Sonic and Sega Retro Message Board: Iizuka relocating to USA to "oversee development of new games" - Sonic and Sega Retro Message Board

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Iizuka relocating to USA to "oversee development of new games"

#1 User is offline MykonosFan 

Posted 31 March 2016 - 06:54 PM

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Was unsure if this was better suited for Supreme Topic of Other Knowledge or for its own thread.

According to Gamasutra (citing a SEGA press release), Iizuka is re-locating from Tokyo to "establish Los Angeles as the centralized hub for the global brand,"
http://www.gamasutra..._medium=twitter

There's also a new chief brand officer for Sonic, Ivo Gerscovich (yes, that's quite a coincidence).

I doubt this will have much impact on the current mainline title being developed, but it may signify something for the next. It will be interesting to see what results from this. With LA as the "centralized hub", I'm really curious to see if things will be business as usual for Sonic Team, or if we're looking at a potential Sonic Team USA situation. Too little info to say right now.
This post has been edited by Mykonos: 31 March 2016 - 06:55 PM

#2 User is offline TheKazeblade 

Posted 31 March 2016 - 07:40 PM

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View PostMykonos, on 31 March 2016 - 06:54 PM, said:

Was unsure if this was better suited for Supreme Topic of Other Knowledge or for its own thread.

According to Gamasutra (citing a SEGA press release), Iizuka is re-locating from Tokyo to "establish Los Angeles as the centralized hub for the global brand,"
http://www.gamasutra..._medium=twitter

There's also a new chief brand officer for Sonic, Ivo Gerscovich (yes, that's quite a coincidence).

I doubt this will have much impact on the current mainline title being developed, but it may signify something for the next. It will be interesting to see what results from this. With LA as the "centralized hub", I'm really curious to see if things will be business as usual for Sonic Team, or if we're looking at a potential Sonic Team USA situation. Too little info to say right now.


Sega of America seems to be getting a huge amount of attention lately. This actually makes a lot of sense since the huge marketing push seems to be coming from the western markets lately. Sounds like they're consolidating their assets.

The question is, is this because SoJ will be downsizing, or is it actually so the left hand knows what the right is doing for once? Hoping the latter is the case.

#3 User is offline Yeow 

Posted 16 December 2018 - 11:21 PM

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Necrobump.

You can read more at this thread at the Sega subforum; but new information reports of a new IP being produced at CS2 (the division that includes the Sonic Team group) and a recent corporate restructure folding Sega's CS3 department into the surviving CS1 and CS2 groups, as well as new studio overheads for both of those departments. Assuming these new developments are both accurate, we may have come full circle with the shift of power at Sega over the Sonic IP.

With CS2 likely handling any Sega project that's not Yazuka or its derivatives (which aside from the reported new IP and existing IPs handled by CS3, might also include the annnounced Sakura Wars revival project), it gives a very heavy implication that the Sonic series is no longer considered a priority IP for Sega of Japan, to the point of possibly no longer having its own division. Coupled with what we know about SoA being the new center for Sonic development, this would speak volumes on where management over the franchise's direction lies--it might possibly be in Sega of America's hands now. By this, I'm not just referring to tie-in merchandising efforts, I think this could even entail which studio(s) gets to produce the games and what design decisions are upheld (or thrown out) as the series' standard.

It also raises questions for what happens to the Sonic Team group as we know it from here on out, who have up until this point been the undisputed producer of almost every Sonic game up until this point. Does the Sonic Team studio brand continue to exist, or is it retired? What administration or input will they have on future Sonic games, if at all? Does the group itself even continue to exist within CS2 as a special entity (Sonic or otherwise), or is it merely dissolved back into CS2?

#4 User is offline SystemsReady 

Posted 17 December 2018 - 12:05 AM

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...on the other hand, Mania was made by a team outside of Japan...I wonder if they really will just be focusing on games from those people from now on for Sonic?

#5 User is offline TheKazeblade 

Posted 17 December 2018 - 03:12 AM

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Sega's 2017 financial reports indicated this transition of Sonic's base of operations being with SoA, so I'm not too surprised. If Iizuka remains primarily stationed out of SoA like he was for Forces, we may see another Sonic Team USA situation form like in the Sonic 2/3/Adventure 2 era. If not that, then maybe we'll just see Iizuka overseeing contracted developers like the Mania team for future Sonic titles. Either way, if this actually is indicating Sega of Japan isn't considering Sonic a SoJ priority, it could also mean good things for the future if development takes place in regions where Sonic is far more successful.

That said, it could also be that CS2 is now just a bigger pool to pull individuals out of to brand Sonic Team when development on a new title needs to start. I'm more inclined to believe that this is the case because it lines up with what we know of Forces development cycle: a smaller crew working on the framework, with the full team being brought on nearer to the end to develop the title itself. With the amount of new individuals working on Forces, maybe what's happening now is when it's time to go into full production mode for a new Sonic game, SoJ assigns members of CS2 to the project and designates them Sonic Team. When the project is complete, "Sonic Team" disbands and disperses back to other projects within CS2. But there's no way of actually knowing.
This post has been edited by TheKazeblade: 17 December 2018 - 03:17 AM

#6 User is offline Dark Sonic 

Posted 17 December 2018 - 08:05 AM

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If Sonic Team as we know it has been dissolved then good riddance. It's just been a weird shell name associated with mediocrity lately anyway. It makes sense that Sonic is developed on the SoA side anyway as SoJ never really seems to care.

