Sega Mega Drive Games Getting Steam Workshop Mods

The old Mega Drive games (or Genesis, whatever) that Sega have been selling in their Classics Collections are receiving some form of mod support through the Steam Workshop later this month, which is wildly unexpected news. Sega are a bit vague on how extensive the mod support will be, so it’s not clear whether this’ll be full-on ROM hacks or something lighter. Either way, it’s exciting because most publishers are wary of anyone tampering with their back catalogue.

Oh, and this’ll all be housed in a 3D recreation of the sort of ’90s bedroom you’d see in a Sega magazine advert, because Sega always have to be a bit baffling?

The Sega Mega Drive Classics Hub is coming to Steam on Thursday, April 28th, released for free to folks who own any of the fifty Mega Drive games on Steam. The hub is a virtual bedroom, because reasons? But! This upgrade means Sega are adding features not found in their previous straightforward emulations. Games in the hub will support optional graphic filters, including ways to make games look more like they would on a CRT screen, saving at any point, and full support for controllers and keyboard. Which are features unofficial emulators have had for yonks, of course, but now they’re in a virtual bedroom. No, I don’t know why either.

If you’re interested in emulation, by the way, Frank Cifaldi’s GDC 2016 talk encouraging publishers to embrace emulation is ace and free to watch.

As for mod support, Sega say in the announcement that “every single Mega Drive game will now feature Steam Workshop support allowing you to share modified versions of your favourite retro Sega titles!” Will they let folks upload ROM hacks, or have they perhaps made some new mod tools? Dunno! “We’ll have more details on the Steam Workshop functionality next week,” Sega have said on Twitter.

Here, have a look at the bedroom:

From this site

25 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    PoulWrist says:

    They should have the whole thing in a VR setting, so you could put on your headset and be transported back in time to 1991…

  2. Cooper says:

    I wonder what emulator they use at the core of this? I assume it’s one of the open source ones they freely make use of (like GOG do with DosBox)

    It’d be interesting to hear from the emulator devs about having their work opened up to Steam modding and placed in a VR environment…

    • TheLetterM says:

      Don’t most free emulators have licenses that forbid using them for profit? I suspect it’s more likely that Sega developed something in-house. Back in the late 90’s, they snapped up Steve Snake, the dev of Kega Fusion, which was one of, if not the best Genesis/Mega Drive emulators at the time. I wouldn’t be surprised if they kept building off his codebase.

      • ansionnach says:

        Kega Fusion didn’t exist at the end of the nineties. Back then there was KGen and KGen98 from Steve Snake and Genecyst from Bloodlust Software.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Oakreef says:

    Really excited to see what mod support entails. If we can get Sonic Classic Heroes on Steam I might be able to convince more people to play it.

  4. BathroomCitizen says:

    It’s a strange feeling. I don’t care about Sega games anymore, but I’m excited!

  5. RuySan says:

    Wish i could have an Amiga bedroom, and the option to mod my childhood dog barks in the background. I would pay for that.

  6. MeestaNob says:

    Article is way to heavy with snark for what is a very cool and unexpected update. Also, the bedroom-style interface will be a familiar throwback for most people who had a 16 bit console back in the day.

    Not sure I understand what this piece was trying to say at all.

    • Smoof says:

      I’m all over this. I’ve been recently replaying Sonic 3 + Knuckles in an emu and this little bedroom feature will get me to actually purchase the games via Steam.

      I’m a sucker for the nostalgia of being transported back to my basement gaming room, circa 1994.

    • Premium User Badge

      duns4t says:

      Yeah, I think the tone of this article missed the mark. I can’t see any downsides in this news… it’s all good. Even if the modding scene doesn’t take off – and there’s a good chance I’ll never give this a whirl because too many games – it’s setting a good precedent for a major publisher.

    • Sin Vega says:

      I dunno, I mean it’s fine and all, but I don’t see anything that impressive about a massive corporation patting itself on the back for pretending they’re doing something amazing and new, and not something emulators have been doing for free for most of my lifetime.

      Games industry giants slowly crawling into the early 2000s: good, but pretty embarassingly overdue.

      Also those “here’s your bedroom!” things have always been pretty alienating tbh.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      Of all the people I knew with 16-bit consoles, none had a bedroom anything like this. I don’t want to dive into a weird obsessive fantasy just to play a video game.

      I don’t know why rooms are coming back as interfaces. Yes, Deadly Premonition’s is delightful, of course it is, and I realise every developer is still trying to learn lessons from that masterpiece, but they’re clunkier than just a menu.

      • horrorgasm says:

        “I don’t want to dive into a weird obsessive fantasy just to play a video game.” Ironic quote of the day.

        • melancholicthug says:

          Lol this right here. It’s a pretty standard room, mine was a lot like it…

  7. Premium User Badge

    Thirith says:

    I don’t know what’s not to get about the virtual bedroom – it’s a fun, silly extra, and I would’ve thought that RPS is all for fun, silly stuff.

  8. Jalan says:

    Hesitant to expect miracles out of this, but pleased all the same.

  9. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Maybe we’ll get a mod that makes Sonic fun.

    I said it.

  10. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    Did someone say… “Super Sonic Maker”?

  11. DarkMalice says:

    Finally I can have the Bonanzo Bros/Robocop vs Terminator total conversion I’ve always dreamed of!
    (It was an odd dream, granted. I may have eaten too much cheese that night.)
    I wouldn’t mind seeing custom levels for Streets of Rage mind you.