Sega released Sonic Generations this week to celebrate the 20th anniversary, but the company recently said it has no plans to use Classic Sonic again despite the game garnering record pre-orders. So what does Sega plan to do with Sonic in the future?
"I would like to make a new standard Sonic, a modern Sonic if you will, in 2012 and beyond," said producer Takashi Iizuka.
Speaking to Gamasutra about the franchise as a whole, Iizuka hesitated to call Generations a fresh start for the series. He says it's "more the peaks of the past 20 years" of Sonic's history. From the sounds of it, the next iteration of the character might not be either of the versions from Generations.
Iizuka says that the series is more focused now. Individual producers used to bring their own ideas to each project, but he feels that Sonic 4 and Sonic Colors defined the series' direction. He says that as the producer, it's his job to have a "constant roadmap" of where he wants the series to go.
"There have been a lot of Sonic titles in the past, and I think, at this point, there's a pretty good idea of what a Sonic game should be like -- a fun, frenetic action game. As I said, I feel the need to surprise the fans in new and innovative ways, but I don't want to do anything to depart from that style. The color powers in Colors are a good example of that."
It's hard to tell just how much this "new" Sonic will deviate from the chubby classic and slimmer new version. At the very least, maybe he'll star alongside his two counterparts when the series reaches its 30th anniversary.