Sega is going to “delist the digital versions of” Sonic the Hedgehog 1, 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and Sonic CD starting on May 20th, according to a press release posted to multiple sites (via The Gamer). The announcement is extremely light on details. (You could read it faster than a speedrunner could do Green Hill Zone 1), but it does mention that the games being pulled will be featured in the upcoming Sonic Origins collection.
Currently, this mostly seems like an issue for PC players. The games aren’t available individually on the PlayStation Store, and only 2 and CD are available to purchase separately on the Xbox. All the games, however, are available on Steam. Sega says you’ll be able to buy the Sega Ages versions of Sonic 1 and 2 on the Nintendo Switch or play 2 with Nintendo Switch Online Plus.
Origins isn’t set to release until June 23rd, meaning that there will be a month-long gap where you can’t easily buy, say, Sonic CD. Even ignoring the gap, it’s still annoying that Sega is taking away the ability to legally buy games individually and not bundled with other games you might not want.
That’s especially true thanks to pricing. Sonic Origins will be $40, whereas the games being delisted cost $5 each on Steam. Sure, the ones in Origins will be remastered and come with other features like new game animations, a museum feature, and more, but if you don’t care or only want one or two of those games, you may suddenly have to pay a lot more.
I say “may” because the press release is quite short on details, which leaves a few things unclear. Sonic Origins is far from the first collection of games Sega’s released. What about the Sega Genesis Classics collection (aka Sega Mega Drive and Genesis Classics on Steam)? On the Switch and other consoles, it’s got Sonic 1 and 2, and the PC version even includes Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Will those collections just get a few games lighter for people buying them after May 20th?
The Verge attempted to reach Sega through the company’s press site but hasn’t been able to get ahold of anyone who could answer these questions. We’ll let you know if we hear back.