In an interview for Shadow the Hedgehog.

1UP: What defines a Sonic game to you? What makes a Sonic game a Sonic game?

Takashi Iizuka: For the past 14 years, Sonic’s been based on a really cool, fast-paced type of character. Moving forward for the future, we don’t want to throw that away. We want to keep that, but within keeping that we want to add additional features that will help bring in a new type of audience.

Swords, wisps, teamplay, gunplay, all of these things… were done… to deal with audience expansion. In the process, we’ve now several Sonic games with zero consistent gameplay style. People are literally confused as to what Sonic is about these days because each installment is designed to bring in different fans. The problem is the gameplay treats the fans as expendable assets.

Everytime a sequel comes out with some gameplay or content that is wildly different from the previous game, people are turned the fuck off. People grow limp and sterile from the brazen and arbitrary changes. It even deters potential fans from getting into the franchise. So doing that with every friggin installment you do is batshit insane.

Iizuka, please stop raping Sonic the Hedgehog.