The circumstances surrounding this game seem completely different though which is what makes it all the more intriguing. 1.) Takahashi Iizuka mentions that he wants to revisit old games such as "Sonic Adventure" to return to Sonic's roots. 2.) Sega / Sonic Team and Takahashi Iizuka rehire a bunch of original field artists / designers and planners from Sonic Adventure back in 2019. (These first two points are the reasons why so many people originally thought they were either making a Sonic Adventure Remake or a Sonic Adventure 3.) 3.) In an interview back in 2019, Takahashi Iizuka says that he wants to try something new and challenging for Sonic's 30th Anniversary game. When asked about Sonic’s upcoming 30th anniversary in 2021, Iizuka said that “planning would need to begin now,” and that he’d “really like for us to take on some sort of new challenge for it though.” 4.) Sonic's design in the CGI teaser trailer has subtle design choices that are also very deliberate in focus which call back to his earlier modern design days such as his Sonic Adventure design with the elongated and exaggerated shoes. 5.) If the first two early leaks holds true, development for this new game might go as far back as early 2019 which would mean conceptualizing and planning would have taken place earlier in order for there to be a playable test build for focus testers to try out. One of the earliest leaks we have was posted on August 6th, 2020 and the person claimed to have played a "couple of months ago". How many months are we talking here? 3-5 months? Less than that or more? Who knows. It definitely sounds like this game was in development since 2019 and playable builds were presented in early 2020. Another leak that dates back to July 17th, 2020 claims to have played the game back in March. 6.) With a large emphasis on focus testing early on in development for this game, it really seems like Sonic Team want to get things just right this time. It's interesting that we are seeing a lot of Western focus testers trying out early builds of this game (again if the leaks are true) because I don't recall really seeing that for any of the earlier 3D titles where development and testing seemed a lot more private and on the "Sega of Japan" side of things. 7.) The fact that they quickly removed the games title from news media outlets when broadcasting Sonic Central and the fact that they have yet to mention the teaser trailer on any of their official Social Media accounts or released the teaser trailer on their Youtube channel would suggest that they want to keep this game's identity a secret until they feel ready to fully showcase it to the world. 8.) At SXSW Gaming 2019 Takahashi Iizuka confirmed that the next main Sonic game was already in development. This is very interesting because if this and the January 2021 leak are both true then we can actually see a developmental timeline between this earlier build mentioned in August 2020 and the later one from January 2021. They both corroborate each other and describe similar aspects to the game while also having some minor differences. Both leaks mention it being open world with a Breath of the Wild influence, little Korok like creatures with puzzles, bosses spread out throughout the world, a foggy forest you couldn't enter before having all seven Chaos Emeralds, and a giant final boss with Super Sonic. In the August 2020 one, the location is described as being an isolated and uninhabited island. There's no mentioning of portals that take you to "Cyberspace" Generations esque levels. In this version the boss enemies spread out throughout the open world offer Chaos Emeralds rather than Orbs mentioned in the later leak. The final boss is described as a giant colossus type creature instead of a giant tree like creature. It definitely sounds like this was an earlier build of the game and that this version is most likely the early proof of concept build. The later build described in the January 2021 leak goes into more detail. The world is now larger and more fleshed out, there are now Generations styled like levels, bosses found throughout the world now offer Orbs instead of Chaos Emeralds, and the final boss is now a giant tree like creature instead of a colossus type creature. We also gain new information as we are given the title "Sonic Rangers" and information about Sonic's new move the "Spin Cycle" and how it functions. It'll be really interesting if these two leaks are both real to see how things changed and evolved over development time when the final version of the game is officially released. If the leaks are real, I wonder what concepts mentioned will stay or be further expanded upon and which ones will be completely changed or removed altogether. Both leaks describe a very early and incomplete game so it really will be quite interesting to see what the final product is going to look and play like. What I'm really curious about is what this game's story and overall theme is going to be like and if any of Sonic's friends will be involved in some way. Both leaks mention Sonic as the only character and any story elements are not present in either builds of the game. This is most likely due to them being very early test builds if anything. With a title like "Sonic Rangers" I would think that there would be more characters besides just Sonic. Question is will they just be background story characters, NPCS, or actual playable characters? Another thing I'm curious about is where this story is going to take place. The earliest build mentions it being on a uninhabited island. Could Sonic have gone back through time or is this the present day? Could it be South Island or any other island featured in previous games or is this someplace new? Another thing I've been thinking about is if this game's story will have some type of Chaos Emerald origin story or something. The reason I'm saying that is because there has been a lot of emphasis on the Chaos Emeralds lately in various official media which had me wondering about it for a while now. Not too long ago, Ian Flynn made a comment in one of his Bumblecasts mentioning that he "knew who created the Chaos Emeralds" but he wasn't allowed to talk about it, then the 30th Anniversary IDW Classic Sonic comic has a story which involves the Chaos Emeralds, and finally and most interestingly, the latest Sonic Channel Wallpapers all feature miniature stories to go along with them and they all feature inert, dull, Chaos Emeralds that have all been drained of their power. I just find all of the emphasis on the Chaos Emeralds as of late really weird and interesting and I'm curious if it may possibly tie into this new game's story or not. For all I know, I could be completely wrong lol but I guess we'll see soon enough when more information about this game comes out.