Sonic Dev Shares Grim Prediction for Pixel Art | Games Rants
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Sonic Dev Shares Grim Prediction for Pixel Art | Games Rants


  • Sonic Team’s head, Takashi Iizuki, doesn’t believe that pixel art has a long-term future in the video game industry, despite its nostalgic charm.
  • While Sonic Superstars will pay homage to the franchise’s roots, Iizuki views it as the beginning of a transition away from pixelated designs.
  • Sonic Frontiers is seen as the future of the series and will serve as the foundation for the next 10-20 years, with updates and DLC planned to improve the game over time.

Developer for the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and head of Sonic Team, Takashi Iizuki, recently suggested that pixel art doesn’t have much of a long-term future in the video game industry and that his team is preparing for the change. Pixel art is as old as gaming itself, and there will always be a certain charm to the simple designs for many who grew up with classic games of the 1970s and 1980s. Even plenty of younger gamers have come to love the style, and there are still lots of great games to play for those who love pixel art being released today.

The classic Sonic the Hedgehog series began as a 2D side-scroller with pixel art, and while it has seen updates to its gameplay and design, it will always have a connection to the older aesthetic. Even as Sonic Frontiers has given fans a slick, open-world Sonic title, the upcoming Sonic Superstars will be paying homage to the pixelated roots of the franchise. However, it seems that some on Sonic Team don’t think this will be the ultimate future of the series.

RELATED: Sega Reveals Sonic Superstars Release Date, Teases Sonic Frontiers DLC

In a recent interview with GamesRadar+, Iizuki argued that going forward, 2D pixel art will not “be a viable art style or presentation.” While stating that he likes the classic design, Iizuki also acknowledged that, within the next couple of decades, it won’t be what Sonic games are based on. Previews of Sonic Superstars indicate that it will be offering 2D nostalgia with some new twists and updates, and Iizuki appears to think that it will serve as the beginning of a transition for the series away from pixelated designs and towards more updates over time.

sonic superstars featured imagfe

Iizuki also emphasized that Sonic Frontiers represents the future of the series, explaining that its gameplay and design are things that Sonic Team “can build on for the next 10–20 years.” Some observers have argued that the division between modern and classic Sonic is a double-edged sword, offering both positive and negative elements. For his part, Iizuki appears to think that this split is necessary for the continued success of the series. While games like Sonic Superstars offer something for fans of the classics, Sonic Frontiers will carry the franchise forward in the coming decades.

Earlier this summer, update 2 for Sonic Frontiers added new features, and Sonic Team appears committed to building on the title with more improvements and DLC over time. This would seem to support the idea that Iizuki sees this game as the future and the base from which to build on. While players who love the classic design of old games will likely be upset to hear that pixelated art may not be the future of the industry, others will surely be excited to see what new styles developers have in store. Still, those who want a taste of 2D style and pixel art need not despair entirely. There are plenty of interesting games that feature the older aesthetics, and Sonic Superstars will look to offer some of the old gameplay and design while moving on from pixelated art when it launches later this year.

Sonic Superstars will release on October 17 for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

MORE: Sonic Frontiers The Final Horizon Content Explained

Source: GamesRadar+

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