As Andy outlines in the opening line of his review, Sonic Mania is the best Sonic game in decades—despite Sega's attempts to revive and refresh the series with a number of middling 3D ventures over the years. Now, Sonic Team's Shun Nakamura reckons the retro throwback will inspire he and his team's future 3D incarnations.
In conversation with Eurogamer, Nakamura affirms he's "still going to be making 3D games for the audience that likes that style of Sonic", but that the appeal of Mania will be integral to that process.
"When we see the reactions that Mania got," says Nakamura, "the entire team sat down and thought it was really interesting, and we should break down what people liked about Mania, and in the future—when we build our 3D games—see what essence we can take from Sonic Mania and put into a 3D world, to give people what they're looking for and that they've found in Sonic Mania."
Nakamura continues, explaining that the classic-styled Mania and the incoming Sonic Forces were designed to coexist and not compete against one another. In doing so, Nakamura hopes Sonic's fractured fanbase can come together.
"From a strategic standpoint, what we really wanted to do was have two titles and not have them fight it out to see who wins," says Nakamura. "There's the classic game that classic Sonic fans will love and get excited for—and maybe they'll go onto Sonic to try a modern Sonic game. We wanted those fans to get what they wanted, but also maybe try something new. From a reverse standpoint, we wanted to reintroduce classic Sonic to fans of the modern games—and maybe bring our group of very divided fans together."
Elsewhere, Nakamura suggests he and his team have much to reflect on this year against the success of Mania. Read Eurogamer's interview with Nakamura in full over here, and have a gander at Andy's warm review of Sonic Mania this-a-way.