SEGA is advertising the latest Sonic game, which is supposed to be a kind of revolution in the universe and even in the genre as a whole. The developers came up with the name “Open Zone.” Morio Kishimoto is sure that we’ve never played in a space like this before.
Sonic Frontiers is working hard to get ready for its debut. The amount of marketing materials for the position shows that we should know when the debut will happen in the next few weeks. But creators have to persuade people to see a known IP in a new way. In a recent interview, the game’s director, Morio Kishimoto, tried to give a detailed explanation of the term “Open Zone.” This is the name of the game’s open world, which the developers think will bring something new to the genre.
“Level-based platformers often have a world map. Our Open Zone is a map of the world, but entirely playable. A playable world map with elements of scenery is something that hasn’t been there yet, so we had to come up with a new name. What is often referred to as the world in other platformers is called Zone in Sonic games, so we took that and combined it with “Open”, which refers to an area that can be freely explored . So that’s what Open Zone means.
The developer emphasized that platformers have been offering a world map for many years, but Sonic Frontiers will provide a real evolution of the structure:
Super Mario Bros. 3 was released in Japan in 1988. I think this was the first game to feature a world map. Since then, this system has been used in countless platformers, even to this day. The true evolution of this structure is what we consider to be the essence of Sonic Frontiers. We wanted to create a platformer based on next-gen levels. But how do you expand a level-based platformer like Sonic to a new Open Zone? This is what Sonic Frontiers is all about.
The team said that players should expect to play for about 20–30 hours, but to finish all of the planned challenges, we will need to spend about 40–60 hours making the game.