Sonic the Hedgehog may get a “massive” and “total” reboot in 2014, if a TSSZ News source is to be believed.
The site claims it received knowledge of the potential reboot a few days before Sega’s loss and layoff bomb.
It is said to maintain the franchise’s core components, such as speed, platforming, surreal environments, and the rivalry between Sonic and Dr. Eggman. However, the characters may see a a makeover.
“Anything and everything else is under review,” according to the source, including Sonic’s friends (even Tails). The idea of an entirely new universe and cast of characters is reportedly a possibility. New gameplay methods and gimmicks are allegedly being “fleshed out.”
“Zones,” or the franchise’s word for stages, may see a revamp. So much so that each zone may become its own world, each with separate stages masked as missions for Sonic to complete. The source compared it to EA’s Burnout Paradise, an open-world racer without a concrete level structure.
The game would run on a next-generation engine, comparable to the Unreal Engine 4 or Frostbite 2 engines. But photo-realism is not a concern.
Here’s where it hits the younger audience. Much like Activision’s Skylanders series, Sega reportedly plans to boost revenue on the reboot by selling physical emblems and collectibles, which will allow players to unlock certain features in-game. For example: purchase a Knuckles the Echidna figurine, and you’ll gain access to Knuckles as a playable character. The same strategy can be applied to stages.
The reboot is reportedly “still in the exploratory phase.” According to the source, Sega is aiming to bring the series to a new generation of fans, which could explain why Sega made it clear it had “no plans” to bring back Classic Sonic after last year’s Sonic Generations.