During the Sonic live stream that was held in Japan due to the release of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, it was revealed that there will be a new character introduced in Sonic Forces, along with a new component of gameplay besides the regular 2D and 3D gameplay.
SXSW 2017 announced they would be hosting a second Sonic panel for this year’s event, set to reveal news about the upcoming Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces. The latest Nintendo Dream Magazine from Japan also revealed new information about Sonic Forces. The blurb stated that Dr. Eggman will be the main villain, that there will be no multiplayer features, and that the genre for the game is “adventure”. Soon after, it was unveiled that the game will be an evolution of Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations and features a new game engine developed for this title called “Hedgehog Engine 2”. An interview with Takashi Iizuka by Famitsu later revealed that “Boom Sonic” would not appear in the game and that the game’s third character (who will be revealed at E3 2017) would be an “unexpected character” that plays a vital role in the story and “embodies the overall features of the game”.