The reception to Sonic Frontiers has been less than glowing, with fans wondering about or even advocating for a delay based on trailers and gameplay videos. Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka is undeterred, though, saying that the game is still on-track to release this year, and that he isn’t surprised by the feedback.
“It’s not really that surprising,” Iizuka told VGC. “We do realize everyone is just kind of reacting to the videos that they saw, and because they don’t understand what this new gameplay is they’re kind of comparing it to other games that they already know. … And this new game system itself is something that doesn’t really exist in any other comparable titles, so we really hope that from here until launch we can really explain what open zone gameplay is.”
He went on to suggest that when players get their hands on the game at an in-person event like Gamescom or Tokyo Game Show, they may understand.
Iizuka was also unconcerned with calls to delay the game, like a recent #DelaySonicFrontiers hashtag on Twitter. He said that the team is pleased with its progress and its internal playtesting, and so he thinks the reception will be more positive.
“From our playtesting results we have been iterating, we have been listening to the comments that come back, but we’ve also been getting a lot of great feedback from people who rate the game and are like, ‘I had a lot of fun playing this game, I’d give it like an 80 or 90 point score out of 100′,” he said. “So we do feel that we’re getting to the point where this game is done, and people will like it, and we do want to get that game into our fans’ hands as soon as possible.”
He said that the game could be delayed, in the case of some emergency that would keep the team from delivering the game on time. Otherwise, though, it’s still coming this holiday to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch.
Sonic Frontiers is a different kind of Sonic game, introducing an “open zone” format and elements like EXP and a skill system. Sega is hoping to make this a particularly acclaimed Sonic game, having previously stated that it is aiming for high review scores to boost sales and word-of-mouth.