Sonic Mania developers form new studio called Evening Star

Sonic Mania developers form new studio called Evening Star

Some of the core team that worked on Sega's retro-styled Sonic Mania have set up a brand new studio.

According to its website, Evening Star was established in November 2018 and is headquartered in Los Angeles. Members of the team are all around the world, including Melbourne and London.

The founding members of the studio include Christian Whitehead (pictured) - better known in the Sonic fan mod community as 'Taxman' - who is serving as creative director and lead engine architect, CEO and producer Dave Padilla, art director Tom Fry, technical and audio director Hunter Bridges and design director Brad Flick.

The studio is off to a flying start, too. Whitehead is arriving with the Star Engine, an evolution of the Retro Engine which he developed during his days as a fan game creator and the tech that powered Sonic Mania.

"For Evening Star, being a 'boutique' game studio has a specific meaning," blurb on the studio's website said.

"Every member pursues a goal to make their own great games. By encouraging strong technical foundations in every discipline, members are given a voice and latitude to impact games in unique ways. By reinvigorating gaming history's more cunning techniques, the team boldly explores directions long since left behind. With that driving approach, and a proprietary engine and toolset, Evening Star has developed an innovative workflow which minimises the barriers between ideas and execution."

Sonic Mania was announced in July 2016 at Sega's 25th-anniversary celebration for the series with a really nicely put together trailer (below). The title launched in August 2017 - with the PC edition hitting shelves two weeks later. By April 2018, Sonic Mania had sold one million copies around the world. named Sonic Mania as one of the Games of 2017, saying that sometimes listening to the fans and creators in the community can deliver a fresh take on your IP.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.