Earlier this week, SEGA released a new version of Sonic 4: Episode 2 as part of its SEGA Forever collection. The title has a history of compatibility problems and performance issues on iOS, so this release represents a commendable effort by SEGA to keep the game running on mobile platforms. Unfortunately, this release may also come with its own set of caveats.
According to multiple user reports, Sonic 4: Episode 2 on iOS does not recognize if a user had purchased the game before its SEGA Forever update. Ads are therefore displayed, and the user is prompted to spend an additional $1.99 to remove them. There is an option to restore a previous purchase, but attempting to do so results in the error message seen below. We have confirmed that this issue not only affects Sonic 4: Episode 2 on the platform, but potentially all Sonic releases that have received the SEGA Forever treatment. As of publication time, both Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 show the same behavior, with our team unable to force those games to check for prior purchases at all.
UPDATE: Good news! We’ve received a response from SEGA regarding our original story, and it looks like fixes are in the works. According to SEGA Europe:
The Google Play versions are unaffected as they do not feature the restore purchase option due to limitations with Google Play – people who bought the game previously can still access it just fine from their download history. We have been very much aware of the issues with the Sonic SEGA Forever games not restoring purchases for some users on iOS, and will have fixes going out as soon as possible.