Sega announced on January 20th that the PC (Steam) versions of Sonic Adventure DX and Sonic Adventure 2 will be made available for download in Japan on January 23rd. These games were already released for overseas markets in 2011 and 2012, marking over 10 years since their initial release and now being unlocked for Japan.
Sonic Adventure DX is an upgraded version of the 3D action game Sonic Adventure, incorporating improvements in graphics and more. It was originally released in 2003 for GameCube and PC, with the Steam version launching in 2011. The game features both action and adventure parts, allowing players to control six different characters.
Sonic Adventure 2 is a 3D action game released in 2001 for the Dreamcast. Unlike its predecessor, the adventure part was eliminated, and the game unfolds through two separate stories, HERO Side and DARK Side, each with its own action segments. In 2012, an updated version of Sonic Adventure 2 based on the original was released for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC (Steam). Additionally, Sonic Adventure 2 Battle, a minor upgrade released for GameCube in 2001 with exclusive multiplayer features, has its battle function available as DLC on various platforms.
Both titles are available on PC through Steam, but users in Japan were unable to access the store pages or make purchases due to the so-called “region-lock” situation. However, during the “Sonic Official Fan Meeting Tour 2023-2024 in Osaka,” it was announced that the games would be available for download in early 2024, finally lifting the restriction for Japanese users.
During the “Sonic Official Fan Meeting Tour 2023-2024 in Fukuoka,” additional information was announced. It was revealed that the Steam versions of Sonic Adventure DX and Sonic Adventure 2 would be available for download in Japan on January 23, marking the end of a region-lock that had persisted for over 10 years.
The reasons for specific titles being region-locked can vary, including licensing issues, regional laws, and publisher considerations. While the exact reasons for the unavailability of these two Sonic games in Japan were not clear, the lifting of the region-lock means that users no longer need to worry about regional restrictions. However, there are still several Sega titles on Steam with region-lock status, such as Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio. Given their popularity, fans may hope that the success of this unlocking prompts the availability of other previously restricted titles.