Sonic Frontiers, the next installment in the longstanding blue hedgehog franchise, has been delayed by a year as Sega tries to improve the quality of the game. The single-player platformer written by Sonic comics writer Ian Flynn is now expected to release “Holiday 2022,” which is a little over 11 months away.
During a Q&A with investors, Sega’s Director of Strategy, Studio, and Community Relations Aaron Webber said that the company has changed its development strategy to focus on quality over quantity. In the past, the studio had rushed production schedules, which led to subpar games.
The shift in ethos means that fans “will have to wait longer between trailers or announcements,” Webber explained, but he believes “the patience hopefully will be worth it in the end.”
Sonic Frontiers had originally been planned for a 2021 release date, which coincided with the 30th anniversary of the first Sonic game released back in 1991. But now, developers are working to “brush up the quality” of the new game and are conducting a lot of game testing and research.
According to Sega, it has been “steadily conducting analysis to improve the quality of the title before release, such as introducing game testing based on external evaluation, and [we] have a feeling that it will become a good game and have high expectations for it.”
But those high expectations will come with a high price tag to match. The company explained that it has been rethinking its game pricing and will need to raise the cost as they’ve raised research and development expenses. So gamers probably shouldn’t get their hopes up for a $20 Sonic Frontiers. If their disclaimer is any indication, it’ll likely cost around $60 at launch.
“We think it is important to maintain the price by maintaining the value of the IP at high level, rather than simply lowering the price at early stage to increase the number of unit sales,” the company explained.
Last month, the trailer was unveiled for Sonic Frontiers at the 2021 Game Awards. Fans got a glimpse of the game’s high resolution and beautiful sprawling landscapes as Sonic runs from enemies across the Starfall Islands. Visually, the game looks great, but it’s not clear how much more Sega needs to work on behind the scenes.