Takashi Iizuka interview by Spindash.DE (August 11, 2010)
From Sonic Retro
Spindash.DE: Would you mind briefly introducing yourself to our readers?
Takashi Iizuka: My name is Takashi Iizuka and ongoing projects are “Sonic 4 Episode l” and “Sonic Colours” and I’m a producer. I was director for many of the Sonic titles including “Sonic Adventure” series.
Spindash.DE: How long has Sonic 4 been in production at this point?
Takashi Iizuka: It’s been a bit more than one and a half years since we created the project concept around January 2009. But it was 4 months later when we fully started this project.
Spindash.DE: Why was the game designed for download and not as a retail version?
Takashi Iizuka: As you know, Sega have announced “Sonic Colours” the newest packaged title for this year. Apart from those packaged titles that are only for console, we wanted to make a more accessible game, with a reasonable price for wide range of platforms. This project has also been encouraged by the fact classic “Sonic the Hedgehog” for XBLA, Wii Ware etc… is doing so well.
Spindash.DE: Can we expect a retail version of the game at some point in the future?
Takashi Iizuka: So far we are not planning that. I would like this franchise to develop as downloadable exclusive titles.
Spindash.DE: Do you have a concrete concept of how much an episode is going to cost?
Takashi Iizuka: It’s still TBD. As mentioned earlier, we would like to have this series as reasonable as possible because we would like this to be pick up and play title with reasonable price.
Spindash.DE: Will there be downloadable content for purchase?
Takashi Iizuka: So far, this is not planned.
Spindash.DE: Will there be a difference in gameplay between the various console versions?
Takashi Iizuka: We have optimized the game for each console for example adjusting graphic resolutions and tilt controls etc… Although for the 3 console versions the contents themselves will be the same. On the other hand for iPhone version, 2 action stages are swapped from the ones for console versions given the fact this is handheld device with tilt control feature. So there will be 2 exclusive stages for both iPhone version and console versions.
Spindash.DE: Are future episodes going to feature an online multiplayer mode?
Takashi Iizuka: Unfortunately I cannot say anything yet.
Spindash.DE: Has the project been developed as a response to popular demand, or was it actually due to the well-known HD fan images that SEGA decided to produce this kind of game?
Takashi Iizuka: I know there’s been demand from fans for a new title for classic Sonic series. I’ve been wanting to bring back classic series if there is suitable way to do it. But it’s been difficult for us to develop classic series for package title in the way we do for current 3D Sonic series. So I can say, thanks to current established downloadable game market we could finally start this project.
Spindash.DE: Will the game include voice recordings, and is Sonic going to make a sound of any kind?
Takashi Iizuka: Now having VO is normal for Sonic titles, but we chose not to have VO for this title. This is because we wanted to enhance a good part of classic series in the new title for classic series.