June has always been a big month for the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. June 23 is the day that the very first game was released on the Sega Genesis, and it's also seen as the birthday of Sonic himself. As a result, Sega has decided to release information on Sonic Frontiers throughout June after being silent on the game for quite some time. However, the way it's being handled is rather questionable.
Sonic Frontiers has been on fans' minds for quite a while due to the intrigue the game has created. For quite some time, the only things fans knew about the game was that it would be the series' first attempt at an open world. With how Frontiers is treading new territory, as well as some interesting comments from Sonic Team, players were incredibly curious as to what they could expect from this new title. However, what information they have now has only left them with more questions.
Revealing Sonic Frontiers Throughout June
Due to the fact that June is such an important month for Sonic overall, it makes sense as to why Sega would try to showcase the next game throughout the month. However, the specific way Sega has decided to go about the entire endeavor has been rather strange. Instead of revealing multiple levels or abilities at large, Sega has released smaller showcases strictly focusing on specific pieces to the gameplay such as exploration and combat. While this isn't too much of an issue normally, these previews come with very little context as to what's really happening.
These previews of Sonic Frontiers may look interesting, but many fans have commented that it looks like a tech demo without crucial things such as the user interface and no reason as to what the player will be doing as a whole. It seems that Sega understands how badly these showcases have been reflecting the game, as without any notice, the company has hosted a Sonic Central and shared a TailsTube video the same time as new Frontiers reveals were scheduled. Some fans have wondered if the sudden content was meant to help fix or even distract from the situation with the promised news.
Sonic Frontiers at Summer Game Fest
Sonic Frontiers was playable at the in-person Summer Game Fest Play Days event, but its situation there was rather peculiar. While almost every other game showcased at the event allowed people to walk up and give it a try, Frontiers required appointments and for the people who played it to sign NDAs that they wouldn't talk about specific pieces of the game until a certain date. Those who attended the event made a note that this situation isn't common and was rather strange.
This was rather strictly enforced by Sega, as videos attendees took of the event show those working the booth for Frontiers refusing to allow people to show the game on camera in any capacity. Even still, through photos and videos taken at the event, fans finally got a look at the upgrade system, potential user interface, a few cutscenes, and the previously leaked cyberspace levels found in Sonic Frontiers.
The biggest thing Sonic loyalists took from the situation was that it was the most confusing marketing the series has ever had. While the initial reaction to Sonic Frontiers' gameplay was rather negative, Sega has since shared more enticing footage to the fan base, and the first ever hands-on previews from critics are mostly positive. These two things have seemingly shifted the reception rather quickly, and fans are wondering why such questionable gameplay was the first thing shown as a result.
The two batches of previews for Frontiers have been so different that viewers have been wondering if they're from different parts of the game's development cycle. Some fans have even theorized that two different models for Sonic can be seen depending on which build is which, though others have seemingly debunked it since.
Before June, Sonic Team and Sega were transparent about the high quality standards placed on Sonic Frontiers, such as Sega hoping it reviews well, and Sonic Team pushing the game back to provide a high-quality product. Now, it feels like Sega has damaged the reputation of its own game by being secretive. Many people who are looking forward to playing Sonic Frontiers this winter are in agreement that Sega could have emphasized the cryptic nature of the game in better ways than it has thus far.
Sonic Frontiers is scheduled to release holiday 2022 for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.