Last week, Sony angered Sonic fans by releasing one of those terrible DLC graphics which shows what is and what is not included in the various versions of the Sonic origins. The graphic was immensely annoying, with insignificant little features like “mailbox background” and “main menu character animation” blocked from certain versions of the remaster – of which there are five in total to choose from. Even “Hard Quests” were listed only to appear in the “Premium Fun Pack”, which is a terrible name for any edition of a game, and the “Digital Deluxe Edition”, which will cost $45.
Well, prepare to be pissed off again, because Sony is planning to remove the digital versions of the games included in the Sonic Origins remastered collection. This covers Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and Sonic CD. The big deletion of these games will take place on May 20th, about a month before Sonic Origins launches. If you already own digital copies of these games, you will still be able to play them, but they will no longer be available for purchase on Steam and the Xbox Store. (The exception will be the Nintendo Switch versions of Sonic 1 and 2, which will remain available on Sega Ages. Sonic 2 will also be available on Nintendo Switch Online+ for the Sega Genesis.)
The digital divide is doubly annoying because these original games are only about $5 each, and even the cheapest version of Sonic Origins is $40. Plus, we’ve seen what can happen when a remaster’s release coincides with the disappearance of the original games from the markets. The Grand Theft Auto trilogy was a mess when it launched, filled with rain that players couldn’t see, horrible camera angles, invisible bridges, unstable character models, broken textures, and dozens of other issues. This was compounded by the fact that the original versions of these GTA games could no longer be purchased once the remaster arrived.
While I think remasters can help older games find a new audience or provide pleasant nostalgic throwbacks to people who played them years ago, I really hate the idea of the original games fading into the ether. There’s no reason a remaster can’t live side by side with the original games – the original Half-Life can still be purchased alongside its Half-Life: Source digital remaster, for example, and that decision certainly didn’t fall through. financial, isn’t it? And frankly, you’re only going to piss people off by telling them that a game they love is no longer available just because there’s now a considerably more expensive remaster on the store shelf.
Don’t delete old games when releasing a remaster, in other words. In the meantime, if you want to buy a digital copy of these original Sonic games from Steam, you have a few weeks to get them before they’re gone forever.