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Why Didn’t Sonic Mania 2 Happen (Game Informer Article With New Comments from Taxman)

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Snowbound, Jul 26, 2023.

  1. Snowbound

    Snowbound

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    It’s the question we’ve been asking for years. Game Informer has provided us with answers thanks to new comments from Christian Whitehead. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

    “When we started Evening Star, it was always our goal to move beyond 2D pixel art into 3D games, and develop all-new, original IP," he says. "Evening Star did work with Sega to explore possible directions Classic Sonic could go after the success of Sonic Mania. Sonic Mania 2 was never in development, though, because we actually agreed early on that we should try to make something fresh, like hand-drawn 2D or 2.5D. At the same time, Evening Star was developing our new Star Engine, so we also ended up making a cool Sonic prototype that played with depth in 2.5D, and some other gameplay ideas."

    Following those initial planning sessions and a mutual decision to not proceed with development, Evening Star began work on Penny's Big Breakaway. "As Iizuka-san said, though, [Evening Star] did not continue to full production on the game, at which point Arzest took the helm and made Superstars alongside Sonic Team," Whitehead says. "We moved forward with our plans to develop an original 3D title, which is, of course, Penny's Big Breakaway! Superstars looks awesome and our team is really excited to play it when it comes out."
    Whitehead also dashed away one of the big points of speculation among Sonic fans: that Sonic Mania 2 falling through was the result of bad blood between Sega and members of Evening Star. "Contrary to any rumors, we maintain a friendly relationship with Sega and hope fans are pumped to play both games once they release," he says.
    —-

    There are some more comments from Iizuka in the full article https://www.gameinformer.com/2023/07/26/why-didnt-sonic-mania-2-happen

    I felt this was worthy of it’s own thread because I thought it would be counterproductive to talk about this in the Sonic Superstar thread. There we should talk about what Superstar is, not what it isn’t. I’m personally relieved that there isn’t bad blood between Sega and the Mania Team. It gives me hope that we could still get a new Sonic game from Headcanon and/or Evening Star someday. For now, I’m ecstatic that the creator of Sonic has returned for Superstar and that Penny’s Big Breakaway looks awesome!
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2023
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  2. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    Good article.

    Zippo BTFO
     
  3. Sneekie

    Sneekie

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    Oh, I didn't know Whitehead spoke on this.

    Hopefully that forever kills that insane rumor. I want to say that people will stop listening to Zippo, but I am less hopefully there.
     
  4. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    Glad that he said this.

    And sad he had to say it in the first place. I genuinely can't believe people gaslit themselves into thinking "Mania 2 didn't happen because Sonic Team was jealous of Mania!"
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2023
  5. Chimpo

    Chimpo

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    "Sonic Team hates the Mania team!"
    *Proceeds to hire other members from the same team to work on a new project and bring them back for a DLC update*
     
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  6. jubbalub

    jubbalub

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    To absolutely nobody's surprise, I would hope.

    It is interesting to know that there was more work done than just conceptual. They actually had some form of a working prototype in the Star Engine. I would've loved to see how that turned out.

    It sounds like some of the concepts for this game were carried over to Superstars, so I suppose the Mania team's legacy is still being carried on in some form.
     
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  7. Snowbound

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  8. Taylor

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    I don't remember the specifics of the Zippo rumor but I do remember it coming off very much as a "2000s Sonic fan's wish list", if you catch my drift. Make up a pandering rumor with a dash of ragebait, and there you go.
     
  9. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    I could spend a while typing up reasons why you shouldn't listen to Zippo, but I'll give you just one: he's been banned as a source on r/GamingLeaksAndRumors. If they think he's unreliable, that's how you know he's total, utter nonsense.

    I hope he sees this thread and types up a response rant on his blog. He has read Retro in the past, Overlord already lives rent-free in his head.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2023
  10. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    For what? Moderating? I know he showed up on SSMB once and immediately broke TOS.
     
  11. charcoal

    charcoal

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    The context is that he had this to say about Overlord in a blog post from June 2022.
    upload_2023-7-26_20-40-27.png

    Anyway I fully agree with the sentiments expressed above by Joebro. Zippo is a hack!
     
