What we now refer to as ‘Modern Sonic’ is just Sonic. He’s slightly more grown-up in looks and though that’s mostly down to design it can also be attributed to the passing of time in the games. He’s clearly the same Sonic because he’s referenced as going to Angel Island in Sonic Adventure and other things. What we call ‘Classic Sonic’ is from another time in Generations, but from another dimension in Forces. Up until Sonic Generations they’re both the same Sonic. After Generations Classic Sonic and Robotnik go back and the split happens. It seems like after this Sonic Mania happens / Sonic 4. Then with Forces, Classic Sonic is removed from his timeline split in Mania again and sent to Forces - a removed future for him and thus an alternative dimension. From this point onwards the plot device both in game and for the series seems to now be that Classic Sonic as we know him now is from another dimension and this any marketing can be split for each without ruining the history of the games but at the same time changing the perception of the characters going forward. The problem is now that I don’t think SEGA can create a hybrid between the two designs which I think hurts the games and the character. SEGA aren’t also helping by not really coming forward to clarify their decisions. I’m pretty confident that what I’ve said is what the situation actually is, but do I know for sure? Unfortunately the team don’t know their own game history because they referred to Knuckles’ story in S&K as taking place the same time as Sonic’s which we know is incorrect and makes no sense, and they also haven’t explained the Blaze and Silver situation in any meaningful way though I believe that’s also the same situation. Anything is possible until SEGA clarify and this will probably never happen. Personally I’d like there to be a change for the 30th Anniversary. I’d like both Classic and Modern to be dropped going forward (not erased from history), a hybrid design created and the games going forward using this for both 2D and 3D with no distinction. This is how Sonic was between 1998 and 2012 and I’d like that to continue.