Sega's modern offerings have been widely hit or miss, particularly with a particular blue hedgehog is involved, but there's no doubting the enduring appeal of its classic games - particularly the 16-bit Mega Drive (a.k.a. Genesis) ones.
And it sounds like the publisher plans to throw a fresh spotlight on those games, thanks to the announcement of the Sega Mega Drive Classics Hub for Steam. Sega already has dozens of old-school games on the PC service, but now they'll be unified by this free, all-encompassing launcher.
Essentially, it's a 3D bedroom scene circa 1991-ish, evoking memories from so many of our childhoods, and it lets you browse through your Mega Drive collection and then launch directly into the games. It's a nostalgic way to bind together all of these retro releases, plus it makes it easier to see which games you're missing - assuming you want all of the games Sega has on offer.
But there's another perk coming with the Classics Hub, and it could be much, much sweeter: Sega will include Steam Workshop support with every single compatible Mega Drive game, letting you upload and share custom-modified versions of these old favorites.
Modified games have existed as ROMs and even physical carts on the black market for years and years, but companies typically want absolutely nothing to do with them. This is a very rare shift, then: seemingly an acknowledgment that savvy PC fans can generate additional value for these games by being let loose within the code.
It's incredibly surprising, and it could be super fun: we're sure fans will be eager to put their own spin on games like Sonic the Hedgehog, Ecco the Dolphin, Phantasy Star IV, and many more.
The Mega Drive Classics Hub will be available from 28 April, and it's being added as a free update to all of the existing games on Sega's list - and it'll be there if you buy any of those games new. Not every game seen in the trailer will be compatible on day one, it seems; Sonic isn't listed right now, for example. But it will surely be added before long, so stay tuned.