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SEGA and Sonic Mania dev explain why Sonic Mania 2 didn’t happen

Posted on July 26, 2023 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch

Sonic Mania 2

With the success of the original game, some were surprised by the fact that we never ended up seeing Sonic Mania 2. It turns out there was actually some initial interest on SEGA’s part, but things ultimately weren’t meant to be.

Classic Sonic is now going in a new direction with the previously-revealed Sonic Superstars. Arzest is taking the lead with Naoto Ohshima (who worked on the series’ original games) on board for the project, but the Sonic Mania team isn’t involved.

Speaking with Game Informer this month, Sonic Team creative officer Takashi Iizuka had this to say about Sonic Mania 2:

“There was a period after the development of Sonic Mania when we worked with them to consider concepts for the next generation of Classic Sonic. It’s too bad that it didn’t become a finished game. Still, I’m pleased that the next generation of Classic Sonic that we talked about with them has been achieved with Superstars.”

“A lot of the things that we talked about with Christian (Whitehead), you know, ‘Let’s make it a visually rich game that’s not based in pixel. Let’s not do the Mania thing of reusing stuff. Let’s make something brand new with all-new levels,’ that’s where the start of the concepting happened after Mania, but everything came to a stop. When we kicked off Sonic Superstars with Ohshima-san’s team, a lot of the conversations that we had with Christian were already in our heads, and we did start creating a new game already in a similar vein of, ‘Let’s make something new’ and ‘Let’s make something not pixel.'”

Whitehead also had this to say about initial discussions with SEGA on a potential new game:

 “When we started Evening Star, it was always our goal to move beyond 2D pixel art into 3D games, and develop all-new, original IP. Evening Star did work with SEGA to explore possible directions Classic Sonic could go after the success of Sonic Mania. Sonic Mania 2 was never in development, though, because we actually agreed early on that we should try to make something fresh, like hand-drawn 2D or 2.5D. At the same time, Evening Star was developing our new Star Engine, so we also ended up making a cool Sonic prototype that played with depth in 2.5D, and some other gameplay ideas. As Iizuka-san said, though, [Evening Star] did not continue to full production on the game, at which point Arzest took the helm and made Superstars alongside Sonic Team.”

Sonic Superstars is launching on Switch this fall, and thus far, the initial impressions have been positive. Meanwhile, the team behind Sonic Mania is cooking up its own new game, Penny’s Big Breakway, and the 3D platformer is heading to Switch in early 2024.

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