Development began shortly following the release of Sonic Forces, which drew some criticism for its extremely short length and level design. Hearing this criticism, Sonic Team decided to abandon the development method used since Sonic Unleashed, since they feared the next game wouldn't satisfy fans.

Generally, 3D Sonic games often limited and constrained players from roaming around the scenery, so they decided to make the game completely open-world, with the idea of innovation that hadn't been seen since the original game and Sonic Adventure.
Contributed by GamerBen144