In a cryptic blog post today, SEGA announced it plans to remove some games from its active Android catalog. Conspicuously missing from the post is a list of the games that will be affected. SEGA says the removals will happen over the next few weeks.
SEGA explains that a number of older games it has published in the past no longer meet its standards. Rather than update them or work on a revamped version, the company will be shutting them down. This includes listings in Google Play and the Amazon Appstore (and iOS, in case you were wondering).
The blog post makes it clear the games aren't being completely pulled from Google's servers. They're really just being de-listed, which means if you've previously bought a game that SEGA ends up dumping, it will still be accessible to you (it's not clear if this applies to Amazon listings too). Although, in the meantime SEGA will apparently let people continue to buy games it will be abandoning in a few weeks.
We reached out to SEGA, and we didn't get much more detail on the changes. The PR rep refused to say which games are on the chopping block, basically reiterating what the blog post said.
A number of titles in our mobile catalog date back to the earliest iterations of devices. Mobile gameplay along with technological advancements have given players high expectations for what they should expect. Therefore it is in the best interest of players that we are investigating in our games and will remove the titles that no longer fit the mark we aim to reach. The on-going focus of our mobile games business is to treat our legacy IP with the utmost care, while also creating new titles that appeal to the modern mobile audience.
Assuming it hasn't started killing games already, I don't see much on SEGA's Play Store page that screams "out of date." Spellwood hasn't been updated in a few years, I suppose, and Jet Set Radio has been a less than perfect port to Android (the reviews are ugly). We'll just have to wait and see what happens.
SEGA is still mum on which games it intends to discontinue, but based on our own observations, three have been given the axe as of Sunday, May 17th. House of the Dead: Overkill LR, Jet Set Radio, and Football Manager Handheld 2014 are no longer available on the Play Store unless you previously purchased them. The first two will leave a noticeable hole in SEGA's lineup, but there are other Football Manager games to take the place of the one that was removed.
Another one bites the dust
After Burner Climax is gone now as well. I guess you could say that was... anticlimactic.