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This comes from a Eurogamer interview with Sonic Team creative officer Takashi Iizuka, who responded to player concerns with the game’s current quality from showcases, which led to a #DelaySonicFrontiers trend online.
“We’re in debug right now making sure everything is getting to where it needs to get ready for submissions,” said Iizuka, “and we have been doing a lot of play tests with our target audience.
“We’re having them come in and play the game and the feedback that we’re getting is actually really positive, which makes us believe we need to get this game into the hands of more people so they can play it and feel it and experience what this new format is.”
Multiple in-game showcases for Sonic Frontiers have taken place this month, with one showing the open-world, and another giving players a look at combat.
According to Iizuka the team is “pretty close to the end” of development “right now”, which may lend credence to the idea that Sonic Frontiers is still in fact releasing this year, despite no release date at the recent Sonic Central live stream.
“The team really is working on finishing everything up and finalising all of the work that needs to get done. They’re working long nights in Tokyo right now trying to get us to that point.”
To close out the interview Iizuka said: “I know a lot of our fans may not quite understand what this is. But this is the third generation and the open zone format is going to be the new style for Sonic games. We really hope our fans play it and enjoy it and understand what we’re doing, and hopefully give us the reviews that we’re looking for.”