According to Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka, Sonic Mania is a “passion project” that “was born out of our fans’ love of the classic Sonic 2D platform games.” He added, “This type of collaboration is a first for Sega and we hope everyone will be both surprised and delighted by this title.” When developing the art for the game, the general rule was to be above the level of Genesis, but under the level of Saturn. Christian Whitehead also added that the game will be longer than Sonic Generations. Later, on the official Sonic Twitch stream, lizuka stated that Sonic Mania will have more classic levels than new levels. The day after that, Christian Whitehead explained to fans on Twitter that it was Sonic Team’s wish to celebrate the classic titles in Sonic Mania, but this time in a “new and exciting way”. 
Briefly after the game’s announcement, the game developer company Renegade Kid offered to port the game over to the Nintendo 3DS. However, on 29 August 2016, Renegade Kid announced that the studio would be closed and split to two separate companies: Atooi & Infitizmo, leaving the possibility of a Nintendo 3DS port of Sonic Mania unknown.