Gley Lancer, a shooter for the Mega Drive (or the Sega Genesis, depending on where you live) that never made it to American shores in its original incarnation, is set to be reprinted as a physical Mega Drive cartridge, 27 years after its original release in 1992. The re-released version of the game will launch on June 6 of this year, which is about three months before the release of the plug-and-play pre-loaded Genesis Mini emulation console coming in September.
Although the game was never ported to American Genesis systems, it did eventually receive a release in European and American regions on the Wii Virtual Console back in 2008. This upcoming re-release was announced through a trailer comprised of footage of the original game. Gley Lancer is a classic auto-scrolling shoot ’em up in the vein of classics like Gradius, and seems to have enough of a cult following to the point where a reprint is a viable business move.
The re-released console has been guaranteed to work on official Mega Drive consoles, and is theoretically supposed to work on third-party consoles like the Retron 5. As anyone who owns an unofficial retro console can already tell you, getting every cartridge to work on said machine can often be a crapshoot anyway.
The music industry has been taking advantage of pop culture’s recent obsession with retro physical media for years, thanks in part to the resurgence of vinyl records and record players. Reprint fever has extended to 16-track cassette tapes and even VHS tapes in some circumstances, but the complicated nature of games-centric licensing as well as limited public sales data and format limitations seems to have kept video game reprints to a minimum. As a result, continuous printings have become far more common, such as the brand new copies of Final Fantasy 9 for the original PlayStation you can buy on the Square Enix store right this second.