Sega has announced something in the wake of E3 that really interests me and I think is a very important step for the future of video games (and preserving the games of the past). Sega has announced something they're calling "Sega Forever" which I think is a step in an amazingly good direction for game and the people who love them.
With Sega Forever, Sega is porting a lot of their OLD games from their catalogs to mobile phones. They say they will have games from all of their systems over time, from the never-released-in-the-west SG-1000 to the ill-fated Dreamcast. They're also making them free for now, and supporting the program through advertising revenue within the app. Reportedly, you'll also be able to pay a one-time fee to turn off the ads (and enable local saves). These games will feature both on-screen controls and controller support for both iOS and Android.
So the initial offering from Sega is only a handful of games: Altered Beast, Comix Zone, Kid Chameleon, Phantasy Star II, and Sonic the Hedgehog. In addition, Sega has committed to adding a new game to the platform every 2 weeks. Allegedly, they have *THREE YEARS* worth of games approved for the program and in the works. So, if done right, this could be a really great thing. There have been some hints at future titles too: Jet Set Radio, Revenge of Shinobi, and Girl's Gaiden (a SG-1000 game that never made it to the west, which is an awesome sign that we might be getting some games we've never been able to play before).
So personally, I feel like this can be nothing but a good thing for preserving the history of video games. Anyone to take a look at the world of emulation knows that there is a HUGE desire for people to play older games. Whether it's games they loved as a kid, or trying out games they'd always heard about, but never had a chance to play. But Emulators have always been a massive legal grey area, and actually illegal if you don't own a physical copy of the game you're emulating.
There are companies actively working against the tides of time. Good Old Games is an amazing example of someone working to make older computer games available to play on modern systems. Which I highly encourage you all to go check out and find some of the old games you love and play them again.
But what roles should the developers themselves have in wanting to preserve their own legacies?
I know Paul and I have ragged on Bethesda for releasing 3873615976 versions of Skyrim, but how many fans of Skyrim have ever played any of the other Elder Scrolls games? Oblivion, probably. But that game is now more than 10 years old. It came out for the 360 and PS3, so it is still potentially accessible. But what about Morrowind? That game is 15 years old and was on the original XBox. How many people still have one of those kicking around? Yes, they're available for PC and are on Steam, but for the more casual fans who may be curious about the rest of the series, they may not go that route.
But what about even earlier Elder Scrolls games? Arena? Daggerfall? Redguard? Battlespire?! The later two are available on Good Old Games, but Arena and Daggerfall? They take a little more work to find. They were released for free by Bethesda in celebration for the 10th and 15th anniversaries of the Elder Scrolls series. (If you're interested, you can find Arena right over here, and Daggerfall right over here.)
But what about making them more accessible? We know that nearly 10 years ago, John Carmack got Fallout 3 working on the iPhone. To the point that Bethesda/Zenimax were debating on whether or not to move forward to releasing the game on the platform. This is important to note because Fallout 3 uses the same engine as the 3D Elder Scrolls games, and was released 2 years after Oblivion. Meaning *EVERYTHING* before Skyrim could easily be run by a modern cellphone/tablet. And hell, we know the Switch runs an nVidia Tegra chip (found in many Android tablets), and Skyrim is going to run on that.
I would love to see the whole Elder Scrolls series available for iOS/Android. Especially with controller support. I would love to play through those games again, not to mention introducing them to a whole new audience of gamers.
How about you? Are there any old games you think might make a good addition to the mobile ecosystem of games? Would you love to see an official Nintendo "Forever" collection for your phone? Let us know in the comments below.
**CHOP'S eSPORTS GAME OF THE WEEK**
There are three teams tied at the top of the standings right now in the LCS. And they have a couple big clashes this weekend!
Friday June 23rd @ 6pm - Immortals vs Counter Logic Gaming - This match up has been being hyped all week. Look at the hype! This should be a great matchup to open the weekend's game. Only one can stay on top.
Saturday June 24th @ 6pm - Immortals vs Dignitas - Dignitas is the 3rd team tied for first. So we should get a feel for how all three stack up after this weekend.
Team SoloMid is knocking on the door though, and have 2 matches this weekend they should easily walk away with. So we could see even more of a traffic jam at the top by the end of the week.