Rise From Your Grave!
Sega has long offered several of their classic titles through Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store, but retro gamers longing for the glory days of 16-bit gaming would have to drop some cash for the experience. But the times, they are a-changing. Sega announced “Sega Forever,” a new initiative aimed at bringing classic Sega games to mobile as free-to-play experiences.
Sega Forever looks to be a new push by the game developer to capitalize on their current IPs and continue to ride the nostalgia train that started with the Wii’s Virtual Shop about 10 years ago. However, while Sega had previously released some of their older games, most were from the 16-bit era. With Sega Forever, the company is hoping to bring “nearly every Sega game ever released from every console era – Master System, Genesis/Mega Drive, Dreamcast, and more.”
This is certainly an ambitious project. The Genesis alone has nearly 900 titles to choose from; if Sega is really planning on porting over almost every title, they’ve got their work cut out for them. But Mike Evans, chief marketing officer for Sega and the project lead, seems excited by the prospect. He stated that he has “two decades worth of classic gaming content…. Everything as far back as the SG1000 Mark I through the Master System, Game Gear, Genesis, Saturn, and Dreamcast.”
One of the big problems in such a large project is emulation support for so many different consoles. However, unlike Nintendo, who routinely shuts down emulators and views all ROMs of Nintendo games as pirated material, Sega has embraced the emulation community. Evans said, “We’re looking at how we can work with some of these guys.” Sega has recently worked with the community to develop Sonic Mania, which originally started as a fan project.
Evans has some large ideas for Sega Forever, wanting it to become a “Netflix of retro gaming.” Whether this means that a library of Sega games will be available for a monthly fee or not remains to be seen, but the initial launch titles will have a “free-to-play” structure. The games are completely free but will have ads within the app. Paying a small fee will disable these ads. There are also in-app purchases available.
There are currently five titles available as a part of Sega Forever: Sonic the Hedgehog, Kid Chameleon, Altered Beast, Phantasy Star II, and Comix Zone. These titles should be available on the iOS App Store and Google Play Store starting tomorrow, and Sega plans to release new titles every other week.
Does Sega Forever sound like something you’ll be taking part in? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!