Sonic Frontiers' open world sets a "brand-new approach for the franchise", says producer

Sonic Frontiers
(Image credit: Sega)

The open-world template set for Sonic Frontiers will be the "cornerstone of future Sonic games".

That's according to Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka, who confirmed in an interview with Sector (thanks, TheGamer) that Sonic Frontiers (opens in new tab)' "brand-new approach" "marks another defining moment for the franchise".

"Our goal with Sonic Frontiers was to evolve the linear, stage-clearing 3D action that began with Sonic Adventure in 1998 into a new action-packed adventure game where players have the freedom to explore the environment around them," Iizuka said. 

"We know many players love exploring expansive worlds with no predetermined path and that’s what we set out to achieve with our new open-zone platforming concept. I am very excited for Sonic to join this revolutionary step in immersive gaming worlds.

"Bringing Sonic fully into the 3D world with Sonic Adventure was one of the most challenging yet rewarding moments," Iizuka added. "I truly believe 2022 marks another defining moment for the franchise as we move into open zone platforming gameplay with Sonic Frontiers. I feel incredibly privileged to work on such a well-loved franchise."

However, just because Sonic is looking ahead doesn't mean the team isn't respectful of its past.

"Just like Sonic Adventure, our goal for Sonic Frontiers was to create a game that would be the cornerstone of future Sonic games," Iizuka concluded. "It is a brand-new approach for the franchise, but we have been conscious to honor Sonic’s roots as well - the game still needs to feel like a Sonic game."

Morio Kishimoto, the director of Sonic Frontiers, recently confirmed that the game "still has a long way to go" (opens in new tab).

Tweeting in Japanese, Kishimoto said that they were "relieved the release date has arrived" and said the Sonic Frontiers development team was "checking out the opinions of the critics and players" and likened the release to "a global playtest". 

“I’m sorry I haven’t contacted you until now, because we’ve been busy since the release date,” Kishimoto tweeted. “I’m relieved that the release date has arrived and that [Sonic Frontiers] seems to have reached everyone safely.

“We are checking out the opinions of the critics and players. As you have pointed out, we still have a long way to go, and we will take this seriously as a global playtest.”

Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka was recently arrested in Japan over allegations of insider trading (opens in new tab). As first reported by Japanese outlet FNN on November 18, Naka's arrest was related to allegations of insider trading specifically related to Square Enix's Dragon Quest series.

If you're not quite feeling Frontiers, take a look at our best Sonic games (opens in new tab) list to find out what you should play instead. 

Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and GameIndustry.biz. Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.