One of the leading creative forces behind Sega’s Sonic series is moving to America to make the country the base for future entries in the long-running franchise.
Takashi Iizuka was the lead designer on 1999’s Sonic Adventure and in the same year helped established Sega Studio USA, before it was re-absorbed into the Japanese studio in 2008.
As current head of Sonic Team and VP of product development, he has served as producer on all major Sonic titles for the last six years, but played less of an integral part in the development of critically lambasted reboot Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, which was produced externally by studio Big Red Button in 2014.
Now based in LA rather than Tokyo, Iizuka will work to build Sega’s studios in the city into a “centralised hub for the global brand”, the publisher said (via Nintendo Life).
The move marks the first time a Sonic game has been developed by Sega in the US since 2001’s Sonic Adventure 2 – made by Sega Studio USA – and, before that, 1992’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2.