Sega has announced its Sega Forever initiative to bring classic games from Sega brand consoles to mobile devices starting tomorrow (22 June). The games will be free-to-play and supported by ads unless players choose to pay a one-off £1.99 fee to make each retro title completely ad-free.
Five games will launch on iOS and Android, with more to be added every two weeks. The service will begin with the releases of Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star 2, Comix Zone, Kid Chameleon and Altered Beast.
Sega plans to release over 1,000 first party titles from Sega consoles, from the SG-1000 to the Dreamcast via Mega Drive (aka Genesis in the US), Saturn and more.
This means that basically every classic Sega game you can think of will be launched on mobile, which means classics including Streets of Rage 2, Golden Axe, Revenge of Shinobi, the Sonic sequels and Ecco the Dolphin.
The games will support controllers via Bluetooth, leaderboards and cloud saves. They'll also be playable offline.
"Above all else Sega Forever is a celebration of nostalgia," said Mike Evans, CMO of Sega's mobile division in a statement. "It's about allowing fans to reconnect with past experiences and share them with family and friends in an accessible and convenient way."
In an interview with MCV, Evans revealed more about Sega Forever, saying: "We've spent a long time figuring out how to put the right ad model into this. We've not put any ads into the game experience, just around the game experience, in the wrapper, and they're not intrusive."
"Then there's a single in-app purchase that disables adverts. Ad-free it's [£]1.99, it doesn't matter the console era, so whether it's Dreamcast or SG-1000 the idea is simplicity, so consumers understand that proposition."
On how Sega Forever came about, he said: "We had a lot of success with the Ultimate Sega Collection, but each time we were prescribing which games went in there. And then you go 'I like some of these, some of these are OK, but I don't like this', as we've decided what you play. Here, you decided what you want to play, you set up your own folder, and it changes the way it works."