The head of Sonic Team is taking on a new executive officer role at Sega.
Iizuka is expected to take on the role from April 1.
It’s not yet clear whether this will have an effect on Iizuka’s current role at Sonic Team, or whether the studio will get a new head as a result.
Iizuka has been working on the Sonic series since the early 1990s, when he worked as a designer on Sonic the Hedgehog 3. He then helped establish Sonic Team USA and went on to direct such titles as Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Heroes and Shadow the Hedgehog.
In December, Iizuka told Famitsu that 2022 was “the biggest year” in Sonic’s history, due to the release of a live-action movie sequel, a Netflix series and two games in the form of Sonic Origins and Sonic Frontiers.
Iizuka stated that fans should expect the Sonic series to continue its momentum in 2023, saying: “This year, we are preparing a second wave that will delight fans and maintain the momentum.
“We have already announced the distribution of additional content for Sonic Frontiers, but there is plenty more to come, so stay tuned.”
Sega said last month that sales of Sonic Frontiers, which was co-produced by Iizuka, had exceeded its expectations at that stage.
When asked to evaluate the quality of Sonic Frontiers based on critic and player reaction, one exec replied: “Although it is true that the Metascore was slightly lower than expected, we believe that we were able to release a title that has been well received by many people around the world, thanks to the extremely high ratings from users.
VGC’s Sonic Frontiers review called the game “the kick up the backside 3D Sonic has been crying out for”, describing it as “a truly accomplished effort that hits a lot more than it misses”.