partially the night time stages. The StoryBook series were alright however, the gimmick regarding the controls were terrible. Sonic Colors and Generations were Sonic’s true comeback leaving fans and even critics impressed. However, Sonic Lost World was receiving both good and bad impression for changing up the gameplay and don’t get me started on the Boom franchise. Like I said, in order for a good Sonic game, Sega must give Sonic Team plenty of time and have great story, great level design and great gameplay for sure. Sonic Team better not be lazing around. They must make good progress out of the given time.

    1. you’re missing this point: the team that made sonic adventure 1 and 2 was not the same team who made modern sonic games.

  4. Classic Sonic is still my favourite character from Sonic Generations, Sonic Forces and others.

  5. Going to give them a chance with the next one. Forces was in production before SEGA went on record saying they would be focusing on quality over quantity to restore the SEGA brand after they admitted to letting fans down. They made the Mega Drive/Genesis mini in house to ensure it was made to a high quality. It was and it so it was successful.

    I just hope they can deliver an amazing Sonic experience.

  6. If they learn to put most of the development emphasis on quality gameplay and quality story, then it’ll actually mean something. Force’s lighting engine was gorgeous but it did not make up for the massively painful flaws of the other two aspects. (Admittedly, I didn’t totally hate Force’s gameplay [or even story] though. It just could have been a lot better.) Hopefully *someday* they’ll find their center–its just kinda been sad to watch over this whole length of time. 😂 On the plus side, hopefully any new title will be a step up from Rise of Lyric?? If they take their time at least they’ll release completed games…

  7. When and if they pull through, it will certainly be too late. Remember, they’re crying wolf. Mania was a complete fluke.

  8. Well, it’s better than rushing a game for an anniversary. Don’t want a repeat of that.

  9. Look no further than Sonic Forces to see the result of this supposed “delay” for quality.

  10. Wow, they said they were going to slow down and focus on quality over quantity back like after Sonic 06. That did lead to Sonic Unleashed which I think is one of the best, highest quality modern Sonic games, but since then it’s been back to crap. If Sonic Forces was a quality over quantity experience they should just give up, for real.

  11. Don’t forget that back in 1991-1994 there were new Sonic games every year AND the quality was pretty high! Sega probably wouldn’t be having so many Sonic problems today if they kept making games based on physics and exploration, instead of trying to reinvent Sonic all the time and mostly ending up with scripted moves along predefined paths filled with boost pads.

  12. I was also thinking this while reading the article. Patience is good thing in lot of times, but long development process doesn’t necessary fix things, if the result ends up being automated, straight-line mediocrity. The focus while creating Sonic the Hedgehog game, should be on important things like the core gameplay, level design and control scheme. You know, things that people have been pointing out of these games like forever. That’s something Sonic Mania got right for the most part. Long development also adds an challenge, where the developer has to keep up with the industry, where the polished game with 3-5 year development cycle can become dated. – The video game industry, especially today, keeps evolving with rapid pace.

  13. “We’re announcing a teaser for a teaser of the next Sonic game”
    “We’re taking longer because of quality over quantity” *we are here*
    “Here’s a small 10 second CGI teaser and a piece of concept art”

    Sega’s main problem is that they’re downsizing their developer team if you compare All Star’s Transformed to TSR and Unleashed to Forces. If they announced that a certain remaster is in development, that would be the perfect way to keep fans anticipated for the next game. Hire more developers, get in touch with more studios, make a real AAA Sonic game that doesn’t end in 3 hours.

  14. Appreciate the sentiment, but I don’t think taking more time has anything to do with the quality at this point. I mean, SA1, SA2 & Heroes were out quickly, and were all excellent games IMO.
    Same with Unleashed, Colours, & Generations. Meanwhile Forces took 4 years and was a big letdown IMO….
    I think they need a change in staff in terms of creative leadership and have some real quality checking. The latest successes of the franchise has been Sonic Mania (created by someone outside of Sega) and the Sonic short animations from Tyson Hesse (also a fan and not the usual Sega staff). At this point it feels like they should find another reliable fan to do their work for them.

  15. I’ll believe it when I see it. Otherwise I expect it would either look like ’06 or Forces

  16. I mean why should we give sega any credit for making this announcement, and since when have we bin getting a new game every year? I guess i must’ve missed them. They spent 4 years on forces and that game was a tone deaf mediocre mess, trying too hard to play it “safe” all while putting up the illusion that the new team we’ve bin stuck with since 2010 actually care about making sonic games fun and engaging again

  17. No matter how fast or slow the development of the future Sonic game is, I want the Sonic games to stay alive, and both I and Darryl Heine hope a Sega Sonic game featuring characters from the Sat AM (Sally Acorn’s Freedom Fighters) from this next and/or next year onwards.

