Team Sonic Racing launches just a few days later, and Sonic series producer Takashi Iizuka stepped up to have an interview about inspirations for the game, as well as how they chose the character roster this time. [Thanks, 4Gamer!]
Here are the highlights:
Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing had many popular Sega characters appear, but this time it’s just Sonic characters.
Takashi Iizuka, producer: “Right, because the game this time is a new project made to expand on the Sonic brand.”
The original release date was Winter 2018, but it ended up releasing in May 2019. Why is that?
Iizuka: “The biggest reason for the wait was because it took time to overcome problems with online races. Because people will not be playing it within the same network environments, with at most 12 players in one race this time, adjusting it was quite a large task. We kept testing the minimum network connection tests, which led to more debugging, and it took longer than we thought.”
Why the focus on team races?
Iizuka: “This game uses rules where the overall placement of members decides the winners, a ruleset that’s not used much in racing games. Despite it being popular in shooters and action games, there are surprisingly few titles in the racing genre where can share the joy of working together.”
“Actually, my son plays racing games with his friends, but if there is even one kid who’s better than the others, they’ll end up winning all the time. The mood of the group slowly gets worse, and people stop having fun. I would see that sort of thing happen and think, “If only there was a game where you could work together and high-five and share in the joy of winning together.””
Apart from series regulars, there are some different characters this time like Vector and Zavok. How did you choose the roster?
Iizuka: “We really had trouble deciding the roster. For example, Vector is originally a Team Chaotix member, but this time he’s teaming up with Silver and Blaze. We went through a lot of debate before making things this way. Furthermore, while characters are split into Speed, Technique, and Power characters, character popularity doesn’t necessarily follow that same order. Instead, we chose characters that fit the image of those types.”
By the way, what is Iizuka-san’s favorite character?
Iizuka: “Mine would be the Chao. It’s the first type they have been playable since Sonic Adventure 2, and personally I wanted them to show up as playable as well. The sight of four Chao driving one car is quite funny to see.”
Team Sonic Racing releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC on May 21, 2019. Watch a recent video on Big the Cat’s return in this game here.