The full trailer for Sonic Frontiers was finally revealed at The Game Awards last night, confirming the game’s title and 2022 release window. As beautiful as the trailer looks, fans are struck by its strong resemblance to the Unreal fan demo shared on YouTube six years ago.
Sega and Sonic Team are following one of the current big trends of aping The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild by making Sonic Frontiers an open-world game — or as they worded it in a press release, “open-zone.” However, Sonic fans are calling out the similarities between the trailer and the Unreal Sonic fan demo, nicknamed the “Kite Demo,” created by CryZENx in 2015.
The “Kite Demo” shows Sonic in his Super Smash Bros. Brawl form running and jumping through an open field filled with frolicking deer. The trailer for Sonic Frontiers shows Sonic running through a similar environment, only there’s no wildlife present and it’s littered with mysterious ancient stone landmarks.
This type of fanwork would normally prompt social media calls for Sega to “hire this man!” or something to that effect. However, it doesn’t seem like the game publisher nor Sonic Team actually hired CryZENx to help develop Sonic Frontiers, despite comments encouraging them to do so.
The only fan that we know Sonic Team hired is Ian Flynn, head writer of IDW’s current Sonic the Hedgehog comic books and former writer of Archie Comic’s Sonic series. They signed him on to write the story for Sonic Frontiers, marking the exit of writers Ken Pontac and Warren Graff.