Just keep signing on the right talent :v:

#7 User is offline Blue Blood 

Posted 17 December 2018 - 08:50 AM

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View PostDark Sonic, on 17 December 2018 - 08:05 AM, said:

If Sonic Team as we know it has been dissolved then good riddance. It's just been a weird shell name associated with mediocrity lately anyway. It makes sense that Sonic is developed on the SoA side anyway as SoJ never really seems to care.

Just keep signing on the right talent :v:/>

Sonic Team hasn't been anything except a label for years. The staff working on every title under the name shift around from game to game. Virtually any Sonic game produced in Japan is labelled as Sonic Team, including the likes of all the Dimps games. Only when Sonic gets handed over to an outside development team overseas, like Big Red Button (lol) or Christian Whitehead, does it really showcased as such. Forces was specifically marketed as "by the team that brought you Sonic Colours and Sonic Generations, but the reality of the credits tells a totally different story.

#8 User is offline Hitlersaurus Christ 

Posted 17 December 2018 - 09:26 AM

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There were employees who only worked on Sonic Team games, so I wouldn't say it's been entirely just a label, but the exact members have always been fairly fluid post-Adventure series.

#9 User is offline Caniad Bach 

Posted 17 December 2018 - 09:29 AM

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The SEGA CS studios are SoJ internal studios; since CS2 was largely responsible for output under the Sonic Team name, and Iizuka and the Sonic brand have gone over to SEGA of America in L.A., it's more likely that they'll establish an actual Sonic Team again and have a US-based studio dedicated to creating Sonic titles.

#10 User is offline HEDGESMFG 

Posted 17 December 2018 - 11:07 AM

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Hopefully this leads to more team mania type titles and less BigRedButton quality titles, but we'll see.

#11 User is offline Ashram 

Posted 17 December 2018 - 11:10 AM

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A steady team of talented people working under the label Sonic Team can only be a good thing. Just hoping they'll still use Wavemaster for music.

#12 User is offline Yeow 

Posted 17 December 2018 - 03:11 PM

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View PostCaniad Bach, on 17 December 2018 - 09:29 AM, said:

The SEGA CS studios are SoJ internal studios; since CS2 was largely responsible for output under the Sonic Team name, and Iizuka and the Sonic brand have gone over to SEGA of America in L.A., it's more likely that they'll establish an actual Sonic Team again and have a US-based studio dedicated to creating Sonic titles.



View PostAshram, on 17 December 2018 - 11:10 AM, said:

A steady team of talented people working under the label Sonic Team can only be a good thing. Just hoping they'll still use Wavemaster for music.


Bleh, if a new Sonic development team is established in the US/West; I'd rather they start fresh under a new name. The Sonic Team moniker is tainted with nearly two decades' worth of inept management and mostly subpar games; and Blue Blood is also correct when he says "Sonic Team" mostly exists nowadays as a identifiable brand slapped onto whatever staff is assembled to (co-)produce Sonic games made in Japan. Moreover, I'll add to Blue Blood's post by noting that the continued use of the Sonic Team label is contrarian to Sega's hierarchy of internal development studios of the past decade and then some--the era of Sega having established first-party studios (rather than internal divisions under generically-named departments) hasn't been a thing since the Sega-Sammy merger in 2005. (This can also be applied towards the "Yakuza Studio" group set up within CS1, but that entity's existence can at least be defended with their namesake games actually having found consistent critical and commercial success.)

It would also be nice to have a Sonic-assigned development team/development studio with a title that doesn't brand them to be directly associated with (and ultimately stuck with) only one IP, which arguably contributed to the constant shoehorning of "new things" into the games and eventual franchise burnout that happened over time. You shouldn't have to split up your development team into two separate groups/set up an international offshoot just to have the chance of making something original like Sonic Team did in the early 2000s. Especially since that venture ultimately backfired and railroaded them even harder to only churning out Sonic (and Puyo Puyo) games.
This post has been edited by Yeow: 17 December 2018 - 03:30 PM

#13 User is offline biggestsonicfan 

Posted 17 December 2018 - 03:35 PM

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What is SoA's role at all, at this point? I see Sega of Europe pulling most English related strings, and SoJ is on fire, sort of, so what exactly IS Sega of America at the moment?

#14 User is offline UpCDownCLeftCRightC 

Posted 17 December 2018 - 04:38 PM

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If this is true the SoA is finally getting control of Sonic....
F**king finally.
I've been waiting years upon years for this. SoJ does not deserve Sonic.

These are the people that obviously care about the franchise and its direction. This is actually no small thing here, theres lots of potential for Sonic to start uptrending. Won't get my Hope too invested until I see some action, but I do think this can be a very good thing.

#15 User is offline Kail 

Posted 17 December 2018 - 04:39 PM

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US based Sonic Team? Hell yeah baby time for Sonic Spinball 2

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