For any normal company in the gaming industry sales and the profit to budget ratio should have quickly dictated a Mania sequel but that’s no good for Sonic Team because the bigger Mania and it’s team gets the more expendable they look. I can see why Liam would say that about fans being vocal about classic in Forces because they enable Sonic Team’s attempt at job security, they can spin it as “classic Sonic is bad” rather than “our attempt at classic Sonic and the way we shoehorned him in was bad” or even using Classic Sonic as a scapegoat as to why Forces was revived so poorly. These fans were preemptively angry at the thought of a Team Classic and a Mania level in Team Sonic Racing that didn’t happen outside of some upcoming iOS exclusive content. If Sonic Team really does fear the success of Mania I imagine it would be startlingly trivial for them to use these sorts of fan reactions as ammo inside the corporate politics of SOJ to get them fixed to ignore it, we have a long history of them not doing what was best for the franchise in spite of reality so this wouldn’t be the first. As bullshit as those Zippo leaks might be they do present the case Sonic Team or some other faction in Sega would push to prevent another Mania. I think a lot of what might happen depends on who is working on Origins, the fact that Sega hasn’t mentioned this despite the insane reaction of the audience when Whitehead’s logo appeared in the Mania reveal trailer is ominous to me.