SEGA Pulls a Rockstar and Takes Down it’s Own Games Ahead of Sonic Origins Release

Everyone remembers the disastrous launch that was Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy –  “Definitive Edition”. A collection of the first three 3D Grand Theft Auto games from the PS2 era which included GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas. Rockstar took down all previously available versions of these games from all storefronts before it’s release. When this “definitive edition” finally came it was with a litany of issues. Fans claimed that Rockstar was not taking into account video game preservation. Which is an important way of keeping video game history. 

Step forward a few months and Sonic Origins is on the horizon. Sega is releasing Sonic Origins, a collection of the first three Sonic games ever made. Remastered and re-released in one package. And wouldn’t you know it? Sega is now taking down all versions of its first three sonic games 1, 2, and 3 & Knuckles, from all platforms in order to force people to buy the trilogy package if they want to play it going forward. Talk about deja-vu!

Sonic Origins’ Release Gives a Major Loss to Video Game Preservation

This is especially troubling news to VR enthusiasts of all people. Sega’s own emulator on Steam, SEGA Mega Drive & Sega Genesis Classics (which works in VR), is no longer selling its copies of Sonic 1, 2, or 3 (& Knuckles). Which will let you play them in the emulator’s built in 90s themed VR environment and on an old school CRT TV.

They’ve even changed the description of the emulator to fit this new removal years after it’s release. On the wayback machine, a web archive of old pages, it’s Steam page description reads like below:

old sega listing

And now on its Steam page, it barely mentions Sonic. Assumably to reflect that the original trilogy of Sonic games are no longer available for sale. Depicted below is on it’s current listing:

current sega listing

Unless someone, or some entity starts preserving these games, we will never be able to keep their original states intact. It’s important to keep these games around as a part of history. But with these big publishers delisting their games to sell modified and sometimes inferior versions, it’s nigh impossible.

Let’s hope Sonic: Origins is really the definitive trilogy fans are anticipating, and we don’t get another nightmarish Frankenstein of a collection like Grand Theft Auto’s. This is yet another loss for video game preservation, in a world where it seems game companies don’t care about keeping video game history intact.

Reggie Romano

Vtuber / Streamer, Amateur Games Journalist, Gaming Enthusiast

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