Some big moves are taking place in Sega’s leadership. Notably, Sonic Team studio head Takashi Iizuka is being promoted to a new executive officer role as Sonic Creative Officer at Sega of America within the company. With his efforts on Sonic Frontiers and ongoing content still in the works for the game for 2023, it leaves the question of whether Iizuka will continue his work as head of Sonic Team or whether a new studio head will step into the role.
Iizuka’s new executive officer position at Sega was reported in a regulatory filing published by the company this week. Newly elected into the role, Iizuka will begin work at Sega of America as Sonic Creative Officer beginning on April 1, 2023. It does not say whether Iizuka still holds his position at Sonic Team as well, so the future of the studio head role at Sonic Team is a little foggy at the time of this writing.
Iizuka has been at Sega since he started as a developer on Sonic the Hedgehog 3, which launched in 1994. Since then, he worked to establish Sonic Team USA and went on to direct a number of titles including Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Heroes, and Shadow the Hedgehog. Iizuka was also an instrumental part of the most recent title, 2022’s Sonic Frontiers, which he co-produced on. The game was good, and Sega later claimed that Sonic Frontiers exceeded its sales expectations to mark a victory for the company coming into 2023.
Sonic Frontiers still has a big DLC roadmap ahead of it this year that includes a jukebox mode, new challenges, and new playable characters to name a few. Regardless of whether Iizuka remains studio head, it seems as Sonic Creative Officer of Sega America, he still won’t be far from the franchise for the foreseeable future.