On April 28th, Sega will be releasing the Sega Mega Drive Classics Hub which will serve as a 3D front end for emulated Sega ROMs you already own on Steam. As the emulator will be released on Steam, Sega is looking at leveraging the Steamworks platform to add the ability to modify and redistribute some of Sega’s classic PC-emulated Mega Drive games. In short, Sega is looking at adding mod support for console games.
Modding classic consoles games have always been a legal grey area as it involves ripping the game directly from the cartridge and modifying the ROM. After that, the modified files will then be uploaded onto websites which can then be downloaded by anyone. With the Mega Drive Classics Hub though, Sega will be giving the greenlight for modders to modify a selection of its Mega Drive titles. While Sega will be endorsing modding for the Mega Drive games, they have yet to go into specifics as to what kind of support they would be providing.
In the meantime, if you have purchased any of the Sega Genesis Classics Collection games on Steam, all of the games will be receiving a free update to implement the hub features, including Steamworks modding. Sega has released a list of games that will be supported by the Mega Drive Classics Hub, although some key titles such as Sonic the Hedgehog is absent from the list. Despite the lack of Sega’s killer app for the Mega Drive, Sega’s decision to support modding is a step in the right direction.