Sega Forever

Sega has a new collection of classic titles made available for mobile users that will be free as part of a new business model to help new-school gamers get a taste of some old-school classics. It's called Sega Forever and it's for iPhone and Android users.

The retro collection consists of five curated classic games that will be free on the Google Play Store and on the iTunes App Store. Sega setup a web portal over on the official Sega Forever website, which offers links and details on each of the games that are available for mobile users. The service officially gets underway tomorrow on June 22nd, but some of the games are already popping up for free on the iTunes App Store.

The starting line-up of games includes Sonic The Hedgehog, Phantasy Star II, Comix Zone, Kid Chamelon, and Altered Beast.

Each of the games are free but are ad-supported, so during the play sessions you may have to take a break in order to view ads that pop up. You can, however, pay $1.99 to own the game and make the ads go away for good for that particular app. There's no word on the frequency of the ads, so it's tough to tell which route nets Sega more revenue. The games are also fairly compact, with Comix Zone clocking in at a modest 163MB.

Sega's CMO, Mike Evans, explained that it's possible for gamers to create their own Sega Forever folder and begin collecting games as more of Sega's classics become available. In addition to the games launching, there will also be iMessage sticker packs being made available as well, starting June 22nd.

Now, for fans of some of Sega's more rare titles, don't feel left out. Based on the wording of the press release, the company plans on releasing games across "every console era" and bring the games to newer mobile devices.

I'm assuming as the service takes off and gains some popularity in the mobile space, Sega may increase the library and begin including games from different eras, possibly including the Sega Mega Drive and the Game Gear.

Most fans are probably hoping for Dreamcast games, but I'm personally hoping that Sega Saturn titles or the Model 2 arcade games make an appearance. Underrated classics like Sega Rally Championship and Dynamite Deka, or other low-key gems like Virtual-On: Cyber Troopers. Today's phones should be powerful enough to easily emulate games like Virtua Cop and Virtua Fighter, along with other games like Fighting Vipers and Panzer Dragoon.

Sega has a rich library of diverse games spanning a fairly large portfolio of different game systems. It would be pretty awesome to see games leading all the way up to the Dreamcast era of titles.

I'm sure there are also tons of Power Stone fans out there who would probably flip out if they found out they could play the game officially on their mobile phone. For now, Sega is content with offering mobile phone users a small taste of classic 16-bit games from the Sega Genesis era, and it officially gets underway starting June 22nd.

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