Shadow fans shouldn't expect to see their favourite edgy boy in Sonic Frontiers, as Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka reveals that he isn't in the game. With Frontiers wrapped in so much mystery, some had hoped that a Shadow cameo had been tucked away somewhere that players hadn't seen yet. However, that seems unlikely, as Iizuka warns Shadow fans not to get their hopes up.
Speaking to Shacknews ahead of Sonic Frontiers' launch (thanks, Soah City), Iizuka confirms that Shadow is not in the game. Yet he does say that he's eager to get him into more Sonic content, suggesting get could appear in the next instalment.
Towards the end of the interview (around the 12:40 mark), Iizuka is asked a fan question: "Where's Shadow? Will we see Shadow? We want Shadow." This immediately gets a laugh out of Iizuka, seemingly aware that fans are eager to get some Shadow content again as he's taken a backseat in recent Sonic projects.
"I like Shadow a lot too, and I want to work to bring Shadow into our games," says Iizuka. "He's not in Sonic Frontiers, but I would like to bring him into more content."
Interestingly, an interview with the writers of Sonic Boom from last month may have revealed why Shadow hasn't been as prominent in the series as he was in the 2000s. According to writers Alan Denton and Greg Hahn, Sega is very protective over how the anti-hero is used. They said the company provides "so many notes and restrictions" on how he can act in a project that it often "wasn’t worth it." Fellow writer Ian Flynn, who is working on Sonic Frontiers, shared this interview, writing, "QT'd without comment." This suggests there is indeed a strict mandate on how Shadow can be portrayed, putting writers off using him in games and shows.
Despite this, we've only been shown three out of five islands in Sonic Frontiers, so it's possible that there will be some other cameos around the corner. As for now, only Sonic, Amy, Knuckles, Tails and Big the Cat have been confirmed.
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