With the release of Sonic Origins on its way this summer, it will be the first time in a long time that long time when all the classic main games Mega Drive / Genesis Sonic are grouped and can be played in one collection. So it is perhaps not surprising that Sega has announced that it will remove several versions of classic Sonic games on May 20th.
However, there is no need to panic if you are a Switch owner. Both Sonic the Hedgehog and its successor SEGA AGES releases will be secure, as will the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pass release of Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
This news was distributed to several people in a press release and shared on Twitter by Eurogamer’s CEO Matthew Reynolds:
SEGA announced today that the company will remove the digital versions of the standalone titles that will be featured in the upcoming game, Sonic Origins on May 20, 2022.
This will include Sonic the Hedgehog 1, 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Sonic CD. There are a few exceptions – Sonic the Hedgehog 1 and 2 will still be playable via SEGA AGES on the Nintendo Switch, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 will still be playable via Sega Genesis on the Nintendo Switch Online +.
It’s not uncommon for these things to happen when classics are repackaged and re-released, but it does mean that the old argument about game preservation is rekindled – with good reason.
It is not clear which versions of this delisting will affect; will people still be able to download Christian Whiteheads – one of the main characters behind Sonic Mania – versions of Sonic 1, 2 and Sonic CD? Or will M2’s 3DS releases of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic 2 be removed before the 3DS eShop closes next year? We’re at least happy that Switch owners can have continuous access to these games, but it’s undoubtedly disappointing for those who want the games on other platforms.