Has Sega been taking notes on the release schedule for Half-Life 2: Episode 3? The company revealed today that there is no room in 2011 for Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2, and that the game may release next year, possibly a full year after Episode 1’s downloadable launch.

"This year, 2011, is the anniversary, so we're focusing on the celebration title," said Takashi Iizuka of Sonic Team in a conversation with Eurogamer, "But moving forward to 2012, Sonic will still be going, so I'd hope to provide Episode 2 then."

Iizuka also revealed that Sega planned all along to shelf Sonic 4 in favor of Sonic Generations to best celebrate the hedgehog’s 20th anniversary.

When asked if Sonic 4: Episode 3 was a future possibility, Iizuka simply stated that he “can’t say.” I'll admit I'm a little relieved that Sega is letting the ink dry on their love letters to fans instead of overwhelming us with tributes to Sonic's heyday.