Sega officially supports ROM Hacks?
Sometime a year or two ago, Sega surprised us by going back and updating The Dreamcast Collection on Steam to improve its visual fidelity and add Steam Achievements. Apparently, that was only the first step in a larger effort to improve select pieces of their back catalog, as today, Sega has announced the “Sega Mega Drive Classics Hub” for Steam.
The short of it is: if you own any of the Sega Genesis games that are currently on Steam, on April 28th, they will be converted to work with this “hub” which provides a three-dimensional representation of a child’s bedroom from the 1990’s, complete with an old CRT television and a way to categorize your virtual game collection. That’s pretty cool — I’ve personally wanted more developers to honor not only their history, but to preserve a piece of the era itself in their retro game collections, and this seems to be a little bit of that.
But that’s not the really surprising part. When the camera scans over the “virtual collection,” you’ll notice there’s an option to apply “Mods” to these games. According to Sega UK Community Manager Dan Sheridan, users will be able to share modified versions of these Sega Genesis games through the Steam Workshop. The Steam Workshop has allowed users to easily distribute and download mod content for all kinds of games, from Skyrim to Team Fortress 2. Sega UK is currently tight lipped on what exactly that means, but this sounds an awful lot like Sega might be adding an official way to distribute ROM hacks. If that ends up being true, this could be history in the making.
We’ll find out more about what this “Mod Support” really is next week when Sega Mega Drive Classics Hub drops on Steam.