In a somewhat confusing move, Sega is releasing a physical edition for the standard edition of Sonic Mania that does not include the “Plus” DLC content. This is likely to cause some confusion, seeing how the full complete version of the original game, titled Sonic Mania Plus, has been released physically for about a year now. The new physical edition of the standard Sonic Mania will release at $20, which is ten dollars cheaper than the complete edition that comes with the Plus DLC that adds new playable characters, remixed levels, and new modes.
This re-release tactic of putting out an edition with less content than one that is already available seems odd from a marketing standpoint. Most people who would buy a physical edition of a game like Sonic Mania Plus would do so because they see an inherent value in owning physical media over purely digital media, and would probably like to preserve the game and their ownership of it in case of a future scenario where the digital edition becomes unavailable. Sega seems to be targeting an audience of people that would like to own the game physically in order to more effectively own it, but who also don’t want to spring for the DLC for that extra ten dollars that comes with the already released Plus edition of the game.
Sonic Mania was universally praised upon it’s release for taking the Sonic franchise back to basics by making a well-designed, simplified 2D platformer full of respect for the iconic character and many nods and references for the fans to enjoy, all the while exemplifying the series at it’s best for what it used to be fondly remembered for. Seeing Sega continue to acknowledge this game through this new release is somewhat encouraging as to how valuable they see it as an asset, though the manner in which they chose to re-release it is rather questionable.
Sonic Mania will be released as a standalone physical release on November 5th, 2019. You can watch a trailer for the game below: