Sega plans to delist several classic Sonic re-releases due to their presence in the upcoming Sonic Origins, the Japanese developer announced via official press release this morning.
Sonic Origins, which launches on June 23 for home consoles and PC, remasters the first three Sonic the Hedgehog games from the Sega Genesis with the aptly named Sega CD follow-up Sonic CD. Sega specifically named this collection as the reason why the four Sonic games largely won’t be available piecemeal on digital storefronts after May 20.
“There are a couple of exceptions,” the press release explains. “Sonic the Hedgehog 1 and 2 will remain available via Sega Ages on the Nintendo Switch and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 will still be playable via Sega Genesis on Nintendo Switch Online.”
While delisting generally doesn’t make games you’ve already purchased unplayable, the tactic is still considered anti-consumer due to it limiting folks’ ability to purchase single games at a reduced price. In some cases, such as with BioShock and Dead Island, the newer reissues lack previous features or sport new bugs, too.
But hey, by spending a few more bucks on Sonic Origins, you get character animations on the main menu! That’s not a weird thing to lock behind a deluxe edition paywall at all.
I 100% guarantee that something will be different/inaccurate in the new versions, and that this is a completely boneheaded move. It's like we fetishize film so much that we want to make the same mistakes Star Wars made, tossing away the originals for the Better version. https://t.co/wIk3dNDyzS
— Frank Cifaldi (Unlicensed).nes (@frankcifaldi) April 26, 2022
Adding to the frustration is the fact that Sonic Origins will come bundled with Denuvo, a controversial anti-piracy measure, on PC.
Denuvo has long been a thorn in the side of PC gamers, with any mention of the technology provoking stern public outcry. And for good reason: It often ruins games purchased legitimately while also doing little to actually tamp down piracy. When Denuvo was added to Doom Eternal in 2020, for example, the negative response led to its removal from the first-person shooter after only a week.
Sonic Origins seems like a really cool project, it’s just the noise surrounding the collection that’s bummed everyone out. I’m sure it’ll be fun to revisit these classic games, but Sega is really doing a whole “one step forward, two steps back” routine here that’s left a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths.
Kotaku reached out to Sega for comment on this situation but did not hear back before publication.