from the sega-it-ain't-so dept
I’ll admit I’ve written some posts of praise here for Sega, usually due to the company’s more lax attitude on fan-made creations alongside the company’s habit of making fun of Nintendo for going the opposite route. But taking a look at the wider number of posts we’ve done involving Sega, the company is by and large on the wrong side of most of the issues we discuss. Its copyright enforcement actions are every bit as poorly carried out as any other IP bully, it has been quite hostile to modding communities in the past, and it also has utilized Denuvo’s antipiracy platform on some of its titles, despite Denuvo being a train wreck.
And so Sega is not some white knight in the realm of intellectual property and modern business models. The latest example of this comes as the company will soon remove a bunch of standalone Sonic titles… just before Sonic Origins, an anthology that includes those older games, is due to be released.
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.
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.
As I’ve mentioned when discussing the times Nintendo has done this very same thing, this is quite akin to Disney’s famed process for locking certain titles behind a vault to create artificial scarcity. That way, Disney, Nintendo, or Sega can control where and how the public buys its games, even in cases where those games were already released.
Yes, that is anticonsumer, which is a distanced way of saying that Sega is fucking around with its own fans. And, were that not enough to get your fur up, Sonic Origins will also include Denuvo.
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.
It’s too bad, really. Once a monster in the industry, Sega really could carve out a space for itself by acting as a Nintendo opposite. The public would love Sega for that. There is an opportunity to build actual value into the new Sonic title in order to give the public a legit reason to buy it, rather than trying the artificial scarcity route in order to force them to.
But apparently that’s too much to ask.