Video gaming seems to be moving towards offering interactive cinematic experiences. It's not something I can say I enjoy that much, which is probably why I retreat back to the older games of my youth. The old games placed you within an enviroment and gave you goal, you were usually free to achieve that goal in any way you wished as long it was within the contraints of the enviroment. Achieving the goal was often entirely optional, although necessary to progress, it wouldn't result in death, you were free to play and explore the given enviroment. Take SOR2, it's levels have only one path and the characters have a limited moveset, yet it is still fun to replay. There are infinite ways of completing a level, even with those limitations. Exploring a simulated, virtual enviroment is fun, regardless of if it is in 2D such as the NES game Uforia, or in 3D such as Bully, both are games that I have spent hours playing, both offer a freely explorable sandbox, where your actions effect the enviroment around you, whether it's throwing a stone or a stink bomb. Scripted events only have one outcome and once you've seen it, it isn't that exciting to see again, Sonic Team need to understand this.
But we want to reach the widest possible audience. So, you know, we will probably see Sonic going into other genres of games and also seeing Sonic in different media. So we will hopefully be able to have as many people as possible enjoy Sonic.
This quote concerns me as the last time Iizuka said something similar, we got Shadow The Hedgehog the game.
From this interview on the wiki
, Iizuka said the following.
It was very important for us to expand the Sonic franchise with the introduction of Shadow the Hedgehog, and moving forward we want to bring both the old users and the new users [together] to enhance the Sonic franchise.
In order to enlarge the Sonic franchise, we've created this new game. It's not really a reaction to what we've seen. Basically, we're trying to capture a new type of audience, but we're not trying to throw away Sonic. We're trying to expand his world to a more broad user audience.
For the past 14 years, Sonic's been based on a really cool, fast-paced type of character. Moving forward for the future, we don't want to throw that away. We want to keep that, but within keeping that we want to add additional features that will help bring in a new type of audience.
A quality game attracts a bigger audience, it doesn't need Sonic with a sword or gun, that just repluses tha fans the francise already had.
Iizuka also said this in an interview in 2004
, so perhaps he's just talking bollocks as usual.
EGM: Satoru Iwata famously declared at last year's E3 that "Mario will never start shooting hookers". Would you ever make a game where Sonic does that?
Takashi Iizuka: (Laughs) I have no plans for that! And I have a good reason: It's been 12 years since Sonic first game out, and everyone who experienced it back then are now old enough to have their own children. It's a chain of Sonic fans that's forming, and I'd like to keep this chain going. If I changed Sonic to appeal to adults, it would cut the chain right off.
While there is some sense it what he says, creating a "chain" of Sonic fans the spans the generations, it is never going to happen if every five years or so, the design of the character and his playstyle is changed. IMO Iizuka is a serious obstacle to Sonic's success.