Sonic Superstars is shaping up to be the biggest Sonic game of the year partly because of the new 2.5D aesthetic for Classic Sonic. However, Sonic Team suggests Classic Sonic’s new look may be permanent, as they believe pixel art won’t be a viable style for Sonic in 10 to 20 years.
According to a report from GamesRadar, Sonic Team creative officer and producer Takashi Iizuka said at Gamescom that Sonic Superstars is “an evolution of the 2D Sonic gameplay,” but doesn’t believe that 2D pixel art will survive as a video game art form for the franchise within the next two decades.
This comment effectively throws cold water at the possibility of Classic Sonic fans seeing Sonic Mania 2 coming to light.
“[W]e look at the pixel art — it’s great — but when we think about 10-20 years in the future, we don’t think it’s going to be a viable art style or presentation for our players,” Iizuka said through a translator. “And in order to advance and really step things up, we did want to make sure that we’re presenting something that 10-20 years down the road we’re still evolving and creating new content for.”
It’s important to note that Iizuka-san’s comments about pixel art not being a viable gaming art style only applies to Sonic, not other games in general. Pixel art sustained itself remarkably well in many indie games in the last decade, including 2064: Read Only Memories, Dead Cells, Kaze and the Wild Masks, Freedom Planet, and more recently Sea of Stars and Octopath Traveler 2.
These pixel art comments may be shocking to some Sonic fans, given the wild success Sonic Mania gained when it first released six years ago, selling more than 1 million copies worldwide. But as with anything, plans can change. Just don’t expect a Sonic Mania successor with beautiful pixel art any time soon.
As for Sonic Superstars, which is due October 17, check out our first preview.
Cristina Alexander is a freelance writer for IGN. To paraphrase Calvin Harris, she wears her love for Sonic the Hedgehog on her sleeve like a big deal. Follow her on Twitter @SonicPrincess15.
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Author: Cristina Alexander