Sega just opened up legal modding for Mega Drive games, 19 years after the console was discontinued

Throughout the 1990s, were you constantly sending unacknowledged letters to Sega, explaining how Sonic the Hedgehog would be significantly better with an aardvark as the lead instead? Well, just 19 short years after the console was discontinued, you can legally make the changes yourself with Sega’s blessing. The company has announced that its Sega Mega Drive Classics Hub will contain Steam Workshop support, allowing players to mod the games and share their handiwork.

Announcing the development on the Sega Europe channel, the company said: “Every single Mega Drive game will now feature Steam Workshop support, allowing you to share modified versions of your favourite retro Sega titles.”

Those titles will be accessible in a lovingly/creepily recreated nineties bedroom, complete with a virtual CRT TV set and a shelf full of Mega Drive classics. This room will come complete with dynamic day and night cycles, just like your real bedroom had in the 1990s (unless you lived with the curtains perpetually closed).

That’s about all we have for now: it’s not clear how much freedom the company plans on giving its fanbase. It could be anything from the ability to edit the graphics, all the way up to modified settings and new levels. We’ll know for sure when the hub launches on 28 April.

But even if it’s a modest step, this is a pretty huge deal. Games companies have typically either turned a blind eye to people tinkering with their back catalogue, or smothered any show of creativity with legal threats. Actively embracing the community and encouraging experimentation? Well, that’s a new one.

READ NEXT: Can you name all 30 of these obscure Sega Mega Drive characters?

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