I think it's also possible that there are more legal complications behind outsourcing indie devs than it at first might appear. Doing it as a one time special event was great, but doing it on the regular may be difficult and hiring the Mania Team full time may either not be something they want, or may not be so simple to do when SEGA is still primarily a Japanese company and Team Mania had members across the world. Furthermore, I wonder if the game sold poorly in the Japanese market and that is somehow influencing Sonic Team's decision? Mania was a low priced game, but as silly as this sounds, we don't actually know much of anything about the budget that went into developing it. I assume Forces was a flop given how quickly it had price drops, but could there be other budgetary/profit margin factors like internal vs external dev costs to consider? Licensing fees for the retro engine? There's a lot we still don't know about what success for SEGA actually means with this game and what their expectations are (fair or unfair). Do they judge Japanese sales as more important than western sales? Or did Mania also do well in Japan and none of this makes any lick of sense at all? Even Iizuka seems to speak of the project fondly every time it comes up, but he just doesn't seem interested in making more than one for whatever reason. Or perhaps they truly are waiting for Origins to come out and see how that does with a new generation of players? I also have no doubt Frontiers 'is' taking up the bulk of the Team's resources at this point since it appears to be the largest Sonic game they've made yet due to its open world nature.