I think the Crash Bandicoot series is a great example of such a drought-scenario. There was no new major game release for how many years? Then, eventually, after what must have felt like eons, Crash Bandicoot interest was finally officially reinvigorated with the N. Sane Trilogy. Having almost nothing except unfounded/unconfirmed rumours and official radio silence for many years, wasn't exactly a great feeling, but that didn't mean stuff wasn't in motion behind the scenes, however slow and convoluted that may have been. Also, I'm in full agreement that Sonic The Hedgehog as a series will never fully die. Even if there would ever be a scenario, of over 10 years without a single official new Sonic game, the series is so well-known and immensely popular that you can solidly bet that fans would keep Sonic trending and relevant via fan games, ROM hacks, art, music, animations, and so on. Sonic is simply too iconic and firmly cemented into video game history, he'll very likely never leave relevancy entirely. Drop down in terms of people's optimism regarding official content, and a certain level of relevancy tanking? Sure, that has happened before, and it could happen again. Becoming totally irrelevant in every aspect however? Highly doubtful in my opinion. My perspective, is that phrases such as "I'm done with this franchise" and "I think Sonic is dead/done" are perhaps (for the most part) less a genuine belief in those phrases, and moreso the product of people's doubt, pessimism and frustration about official handling of the series and its games/characters. Honestly, I don't blame some people one iota for feeling so negatively, considering Sonic's inconsistent official quality post-Classic 2D. era. Nevertheless, I solidly stand by my opinion that Sonic will never (from all aspects, both fan and official) be considered truly dead. There's simply far too much interest in and passion for the series at any one moment for its death to ever occur.