Today (April 26), Sega has confirmed that every game set to feature in Sonic Origins will be removed from online storefronts on May 20.
That includes Sonic The Hedgehog 1 and 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and Sonic CD.
Sonic The Hedgehog 1 and 2 will still be playable via Sega Ages, and Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is currently available as part of the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack service. However, Sega has not offered alternate ways to play original versions of Sonic 3 & Knuckles or Sonic CD.
All of these games will be available as part of Sonic Origins, which launches on June 23, 2022. That being said, the game’s £32.99 price tag costs significantly more than the series’ retro versions do right now.
Last year, Rockstar pulled a similar move when it delisted several Grand Theft Auto games ahead of releasing GTA: The Trilogy. The decision was criticised by players at the time, and Rockstar eventually returned the original games to online storefronts due to backlash surrounding GTA: The Trilogy‘s poor launch.
Sega’s decision to delist the first two Sonic The Hedgehog games also raises questions on video game preservation, a topic that members of the gaming industry have frequently raised over the last year.
Yesterday (April 25) it was revealed that Sony has formed a preservation team at PlayStation, which will reportedly work to “ensure our industry’s history isn’t forgotten.”
In 2021, Xbox head Phil Spencer suggested that “legal emulation” should be encouraged to help preserve retro titles.
In other gaming news, Netflix will reportedly offer nearly 50 mobile games by the end of 2022, as the struggling streaming platform looks to further expand its existing gaming library.