Sega Forever is one of those exciting ideas in theory â€” a new program from the publisher where classics from its entire library are made into free-to-play mobile games. But players have found that, in practice, Sega Forever is a bit of a bust. Reviews criticize the ports for being poorly emulated, with Sega Networksâ€™ chief marketing officer Mike Evans calling the launch not â€œas strong as it could have beenâ€ in an interview with Eurogamer.
Reviews on iTunes for much of Sega Foreverâ€™s first wave of free, classic games, including Phantasy Star 2 and Altered Beast, say the games need work.
â€œI love Segaâ€™s attempt to entice customers by providing a promising vision of classic games on mobile platforms,â€ wrote user Jeratain in the most helpful review on the App Store. â€œUnfortunately, the execution leaves something to be desired.â€
Among the issues the user encountered were great deals of lag, freezing or crashing and volume errors. They werenâ€™t alone; several other reviews call the game â€œjitteryâ€ and a â€œglitchfest.â€
John Linneman of Digital Foundry, Eurogamerâ€™s gaming tech-focused section, took to Twitter to warn users against the Sega Forever games as well.
â€œDO NOT TOUCH those Sega Forever games,â€ he tweeted just after launch. â€œLousy emulation in a Unity wrapper. Not good at all.â€
Yet Evans, who works at Segaâ€™s mobile division, said the negative reaction comes mostly from a small number of users.
â€œFor the vast majority of our fans it’s solid, but the specialist guys who are looking for the absolute epitome of quality, we’re going to keep improving for those guys,â€ Evans told Eurogamer when asked about the launchâ€™s mixed reception.
As for choosing Unity, Evans explained that it helped the company reach as many mobile users as possible. Thatâ€™s the primary goal with Sega Forever, he said â€” although the various operating systems on mobile means thereâ€™s always some issue that the publisher canâ€™t anticipate.
â€œI think that whilst we’re continually working to improve on quality â€” we have to understand the context of mobile in that sense â€” if you look at the vast majority there’s a lot of very delighted fans out there,â€ Evans said. â€œWe’re going to continue to improve, the core is very important to us as well, and make those changes so we’re happy and they’re happy.â€