Several Sega Forever mobile games unceremoniously delisted + End of Service announcement

Remember Sega Forever, and how that started out in 2017 as Sega Europe’s initiative to bring classic Sega games to mobile app stores as free, ad-supported games? Well, Sega Forever is now “Sega For-never,” as more than half of the games released through Sega Forever have now been delisted from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store without so much as an official announcement. On top of that, the games now display an “End of Service” message like the one shown above saying that the games will remain playable, but will lose their online features, which amounted to save states being stored online, leaderboards, and offering you the option to pay $1.99 USD to play without ads. It also has a “More Info” button to show you where else the games available through Sega Forever can be played, but it only currently leads to Sega’s home page. (The above message comes from the Space Harrier II Classic app. I have not been able to confirm if the non-Genesis games display a message like this.)

Check in past the break to see what the remaining games are, as well as some more unsettling news…

Checking the Google Play Store for myself, I can confirm the only Sega Forever games remaining as of this writing are:

  • Sonic the Hedgehog Classic
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Classic
  • Sonic CD Classic
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Ep. II
  • Crazy Taxi Classic
  • Streets of Rage 2 Classic
  • Streets of Rage Classic
  • Golden Axe Classics (Golden Axe, Golden Axe II, and Golden Axe III)
  • Super Monkey Ball: Sakura Ed.
  • Shining Force Classics (Shining in the Darkness, Shining Force, and Shining Force II)
  • Virtua Tennis Challenge

The games that are no longer available to download, at least on Google Play, are

  • Ristar Classic
  • Kid Chameleon Classic
  • Phantasy Star Classics (Phantasy Star II, Phantasy Star III, and Phantasy Star IV)
  • Vectorman Classic
  • Decap Attack Classic
  • Gunstar Heroes Classic
  • Dynamite Headdy Classic
  • The Revenge of Shinobi Classic
  • Comix Zone Classic
  • E-SWAT: City Under Siege Classic
  • Beyond Oasis Classic
  • Altered Beast Classic
  • Space Harrier II Classic
  • After Burner Climax (This one was already delisted sometime a long time ago, but it’s still gone)

If you downloaded any of these games before, you should be able to download them again as they’ll remain part of your Google or Apple account. If you had previously paid the small fee to remove ads from any of the games, you will still be able to play ad-free too. If you’re still curious about any of the remaining games, you may as well download them right away.

It is sad to see the Sega Forever games beginning to fade away, but the writing was on the wall for a some time. While it was exciting during its two most active years, Sega Forever, as a series of mobile games, didn’t even come close to it’s full potential, only releasing several Genesis games that were already re-released several times over and games that were already available as mobile apps before Sega Forever’s launch. The last time a game was added to Sega Forever was in 2019, with After Burner Climax, and people just forgot about it in the time since. While it was nice to have Super Monkey Ball: Sakura Edition and Virtua Tennis Challenge return to mobile with updates, as those are unique entries in both series, Sega Forever never managed to fulfill their goal for games from other consoles like Master System, Saturn, or Dreamcast (Crazy Taxi aside) or even any Genesis games that had not yet seen a re-release by then, though I’m positive this wasn’t for lack of trying.

My guess for why Sega Forever also failed is that I think people were just never really interested in playing retro Sega classics on mobile devices, even with controller support. Mobile app stores just never seem to be a great platform for classic console games and any still available on the app store just seem to remain in obscurity. This, along with the fact that the games they released where hard to get excited for, didn’t do Sega Forever any favors. It’s a bit of a miracle the games remained on the app store for as long as they had been and even continued receiving bug fixes as late as this year. Their ambition was definitely admirable, but most of these games are available on more fitting platforms now anyway, including Steam, Nintendo Switch, and the two Genesis Minis. (As an aside, the Genesis Mini 2 is still available to purchase on Amazon almost a year later. Can you believe that?) (As another aside, that’s me doing Sega’s job of showing you where you can play some of these games now instead of just directing you to Sega’s website where none of those games are likely to be shown.)

Sega Forever lives on today in its social media pages where they hype up new retro re-releases from Sega as well as, most notably, unearthing and sharing archival material from Sega’s storied past in great quality. Unfortunately, even that seems to have an uncertain future now as Time Extension have noted in a recent article that the last Sega Forever post was on August 21st, 2023, more than a month ago now and much to the worry of Time Extension and many Sega fans. With no word from Sega about why they’ve gone silent lately or what their plans are for Sega Forever’s social media presence, we can only hope they’ll break the silence soon, especially as the assets they’ve shared have been a major boon to Sega Retro and Sonic Retro’s various pages.

So are you sad to see Sega Forever’s mobile games go away? Have you been enjoying the mobile apps? Worried about their social media status? Mourn with us in the comments below.


3 responses to “Several Sega Forever mobile games unceremoniously delisted + End of Service announcement

  1. Arekuxis says:

    It was sort of expected but they should have least kept the Twitter page running. They were fun and they posted a lot of good stuff.

  2. VirtuaIceMan says:

    After Burner Climax was a big annoyance for me; I bought it on my older 32bit Pixel 2, now it can’t be installed on Pixel 7 as that’s just 64bit. Apparently the ad supported version on Sega Forever would have worked but it’s no longer accessible!

    I also bought Crazy Taxi then they delisted it and replaced it with the ad supported version, with the previous one no longer working properly, so I have to run the ad version now, or pay again!


  3. Semmie22 says:

    the desease of rerelease

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