Sure to be divisive comments
Plenty of developers create pixel art games nowadays. We usually see those efforts from indie developers, but even the big-name companies still employ pixel art in some ways. That said, there’s no denying pixel art titles aren’t as big as they used to be, and that’s thanks to the move from hardware that pushed pixel art first to platforms that favor polygons.
While there’s no doubt pixel art games will forever be a thing, it seems SEGA will be moving away from the art style in the future. (h/t Kotaku) This insight comes from Sonic Team head and Sonic Superstars producer Takashi Iizuki, who shared the following sentiment in an interview with GamesRadar.
“we look at the pixel art - it’s great - but when we think about 10-20 years in the future, we don’t think it’s going to be a viable art style or presentation for our players. And in order to advance and really step things up, we did want to make sure that we’re presenting something that 10-20 years down the road we’re still evolving and creating new content for.”
With comments like these, it seems like Sonic Mania may have been the last pixel-based Sonic outing in the hedgehog’s history.