SEGA has decided that it once again does what Ninten-don’t. Announced this morning, after being teased via cassette tape last week, SEGA Forever will be bringing a whole lot of classic SEGA titles to a mobile device near you, and you can play them for free. This stands in stark contrast to 16-bit rival Nintendo’s supreme bungling of the NES Classic over the holidays- an emulator micro-console that was in high demand and low supply until it was abruptly discontinued. Rather than treating it’s robust classic catalogue as a one-off nostalgia play purchase, SEGA seems to be leaning in a more digital archivist direction with their newly-announced app, which launches tomorrow on iOS and Android.
SEGA Forever will offer a selection of previous SEGA titles for free (starting with Genesis classics like Comix Zone, Phantasy Star II and Sonic the Hedgehog), and will be monetized via ads, which can be removed for $1.99 on a per-game basis. Each emulated release will be tailored to inject modern features like online leaderboards and cloud saves, but don’t worry- games will still be playable offline. Controller support is also included, which is (in my opinion) the only way to play.
In addition to the previously mentioned titles, the service will also debut with Altered Beast, and Kid Chameleon; new releases will come every two weeks. We look forward to seeing SEGA succeed with this fresh approach to retro gaming- in a world where emulators are still a murky gray area, it’ll be nice to have an easy, affordable and legal way to enjoy our favorite games of years past. You can check out the launch trailer for the service below, and let us know what SEGA gems you’re waiting for down in the comments!