It’s been nearly five years already since Sonic Mania launched, a 2D platformer patterned after the original Sega Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog classics. The game was basically a labor of love, as Sega chose to directly contract passionate and skilled Sonic fans to create it, and it went on to sell more than one million copies. Yet despite that success, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that Sonic Mania will receive a sequel. However, known leaker Zippo claims Sega does have a new 2D Sonic the Hedgehog in development, and it is allegedly positioned as a follow-up to Sonic Advance and Sonic Rush, the same way Mania drew from the Genesis games.
Unlike Sonic Mania, this new 2D Sonic the Hedgehog is allegedly being developed by Sonic Team, which is also developing 3D title Sonic Frontiers. Zippo further claims this game will offer playable Tails and Knuckles. There are no other details provided, except for some speculation that the game will launch next year, since Frontiers will arrive later this year. In the past, Zippo has notably claimed that a Sonic Mania 2 was planned at one point but canceled. A new 2D Sonic the Hedgehog that draws from the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS games would be an interesting concession.
Zippo has a solid track record with leaks, leaking the existence of the Persona 4 Arena Ultimax remaster before its announcement. Zippo also leaked that Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles would return, which proved accurate when Sega announced Sonic Origins. In more recent times, Zippo has leaked a remaster of Persona 3 Portable, a console release of Persona 4 Golden, and a Persona 5 spinoff adventure starring Akechi, none of which have been formally announced by Atlus yet. Hopefully they will all pan out. At the least, Zippo is not another Twitter-grade charlatan.
Sega will digitally launch Sonic Origins next month, a collection of classic 16-bit (alas, no 8-bit) Sonic games rebuilt from the ground up for modern platforms. Aside from some oddities regarding its pricing and digital deluxe edition, it sounds like a great revamp of beloved games. And if that can’t be followed up with a Sonic Mania 2, then a new 2D Sonic the Hedgehog drawing from Advance and Rush could be the next best thing.