Were you hoping to see some non-Sonic characters in Team Sonic Racing like Ristar or Ryo Hazuki? Lots of fans were, but Team Sonic Racing is a strictly Sonic affair. In an interview with GameSpot, Sumo Digital team members explain why that is.
"The reason we [dropped non-Sonic universe characters] was so we could dive into the Sonic universe in more depth, and tell a canon Sonic universe story, with our team adventure mode. That was very important for us. It was a difficult decision for us, but we feel like that was the right direction to go in. Because it's allowed us to create a very new kind of unique experience for Team Sonic Racing that I think people won't have had with the previous titles." - Sumo Digital's studio design director, Derek Littlewood
"Because this game's set in a universe with characters who have relationships already, it's let us do a dialog system where they're on track and they're yelling at each other, and they have familiarity with each other and make references to history, which we wouldn't have been able to have done really [had other franchises' characters been present]. Or at least, not in as smooth a way. So it's let us do some additional stuff as well." - Ben Wilson, designer on Team Sonic Racing
Does this mean SEGA/Sumo Digital won't ever go back to Sonic racing games featuring other characters? Here's what Mr. Littlewood had to say.
"old-school Sega fans [who] are really keen to continue doing the All-Stars aspect of the game....There's nothing we have to announce, or even anything that is currently on the cards. But it's something that we would love to be able to go back to."