Jason Schreier of Kotaku.com recently criticized Sonic Lost World for having an extra DLC of 25 extra lives for the Deadly Six Bonus Edition. Having read the article, Webber decided to clarify the reasons behind Sega's decision when Stephen Totilo (also of Kotaku) managed to reach him for an interview.
"The lives are not really the focus," Webber stated. "The lives are an extra part to the bosses, which is the primary DLC."
Totilo asked why the twenty-five lives were necessary. Apparently many were concerned that giving away free lives would potentially imbalance the difficulty of the game to either make the game harder, to push people toward going for the free lives, or in essence it makes the game easier and in a sense devalues the difficulty being presented. Webber's response was lengthy but informative:
"The game is not built to be so difficult that you would ever need to purchase extra lives. We would never want to put a consumer in a position where they would have to go out and buy extra lives. Sonic games have never been about that, never will be about that. So that's the first thing we should say about it.
"The extra lives are a way to let you have a bit more fun being reckless if you want to be. Often, Sonic games, you start with three lives and if you run through, it's game over.
"I think Sonic games have become much more forgiving ever since the old days. They used to be, if you ran out of lives and continues you start from the very beginning. Now we have save data and you can go back and play levels again, so it's really all about having that extra cushion. That's all the 25 lives are meant to be. The game is not made to be hard to encourage you to buy those."
Webber also compared the game's difficulty to that of Sonic Colors. He revealed that some paths are easy and safe, but several hidden paths were more difficult and required taking risks. This is meant to allow the player to choose the game's difficulty.
In response to several fans' speculation that players could buy extra lives in-game with real cash, Webber said, "That will never be a thing in a Sonic game." Several readers pointed out that the mobile game Sonic Dash allowed for the option to buy revive tokens, which essentially act as lives, in-game. Webber commented on the article to clarify his statement:
"I should specify *core*. But it's worth noting that even in Sonic Dash, which is a free endless-runner style game, you can earn and unlock almost everything simply by playing it. (Including the ability to keep going if you fail.) Real money isn't required, but as with almost all free mobile games, you can purchase items if you want to."