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Next Sonic the Hedgehog game delayed over quality concerns

The newest sequel in Sega’s flagship Sonic the Hedgehog franchise has been delayed as studio Sanzaru Games focuses on delivering improvements over its poorly received predecessor.

Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, originally set for a fall 2015 release, will now launch in 2016 after Sanzaru applies an additional coat of polish.

“In order to make sure the game has the time and polish needed, we’re moving it out into 2016,” Sega PR representative Aaron Webber explained in a recent blog post. “No exact window from us, just yet – it’ll be ready when it’s ready!”

Webber continues: “In the grand scheme of things, while the downside is that you won’t be playing the game this year, the upside is that what you’ll play next year, and what fans will continue to play for years after they pick up the game, will be a stronger, more enjoyable experience. We think that’s important, not just for this one game, but for all future Sonic titles.”

Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice follows up on multiple Sonic the Hedgehog games that met with a negative critical reception in recent years. Reviews criticized Sonic’s Wii U debut Sonic: Lost World for its confusing controls and poor level design, and 2013’s Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric launched with game-breaking bugs that enabled players to skip large portions of gameplay using physics-defying glitches.

While Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for the Nintendo 3DS features completely different gameplay compared to its Wii U counterpart, it too drew criticism for its confusing level layouts and sluggish pacing. It’s likely that developer Sanzaru will address these issues specifically while it polishes up its sequel.

Unlike many recent games in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, Fire & Ice will skip consoles in favor of an exclusive release for Nintendo’s portable platform. A new release date for Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice was not announced.