The middle-ground between Kickstarter projects lead by ex-developers and official releases, Sonic Mania was headed up by prolific fan-modder Christian Whitehead, who Sega recruited after decades of work making his own homebrew sequels.
Reminiscent of that time a fan once made a 25 hour expansion to apply for Bethesda (only to be snapped up by Bioware), the fantastically positive reception of Sonic Mania - alongside it being an immaculate product - proves that oftentimes, if the official studios have had their wells tapped, recruiting some fan-power can be the way forward.
Lord knows the fans could do a better job of remaking Final Fantasy VII than the current action-heavy, episodic version we're getting from Square Enix, and as things like Pokemon Uranium and Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II's fan-overhaul have proven, reinvigorating love for a specific property often works best when coming from an outsider perspective.
Honestly, I don't think we can expect once-prolific studios to always deliver using the same level of drive, passion and dedication, so why not look further afield? Sonic Mania proves this is more than viable.
Here's to the next Mass Effect being helped along by a number of people who know exactly what to do.