Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka has announced that a brand new Sonic the Hedgehog title will be launched in 2017 in celebration of the blue speedster's 25th anniversary. Revealed during the 25th anniversary celebration in Tokyo on 25 June, Iizuka said the game will be officially announced at a special event at San Diego Comic Con on 22 July, Gematsu reports.
Last week, Iizuka revealed that Sega was working on a new Sonic game after months of fan speculation and hints dropped by the developer's Twitter accounts about a possible new addition to the long-running series.
When asked about the future of Sonic, Iizuka told Japanese magazine Famistsu (translated by Soah City) that the team is currently working on a "completely new" Sonic game.
"We at Sonic Team – are developing a completely new game, as well as developing a full movie, actively done by Sony Pictures, and animation on Sonic Boom," Iizuka said. "We are also ready to improve sponsor ties. The most important thing is not the fact the series survived for 25 years, but how many games [were] developed. Our goal – add something new and overcome any potential hardships."
On 24 June, Sega's official Twitter page hinted about the new Sonic game in development in a video featuring Sonic and his arch-nemesis Doctor 'Eggman.'
Since the game is slated for release next year, it is possible that it could be heading to the Nintendo NX, which is set to launch in March 2017. It could even be an exclusive, given there have been a number of Nintendo-exclusive Sonic games released over the years.
Although the upcoming game's features, gameplay mechanics and other details have yet to be revealed, Sonic Team does need its next game to be a smash hit considering the miserable failure of Sonic Boom and poor reception to most Sonic projects and products in recent years.
Last year, Sega CEO Hajime Satomi told Famitsu (translated by Siliconera) that the company betrayed its fans with its last few projects and is looking to win back their confidence by improving the quality of its games and restoring the classic franchise to its former glory.
"We did our best to build a relationship of mutual trust with older fans of Sega but, looking back, there have been some titles that have partially betrayed that [trust] in the past 10 years," Satomi said. "Sega in the 1990's was known for its brand, but after that, we've lost trust, and we were left with nothing but reputation. For this reason, we'd like to win back the customers' trust, and become a brand once again."
Meanwhile, Sonic's Twitter page has been hurling some insults at Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune's new action-platform video game Mighty No 9 that was recently released on 21 June.
More details about the latest instalment in the franchise will be announced at San Diego Comic Con on 22 July. In the meantime, Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice is set to release on 27 September for the Nintendo 3DS.