Sega recently announced that it’s switching focus from emulations to ports in 2018 for Sega Forever. This is down to the fact that the ports have received far more downloads than any of the emulated games.
Before we get into the nitty gritty though, first let’s catch up on all things Sega Forever. This is Sega’s effort to re-release a bunch of classic games from its past, covering the Genesis/Mega Drive, Saturn, and Dreamcast.
So far we’ve received a variety of ports and emulations. The ports are free versions of games out already on mobile, while the emulations are games from Sega’s history.
The idea sounds like a no brainer – who doesn’t want to relive games you played as a kid for free on your phone with controller support? Somehow though, Sega has managed to completely screw it up from the moment it began.
What has Sega Forever done wrong?
First, we had dodgy emulation, with games running poorly. That’s unforgivable on mobile really, as our current crop of devices are more than powerful enough to handle anything Sega’s backlog has to throw at it.
The emulation has seen improvements since release, but it’s still not quite there. This is the first thing Sega needs to fix to improve the service. Hire outside help if you have to, just get it right.
Secondly, the games library. We’re really not surprised that the vast majority of the games haven’t received many downloads. The selection has been bafflingly poor at best.
Considering the sheer quality in Sega’s backlog, why have we got the likes of ESWAT and Decap Attack over the immensely popular Shenmue, Skies of Arcadia, Sonic Mania, or even early Yakuza?
We haven’t even got the best Genesis games yet. Where’s Sonic 3? The rest of the Golden Axe series or Streets of Rage 2? Was Ristar really worth it over all of those?
How can Sega fix it?
For us, that’s the biggest failure of Sega Forever. We get that certain games are much more difficult to port or emulate than others, but you can’t show surprise when you release a bunch of chaff and everyone ignores it.
What worries us most is that Sega hasn’t even learned from its mistakes – at least from the right mistakes. The reason the ports were more successful was because they were, for the most part, much better games.
We had ports of Christian Whitehead and co’s Sonic, the highly addictive Virtua Tennis, and Crazy Taxi for heaven’s sake. It’s hardly surprising that those games got the most downloads.
So Sega, we’re offering you an olive branch here. If you want Sega Forever to truly work in the long term, you really need to start delivering what the fans want: better emulation and a library of games actually worth playing.