It’s been a bumpy couple of weeks for Sonic Frontiers. First teased over a year ago with the briefest of trailers that offered a glimpse of an all-new ‘open zone’ style for the series, the gameplay reveal that followed-up belatedly earlier this month met with a reception that was – let’s be polite here – mixed. Some quarters seem nonplussed about the new direction, while others took it a mite further with #DelaySonicFrontiers briefly taking hold amidst more vocal fans. And through all that even the most generous of onlookers will admit it’s looking a little rough around the edges.
It’s a backlash that Sonic Team was at least prepared for. “We knew people were going to start watching videos of Sonic Frontiers and not be able to play it,” creative officer Takashi Iizuka tells us of the fan response. “We’re showing them this new open zone format when they still don’t really even understand what open zone is. We were curious what kind of the feedback there would be and we do understand the comments that are coming in, because they don’t know what open zone and what this new open zone gameplay is supposed to be.
“They’re taking a look at the video and comparing it to other games that are already out there. We understand that people are going to do that and we look to the future and being able to explain more as we get closer. From here until the launch of the product we have many opportunities to teach people what open zone is, what this game really is and not having them think about comparing it to what exists out there already but being able to look at the game for what it is and enjoy it for what it is.”