  18. Perhaps the quality of Sonic Mania, which wasn’t even developed by Sega, put things in perspective for them. Quality sprung from pure passion to be sure!

    1. Regardless of what Sega says, we are getting Sonic games every year. “Longer development” is questionable. They said that with Sonic Forces. They saidd that with Sonic 4 Episode 2.

      To create a good game, you need a high grade development team. Sega is not that, even if Yakuza games are decent.

      Respectable and top of the line Japanese developers do not have “Sonic Team” as a goal. Especially considering how Sonic is not even liked in Japan. This is PR meant to hype the next Sonic game, and the Sonic Cycle.

      FYI: Sonic 06 was the game Sonic Team promised would prove that they learned their lesson. Sonic 06 arrived, and it turned out that all that talk was just PR.

  19. sega should just replace the current sonic team with the real, original, true sonic team, the same team that gave us sonic 1,3,3 & k and sonic advenutre 1/2. making the current team working longer for non creative projects is worthless. and… sega, stop playing the nostalgia card, it won’t last forever.

  20. uh, and another hint for sega: if you can’t call back at work the same, old sonic team, your last chance is… LOVE. use passionate sonic lovers as you did with tyson esse, tee lopes, christian whitehead… but even in this case, would not be the same. they, as lovers, know how to make a sonic game but they lack of creativity, innovation abilities… nothing would be like calling back the same people who made sonic 1,2,3 & k and sonic adventure 1,2.

  21. I think we’re in a very different situation compared to before. Sonic now touches all corners of the entertainment industry, which is a massive shift from even 5 years ago. I’d venture to say that Sonic isn’t even a game character anymore.
    I’m willing to wait if that means we get more music, comic books, animations and movies.
    What baffles me is this weird philosophy regarding Sonic Team in both the fans and SEGA. I’ve seen countless people say ‘Mania and TSR don’t count because Sonic Team didn’t make them’. Does it matter who makes them? They’re a part of Sonic’s brand (Mania was a major game as well). SEGA funds, supervises and publishes all games with Sonic’s name on them, so who cares if it was done by Iizuka or Whitehead? If it’s good, I’ll take it.
    Similarly, why does SEGA insist on only having Sonic Team make these games? SEGA is a massive company bursting with talent (look at Yakuza, Persona, Valkyria Chronicles, Puyo Puyo etc.). Why does the same small division of a massive company get stuck with the flagship franchise? It doesn’t add up.

  22. While I am happy that SEGA is now giving longer development times for the Blue Blur, I can no longer bring my hopes up after what happened with Sonic Forces. They NEED to stay true to their words, and hopefully get this right. Gosh, I still have bad memories of Sonic Forces… ugh… 😖😞💔

  23. All talk and no bite 😒
    There’s a much more important thing than keep promising something they are unable to guarantee to do: releasing older games on newer platforms. And they keep ignoring about that matters.

    This will be my last comment about this dying franchise. Sega can do whatever. I’m done!

  24. Poor Webber keeps getting slammed by fans for Sonic Team’s shortcomings. The guy sounds more nervous than a rabbit in a fox hole. Webber is just the NA PR guy. That’s it. Then again Iizuka doesn’t make it any better with his usual nonsense. Between Sonic Team’s lies about bringing back Sonic and Sega’s lies about bringing back older IPs, it’s tiresome. It’s been the same thing every year if not every five years come anniversaries. Sega’s not making a comeback. Sonic Team has no idea what they are doing, no matter how long the games take to make. We need passionate people to make these games for Sega. Look at Streets of Rage 4. Look at Sonic Mania. It’s always done by an outside team. Never in house like it used to be. Maybe that’s because the old guys at Sega are just burnt out or out of ideas. I mean Yuji Naka left because he was sick of being the Sonic guy. He did some cool stuff with PSO, Billy Hatcher, Chu Chu Rocket, Ristar, ect. Naka is very creative as well as a hothead, like most artists. They should’ve let him experiment every so often, then drop a Sonic game on him. I mean these days Sega barely gives any other IPs a shot, even the ones NOT by Sonic Team. It’s always Sonic or Yakuza. Ok, we got a new Sakura Wars, so that’s a step in the right direction. What else is Sega capable of by themselves in this day and age? How about a new Super Monkey Ball instead of porting Banana Blitz? That’s Sonic Team, right? Sega and Sonic Team are too chicken to experiment more. That’s why they were so surprised to find out Sega Ages did so well.

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