  12. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    Tbh I suspected it was never the case that Sonic Team was "embarrassed" by Mania's success or other conspiracy theories or that they hated the devs or whatever.

    That being said, I still think Superstars took too long to get made and I think SEGA would've been better off using the Mania engine to make cheap sequels. Plenty of people would've been happy if they took a Mega Man approach and simply added new levels and a new soundtrack, with only slight tweaks to the formula. I respect their desire to push the "Classic" IP to do bigger and better things, but I think that could've been saved for after people would've gotten sick of Mania sequels, similar to how Mario Wonder came after people got sick of NSMB. And it would've gone a long way to placate fans who waited 6 years for Frontiers.
     
  13. muteKi

    muteKi

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    Honestly a team as skilled at development as Evening Star is a bit wasted just rehashing old Sonic ideas and I'm very happy to see that they're getting the opportunity to make something original. Not terribly surprised to find they had a hand in the early dev stages of Superstars though.
     
  14. TheOcelot

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    "so we also ended up making a cool Sonic prototype that played with depth in 2.5D, and some other gameplay ideas".

    I hope one day they show-off this prototype so we can see what ideas they came up with.
     
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  15. Laura

    Laura

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    One of the things which annoys me most about the internet is that people believe outlandish things and then pretend they never did. So I'll be honest, a few years ago I really did think that SEGA just had no more time for EveningStar. I started to think that probably wasn't the case over the last two years and am happy to be proven wrong.

    I have to say though, personally it is a bit gutting. I would have really enjoyed to see a Sonic Mania 2 with all new zones and in a pixel art aesthetic.
     
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  16. Forte

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    Am I the only one, who thinks it's good we didn't receive Mania 2?

    The game feels really special to me, like an honest celebration of everything Sonic. If we'd started getting sequels, new games would undercut Mania itself.

    I'm perfectly fine with Mania being one of a kind game, born from passion and love, and not from greedy corporations needs.

    What I would like to see is 3D Sonic getting the same treatment, a "Sonic 3D Mania" or "Sonic Mania Adventure".

    And hey - we are getting SuperStars, so it's not a bad deal.
     
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  17. Snowbound

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    I really want to know what ideas evening star had for a 2.5d Sonic… but at the same time I don’t want more info now. I’m still hopeful that we could get another sonic game from evening star and/or Headcanon down the road and I suspect that showing off this prototype now would decrease the possibility of that happening.
    That said, if evening star doesn’t ever make another sonic game, I’d laugh my ass off if they dropped this prototype as a part of SAGE a decade from now
     
  18. Candescence

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    It's a little frustrating that Sonic Team felt the need to transition to a 2.5D art style to better appeal to a more mainstream audience.

    At the least, if they're gonna do that, I do wish Superstars had a better visual direction - it's an improvement from previous attempts to create the 'classic' style in 3D, sure. The problem is that it doesn't leverage 2.5D to its greatest potential visually.

    Like, while a lot of people will probably still prefer sprite or hand-drawn graphics, 2.5D can be absolutely gorgeous when done right. The Trine games, though they don't have a cartoony art style (though still stylized), are a masterclass in elevating its fantasy setting through its visuals, especially from Trine 2 onwards (the first game is pretty alright visually but Trine 2 and beyond is where Frozenbyte really found their footing with jaw-dropping visuals). Granted, they're much slower action-puzzle-platformer games, but the art design in those games and the impression that you're traveling through a massively beautiful fairytale fantasy world is absolutely second to none.
     
  19. That One Guy Josh

    That One Guy Josh

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    You're not the only one. Mania's already good on its own why do we even need a Mania 2?
     
  20. Zephyr

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    I mean, given that Evening Star was not interested in another pixel game, and made a 2.5D prototype, I think it's safe to say that "Mania 2" by them wasn't going to have a pixel art aesthetic. And despite Iizuka saying that Sonic Team went with 2.5D to capture wider mainstream appeal, Evening Star wanted it so they could play with depth.