After making a public statement regarding a plan to revive old franchises before 2020, SEGA has been keeping busy. The term "SEGA Forever" has popped up, initially found via several verified social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit. More recently, mobile gaming enthusiast Bearkiddy downloaded a mobile port of Comix Zone that was soft launched in the Phillippines via an alternate account. What he found when testing that game could be evidence that SEGA Forever may be related to the company's efforts to dive into their back catalog.
The port of Comix Zone currently being tested is everything you'd expect out of a mobile port of a side-scrolling brawler, but it does have a few interesting hooks. The main menu has buttons for "More Games" and "Segazine" that only bring up a radical "Coming Soon" message. Then, there are the options you get when you launch the game. You can currently play for free with ad support and cloud saves, and the hooks exist for customers to pay for an ad-free experience. The button for this is currently labeled "SEGA Forever Buy For", connecting this port to the mystery project. In addition, Bearkiddy received an option to sign up for a SEGA Forever newsletter and received a survey that covered a multitude of titles from SEGA's past.
With this evidence in hand, Bearkiddy reached out to retro-focused YouTuber RGT 85, who first broke the story on his channel. I reached out to BearKiddy and was able to independently verify this information. In addition, I was able to take the survey myself and secure the full list of games that SEGA is probing potential customers about via this survey. While this isn't a comprehensive list of SEGA classics, it does cover everything from the SG-100 and early arcade games to the Dreamcast to more recent fare. The list also shows what games and franchises are on SEGA's radar when it comes to future developments.
When reached for comment, a SEGA representative gave the following statement.
TechRaptor will continue to update this story with further developments as they occur.We do not have any official comments to share on SEGA Forever for the moment.
Quick TakeWhile some are speculating that SEGA Forever will end up being a subscription service a la EA Access, I'm not convinced. However, the idea is intoxicating, and I can see how someone would come to that conclusion looking at what evidence there is and the current gaming landscape. Xbox Game Pass is brand new and holds a lot of promise, and this sort of gaming Netflix feels like an inevitable and welcome addition to the ways that people play games.
Still, even if this is just a renewed porting effort by SEGA, I'd love to see new generations exposed to games like Panzer Dragoon and arcade oddities like Star Jacker. Really, I'm just excited that someone at SEGA remembers Star Jacker considering that it's a forgettable Galaga also-ran. A digital library with obscure games like that could really be something.