SEGA Forever – literally! The company is bringing its library of games released since 1985 to iOS and Android with their new SEGA Forever project.
It might be hard to imagine for anyone that grew up after the ’90s, but once upon a time SEGA was a software giant. Whilst their output today is limited primarily to Sonic The Hedgehog, back in their heyday, SEGA developed a large number of original titles during the console war with Nintendo. Most have since been abandoned, but now they’re heading back to smartphones.
SEGA Forever promises “a free and growing classic games collection of nearly every SEGA game ever released from every console era – Master System, Genesis/Mega Drive, Dreamcast, and more.”
SEGA Forever isn’t an app in itself – you’ll need to search for and download the specific titles that you’re interested in. Each app offers the opportunity to upgrade to ad-free for £1.99 – however if you don’t mind the occasional pop-up advert, they are indeed completely free. Saturn games are at least two years away, but in the meantime there’ll be one new game every fortnight.
The games released at launch are:
- Sonic The Hedgehog
- Altered Beast
- Kid Chameleon
- Phantasy Star II
- Comix Zone
Some of these games have previously appeared on iOS/Android and won’t charge you to upgrade to ad-free if you’ve paid for the game before.
The line-up isn’t particularly exciting at the moment and unlikely to convince anyone that SEGA was once a gaming behemoth mentioned in the same breath as Nintendo – and a lot of the Mega Drive titles likely to follow have been on countless retro compilations already. So in that sense SEGA Forever doesn’t seem like a particularly bold endeavour.
But if this project includes SEGA derivatives such as Sonic Team and SEGA AM2, could we see the likes of Knuckles Chaotix, NiGHTS and even Shenmue appearing on mobile devices? And perhaps more importantly, might SEGA be tempted to revive some classic franchises if they perform well? This is one to watch…