Eurogamer has conducted an interview with Nakamura on Forces, Mania, and the Future of Sonic. We’ve summarized a few key points but there is much more in the full article at the link below.

 

  • He's not surprised by Mania's success because he knows "people like 2D games because they're easy to get in to".
  • It was interesting to see Mania get the reception it got.
  • "From the team's perspective, we're still going to be making 3D games for the audience that likes that style of Sonic - when we see the reactions that Mania got, the entire team sat down and thought it was really interesting, and we should break down what people liked about Mania, and in the future - when we build our 3D games - see what essence we can take from Sonic Mania and put into a 3D world, to give people what they're looking for and that they've found in Sonic Mania."
  • Forces started many years before Mania.
  • Iizuka was the only one from Sonic Team really involved in Mania. However, he was feeding back to Sonic Team telling them to include things from Mania in Forces (like the Drop Dash, I guess?).
  • The Avatar is aimed at engaging kids, and Forces as a whole is targeted at the modern/younger audience.
  • "From a reverse standpoint, we wanted to reintroduce classic Sonic to fans of the modern games - and maybe bring our group of very divided fans together."
  • Shadow is there in the story and playable  in Forces to appeal to the Adventure fans.

 

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-10-23-sonic-mania-and-its-impact-on-the-future-of-the-sonic-series